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Prisoners (2013)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  20 September 2013 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 285,218 users   Metascore: 74/100
Reviews: 556 user | 429 critic | 46 from Metacritic.com

When Keller Dover's daughter and her friend go missing, he takes matters into his own hands as the police pursue multiple leads and the pressure mounts. But just how far will this desperate father go to protect his family?

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Title: Prisoners (2013)

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Top 250 #245 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 28 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Joy Birch (as Kyla-Drew Simmons)
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Storyline

How far would you go to protect your family? Keller Dover is facing every parent's worst nightmare. His six-year-old daughter, Anna, is missing, together with her young friend, Joy, and as minutes turn to hours, panic sets in. The only lead is a dilapidated RV that had earlier been parked on their street. Heading the investigation, Detective Loki arrests its driver, Alex Jones, but a lack of evidence forces his release. As the police pursue multiple leads and pressure mounts, knowing his child's life is at stake the frantic Dover decides he has no choice but to take matters into his own hands. But just how far will this desperate father go to protect his family? Written by Warner Bros. Pictures

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A hidden truth. A desperate search. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing violent content including torture, and language throughout | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

20 September 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La sospecha  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$46,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$20,817,053 (USA) (20 September 2013)

Gross:

$60,962,878 (USA) (29 November 2013)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

(DeLuxe)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The moment where Holly asks Keller to drink a little more was improvised by Melissa Leo, who thought Hugh Jackman wasn't drinking enough to make the situation believable. See more »

Goofs

Detective Loki works for a municipal police department in Pennsylvania yet all of the police cars with lights activated have only blue lights. Blue lights in Pennsylvania are "courtesy lights" for volunteer firefighters/EMS personnel private vehicles. They are not emergency lights with any traffic control powers. Police use either a combination of red and blue or, if using a single light, red only. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Keller Dover: Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and forever. Amen.
Ralph Dover: [shoots a deer]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Midnight Screenings: Prisoners/Battle of the Year 3D (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Escape
Written and performed by Jóhann Jóhannsson
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
'Prisoners' is a tightly wound thriller featuring career bests from Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal...
17 September 2013 | by (New Jersey) – See all my reviews

There is a sensitivity that Director Denis Villenueve and writer Aaron Guzikowski inhabit in bringing their newest film "Prisoners" from Warner Bros. to the screen. Starring an Academy Award nominated cast that includes Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Terence Howard, Maria Bello, Viola Davis, Oscar-winner Melissa Leo, and Paul Dano, this is a smartly constructed and emotionally resound mystery thriller that is thoroughly enjoyable.

The synopsis is fully in the trailer. When two young girls go missing, one belonging to Keller and Grace (Jackman and Bello), the other to Franklin and Nancy (Howard and Davis), a hot-shot detective (Gyllenhaal) is assigned to the case and relentlessly tries to find the clues that could lead to the whereabouts of the missing. When a mentally handicapped Alex Jones (Dano) is found near the scene of the disappearance with no hard evidence, Keller takes matters into his own hands.

I have to say that I've never been this hypnotized with the works of Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal. Jackman, who is fresh of his inaugural nomination for Tom Hooper's "Les Miserables" has capitalized in a massive way. Approaching his character with the ferocity that made him a star in the "X-Men" franchises, he hammers his way into every scene, keeping the audience guessing about their own moral complexities. He tears into scenes in a way we've never seen him and layers his character with plenty of affection, empathy, grief, and rage. It's his best dramatic endeavor he's ever done.

When it comes to Jake Gyllenhaal, many, and probably for the right reasons, gravitate towards his work in Ang Lee's "Brokeback Mountain" as his shining moment in film history. I believe he's gone deeper in works like "Jarhead" and "Zodiac" but those were just the surface of what he can do as an actor. As Detective Loki, Gyllenhaal stands firm and tall in one of the year's finest performances. Terrifically executed as a man disconnected from real emotion, he finds himself enamored by the mystery surrounding two missing girls. He also orchestrates character beats and ticks that's reminiscent of Joaquin Phoenix's towering work in "The Master" last year.

What is very refreshing in the film is it offers a great reminder of how brilliant an actor Terence Howard is. The Oscar-nominated actor seemed to fall by the wayside following his nomination for "Hustle and Flow" in 2006, coincidentally the same year Gyllenhaal snagged his first, and now has realized his capabilities when he chooses more dynamic and passionate characters. In a film that centers around his involvement, Paul Dano doesn't have too much to offer but is completely adequate in form.

The film however is not entirely perfect. Aaron Guzikowski's depth screenplay offers a great mystery story, full of twists and turns, all the bit a tad predictable, but that's not where he falters so much. His construction of the female counterparts, Maria Bello, Viola Davis, and Melissa Leo, are not as crisply or smoothly put together as I'd like them to be. They each have one "scene" that gives us their character's motivation and the look into their cinematic psyche however, some are thrown in quite lazily and manages to halt the story in spots.

The film's technical merits all rise to the abilities of its cast. Roger Deakins, the most overdue Cinematographer in the business, captures stunning portraits of conversations, weather, and scenes that continue to prove his brilliance in the film world. The film's score is masterfully placed by Jóhann Jóhannsson while Joel Cox and Gary Roach edit the film to an impeccable pace.

At 153 minutes, the film is detailed, precise, and engaging nearly throughout. I feel there's a shorter cut of the film that would surely be a Best Picture nominee for this year's Academy Awards if it existed. The film could still garner that support with what they have now, but I think there are aspects of the film members won't be able to get around. A high level of violence and torture scenes infused with a longer run time could keep people at a distance. One thing that can't be denied is the towering works of Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal. The two have offered plenty of memorable performances in their filmography, but their work in "Prisoners" is cut and clear their best they've offered.

"Prisoners" is a magnificent achievement for the film year. Thorough, enigmatic, and purely amazing. A must-see for the movie lovers.

The film opens in theaters this Friday, September 20.


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Come on, 5 more freaking minutes! pdcmoreira
The torture makes this movie ridiculous ... launlori
Hated the father phultra
Great movie but lots of holes in the plot. stevecover
Better than Gone Girl? frank_ricard
At what point do we draw a line? sweetbitchness
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