Blu-ray Review Prisoners
Directed by: Denis Villeneuve Cast: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Terrence Howard, Maria Bello, Viola Davis Running Time: 2 hrs 33 mins Rating: R Due Out: December 17, 2013 Own Prisoners on Blu-ray Combo Pack and Digital Download 12/17
PLOT: After two girls disappear in a quiet Pennsylvania neighborhood, one of the fathers (Jackman) kidnaps a potential suspect previously released from police custody (Dano). Meanwhile, a detective (Gyllenhaal) obsessively seeks to find the children before time runs out.
WHO’S IT FOR? Moviegoers ready for a tense story that will take them to very dark places.
Enabled by the success of movies like Mystic River and Gone Baby Gone, Prisoners does some special things with the tension it easily acquires (making children disappear has an incredible effect on the audience, certainly). Thanks to Villeneuve’s pacing, we are embedded with Jackman as he descends into desperation, and we feel the anxiety of the case’s narrowing clock as Gyllenhaal tries to make sense of it all.
Constantly denying us the exhale of even a glimpse of the girls after they disappear, Prisoners sets a tense mystery for its bold running time, but by the end of it all doesn’t have an entire explanation. This isn’t ambiguous lack of explanation (always welcomed), but simply unexplained. For such involving pain that can be felt in the beginning of this film, especially as it starts to harp on some very raw nerves, Prisoners lacks an undeniable tightness. Characters are a bit clumsy within this story in a manner that seeks to service the script more than it does the nightmarish reality a story like Prisoners entirely set on. It’s as if the script wants to provide a lack of justice specific to the audience, so that they too can feel what it’s like when the characters aren’t served the rights they may feel entitled to. Nonetheless, finally emerging from the week-long experience that is Prisoners scratching your head seems to be a negative distraction from the impression that this movie wants to make, especially considering the rich and larger ideas that are at play.
MOVIE SCORE: 7/10
EXTRAS Two Featurettes · Prisoners – Every Moment Matters · Prisoners – Powerful Performances