Bottom Line: A thought provoking, emotionally charged, creepily atmospheric and fairly tight woven thriller about loss, pain, fear, regret, hopelessness and revenge that, unfortunately, crescendos in a series of unspectacular twists and turns – shoulder shrugging moments that would have been best left to the sweepings of the cutting room floor. Jackman and Gyllenhaal both deliver riveting, near-career high performances (would love Oscar nods for both) – and together make this an easy one to recommend... Toward the end though, I found myself not being interested in who-done-what and taken by surprise at how less-and-less I could care. I also couldn’t help but think how Mel Gibson’s similarly-themed, popcorn-fueled RANSOM (1996) made for a more exciting and immensely rewatchable time at the movies. Gut-wrenching, intense and yet still over baked with too much going on and a tinge of semi-predictability, the acting here is key to not seeking escape from the bleak clutches of PRISONERS.
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Terrence Howard, Mario Bello, Melissa Leo, Viola Davis and Paul Dano
Directed by: Denis Villeneuve (MARGIN CALL)
Running time: 146 minutes
Story: How far would you go to protect your child? Keller Dover (Jackman) is facing every parent's worst nightmare. His six-year-old daughter, Anna, is missing, together with her young friend, Joy, and as minutes turn to hours, panic sets in. The only lead is a dilapidated RV that had earlier been parked on their street. Heading the investigation, Detective Loki (Gyllenhaal) arrests its driver, Alex Jones (Paul Dano), but a lack of evidence forces the only suspect's release. Knowing his child's life is at stake, the frantic Dover decides he has no choice but to take matters into his own hands. But just how far will this desperate father go to protect his family? (c) WB