Movie Review Flashback: ‘Prisoners’ Is a Creepy, Riveting Thriller

I love a good mystery and The Silence of the Lambs is the best one conceived on the big screen with Anthony Hopkins’ unforgettably iconic Hannibal Lecter and Jodie Foster’s perfect written heroine, Clarice Starling starring alongside one another in a thriller worth watching.

While trying to find something to watch on HBO Max I ran into Prisoners, a haunting thriller starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal that came out in 2013. It sits at #200 on IMDb’s Top 250 movies and learning this I had to check it out. Here’s the synopsis.

When Keller Dover’s daughter and her friend go missing, he takes matters into his own hands as the police pursue multiple leads and the pressure mounts.

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Hugh Jackman plays the role of Keller Dover in this gripping story and it is undoubtedly, in my opinion, his best performance that I’ve seen. I didn’t see Wolverine, I saw a broken man desperately looking for his daughter and was willing to do anything to find her.

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And starring alongside him was Jake Gyllenhaal as Detective Loki in a role that I feel should’ve garnered him an Oscar nomination. (I mean, if Tommy Lee Jones could win an Oscar for his role in The Fugitive then Gyllenhaal could’ve been nominated for this.) There was a sense of depth to this character that kept my eyes peeled to the screen, whether it was his sometimes infuriating sense of passiveness or the small detail of his facial tick that Gyllenhaal nailed perfectly. He was great!

Prisoners is very much a character-driven drama that, with bad actors, could’ve been long and dense but instead, with a gripping story that kept me on the edge of my seat and a brilliant cast to bring this story to life, it’s undoubtedly one of the greatest mysteries I have ever seen.

Why did this movie end up not getting nominated for Best Picture in 2013? Well, unfortunately, it’s very easy to know why.

Prisoners is creepy as heck as the story goes along and the mystery surrounding these girls’ disappearance intensifies but unlike The Silence of the Lambs which stays brilliant all the way through, Prisoners manages to lose steam in the last twenty-five minutes. There are plot holes left behind that have me still scratching my head and the conclusion to the mystery feels underwhelmingly simple and left me wondering why the writers chickened out at the end.

Ultimately, despite an ending that could’ve been way more disturbing and memorable, the movie is still really good and worth watching. Denis Villeneuve (SicarioBlade Runner 2049Arrival) is a brilliant director and his vision for this film was incredible. He brought such attention to detail, emitted so much fear just through the lens of the camera, and yeah, this was another Villeneuve masterpiece.

Plus, Johan Johannsson’s musical score for this movie was just…chilling. Wow!

I’m giving this movie 95 out of 100 and 4.5 out of 5 stars. Oh my goodness, it was almost a perfect film and I’m so upset that it ended so boringly but despite its underwhelming conclusion it was a film I’ll never forget and it is amazing. Give it a look.

I thank you for reading and I hope you have a beautiful day.

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