Dennis Villeneuve’s first English language film is long, brutal, but most off all, edge-of-your-seat cinema.
During a Thanksgiving dinner in a small Pennsylvanian town, the Dover’s and the Birch’s two young daughters disappear, with the only suspect being a mentally challenged young man (Paul Dano) whose dilapidated RV was spotted near the scene of the crime.
Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) heads up the investigation, any when the only suspect must be released on lack of evidence, Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) takes it upon himself to find his daughter by kidnapping and torturing the man, much to the disgust of the other parents.
Although it weighs in at around 150 minutes, ‘Prisoners’ never feels contrived. The whole experience is spent on the edge of your seat and the events are ingrained in your memory long after the viewing, no doubt down to the captivating story and wonderful acting from Jackman and Gyllenhaal. It resonates much of the same parental angst and drama that was effective in Clint Eastwood’s ‘Mystic River’, as the women grieve and the men try to hold their families together in difficult times.