Movie Review: The Prisoners

You know you’re watching a good movie when you can sit for 153 minutes in front of a screen without having the thought, “This is a really long movie,” go through your mind a single time. Instead, I found myself thinking, “This is way too intense. I just can’t handle the suspense of not knowing,” over and over again.

“Prisoners” is a 2013 American thriller drama film directed by Denis Villeneuve. It stars Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllehnaal and is extremely good. It is about how far you would go in order to rescue your child. It is about the struggle of drawing the line of what is considered ethical in order to save lives.

Without spoiling any part the film, it is great because it has a complex combination of factors that keep you engaged. It is set in a rainy environment, to that you can add the kidnapping of children, a survivalist with a history of alcoholism, a lonely cop, a young man who is supposed to be a villain but only has the intelligence of a ten year old, and even a murder mystery that dates back to decades before.

Needless to say, the plot gets more and more complex as you go.

One thing that I must applaud about this film is the acting. The acting is almost scary good. Hugh Jackman, for example, doesn’t usually play a bad guy but in this film he showed how good of an actor he is. Although, you understand why he becomes a vigilante (to save his daughter), you start hating him. You feel conflicted. Similarly, what I like about Jake Gyllenhaal’s role is that he portrays a lonely cop with a questionable conduct but a good heart. Both Gyllenhaal and Jackman and most of the actors of this film play characters that can neither be categorized as good nor bad. They all have their flaws, which I think makes the film not only realistic but it also lets the viewers feel pain from all different types of angles. Along with this, the mystery of finding out who the “bad guy” really is, is always looming on all of the characters and, of course, the viewer.

Again, I don’t want to give anything away because that would deprive whoever reads this of the experience that is watching “Prisoners.” All I am going to say is that this was definitely one of the best and most complex thrillers that I have seen in a very long time and if you’re into that sort of stuff, then I suggest you go watch it right now.

About Maria Paz Gutierrez

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