Prisoners – 7/10

The abduction of two young children leads to catastrophic results for everyone involved.


Prisoners takes elements from many similar films in this genre (Law Abiding Citizen, Seven, Zodiac, The Silence Of The Lambs etc etc) and blends them all together mostly successfully. Hugh Jackman is powerful enough I suppose as one of the abducted girls fathers but his total lack of charisma and watchability always leaves me feeling distracted. Jake Gylenhaal fares better as the lead detective investigating the case but he has been much better in other, similar roles. His low key character doesn’t give JG many opportunities for his weird personality to shine. Paul Dano is excellent in early scenes as a man child suspect but he is given little to do after the first half an hour.

I found Prisoners to be excellent in parts but also overly complicated and quite unrealistic at times. Nowhere near as good as zenith of the genre Zodiac, nor as good as very similar film Gone Baby Gone, Prisoners was rightly almost completely overlooked at the Oscars this year. It also seems quite muddled about the messages of morality and religion that it is trying to convey. Definitely a good film but not great by any means.

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