Monday, October 7, 2013

Movie Review: "Prisoners" (2013)

Movie: "Prisoners"
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Rating: R
Running Time: 2 hour, 33 minutes
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Two young girls are abducted from in front of their house and are missing during Thanksgiving. Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) is the officer in charge of the case and though he is a very good detective and has never left a case unsolved, this is not good enough for Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman), who believes Loki is not working hard and fast enough to find his daughter. After apprehending and questioning a suspect "with the IQ of a 10 year old" named Alex Jones (Paul Dano) from the RV where the girls had been seen playing, Captain Richard O'Malley (Wayve Duvall) forces Loki to let Jones go due to lack of hard evidence to keep him in custody. Keller Dover decides to take the law into his own hands and kidnaps Jones to extract information from him about the girls' whereabouts.

The movie starts off extremely intensely as it deals with the greatest fear most parents can ever face. Hugh Jackman, Maria Bello, and Viola Davis are excellent and play grieving parents very well. Terrence Howard (AKA BABYWIPES HOWARD), not so much. You begin to understand Hugh Jackman's rage and want to justify his actions, though you don't necessarily agree with the methods he has chosen for information extraction. This is the problem that Franklin (Terrence Howard) and Nancy Birch (Viola Davis) encounter in the middle of the movie: do you go along with the police and live with a slower time table and the uncertainty of finding your kids alive, or do you become a vigilante and take the law into your own hands by any means necessary to protect what's yours? The moral dilemma this movie showcases will make you search deep within yourself to find out if you would aid and abet in vigilante justice if presented with the same situation.

That being said, this movie seems to lose a little bit of steam towards the end of the film because it starts with a bang out of the gate. The length of the movie might have something to do with it, 2 hours and 33 minutes is a bit much for such heavy subject matter. A lot of the mystery that unravels seems to do so out of happenstance rather than actual discovery of clues.

Overall, it's still an excellent, well-acted movie, a decent crime mystery/suspense film, one that makes you really think, and want to to hug your loved ones after it's over.

My Rating: 8/10
BigJ's Rating: 8/10
IMDB's Rating: 8.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 81%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!

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