Saturday, December 21, 2013

Prisoners (USA, 2013)

Nine Things About the Movie Prisoners

1. This is a dark psychological thriller about two fathers whose girls are kidnapped.

2. It starts off like one of those typical “I must find my daughter!” films. I was afraid it would be boring.

3. It eventually turns out to be closer to “Silence of the Lambs”. It wasn’t even close to being boring.

4. Hugh Jackman plays one of the fathers and Jake Gyllenhaal plays the detective. Each of them follows different leads to find the girls, with different results. The audience is left to decide for themselves which man – if either of them – is doing the right thing.

5. I’ve always been a fan of Gyllenhaal, and he is right on point here. He’s intense, layered, and commands the screen every time he’s on.

6. I’ve always been kind of “meh” about Jackman, but he surprised me with this. He has a fiercely raw emotion that makes you believe the lengths to which he’ll go to find his daughter. This is the best, most mature role I’ve ever seen him in.

7. The movie is almost two-and-a-half hours long, which gives plenty of time for the story and characters to marinate and come together. It repeatedly takes turns that I wasn’t expecting.

8. It is well written, not only as a thriller, but as a psychological examination of two complicated men and the demons who drive them.

9. It was originally rated NC-17 for being extremely violent. It was edited down to get an R-rating, but it’s still disturbing.