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Review of "PRISONERS"
By Jayne Waterford
Copyrighted © Jayne Waterford, 2013. Written 2nd December 2013. First published 2nd December 2013.
REVIEW: "PRISONERS" by Jayne Waterford

Two little girls are kidnapped on Thanks Giving. The two families affected by this go through a morally compromised hell trying to discover where their daughters are.

Denis Villeneuve's "PRISONERS" (2013) takes us to an unusual place. We are spoilt by great performances as we follow a volatile, good man, Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) as he attempts to find out through any means possible where his little daughter has been taken. The radical and plain violence of the man is shored up by the presence of Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal). It fits in a local culture.

Jake Gyllenhaal's police officer, Detective Loki, is not Brian Taylor from David Ayer's "END OF WATCH" (2012). This is a local guy who has never not solved a case. He dispenses with warrants by knocking loudly before opening doors and letting himself in. He requests permission from people passed out drunk to look around, a habit that becomes indispensable. The first time he looses he destroys his desk. He is a man of few words not seeing any reason to speak when it's just not necessary. Taylor's spirit was lighter and he was more apt at keeping to procedures.

Maria Bello earnt her badge as credibly attracted to violent men as Edie Stall opposite Viggo Mortensen in David Cronenberg's "A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE" (2005). Once again she is fabulous.

These are people, both law keepers and victims who are used to solving their own problems with no intervention or reference to official guidelines.

I did not know where this story was going, only that it was appropriately unpleasant.

Paul Dano also puts in a convincing performance as Alex Jones, the somehow involved and compromised. His performance is so fine we are left with the question, is he retarded?

As I watched this film a second time I had occasion to observe how shocked I was at Alex's slightly, beaten-up face, the first time. I realised that with every successive reveal of his deteriorating condition the shock was as powerful. His character is particularly complicated. I realised later his van in an opening scene had been parked outside the home from which...

Props to Melissa Leo for plumbing a new homely depth of cold. Supporting actors Viola Davis (Nancy Birch) and Terrence Howard (Franklin Birch) blitz this.

Even though I sometimes felt Hugh Jackman had only just completed a rendition of a song from Oklahoma, Denis Villeneuve's "PRISONERS" (2013) is a powerful thriller that charts new territory. Jackman has moments of true commitment, particularly in the car yelling at Loki. Loki. *sheesh* 9/10

Copyrighted ©: Jayne Waterford, 2013.

Denis Villeneuve's
"PRISONERS" (2013)
Director Denis Villeneuve
Producers Kira Davis, Broderick Johnson, Adam Kolbrenner and Andrew A. Kosove
Stars Hugh Jackman (Keller Dover), Jake Gyllenhaal (Detective Loki), Viola Davis (Nancy Birch), Maria Bello (Grace Dover), Terrence Howard (Franklin Birch), Melissa Leo (Holly Jones), Paul Dano (Alex Jones)
Release Date 17th October 2013
Category Crime Drama Thriller
Running Time 153 minutes (2 hours, 33 minutes)
Rating MA15+
Origin USA
Awards
Coda No

Distributor Warner Bros. Pictures
Official Blurb "From Alcon Entertainment comes "PRISONERS", a Warner Bros. Pictures’ release starring Oscar® nominees Hugh Jackman (Tom Hooper's “LES MISERABLES” (2012)) and Jake
Gyllenhaal (Ang Lee's "BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN" (2005)), under the direction of Denis Villeneuve, who helmed the Oscar®-nominated foreign language film “INCENDIES” (2010).

How far would you go to protect your family? Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) 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 (Jake Gyllenhaal) arrests its driver, Alex Jones (Paul Dano), 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?

Led by Jackman and Gyllenhaal, the dramatic thriller "PRISONERS" features an all-star cast, including Oscar® nominee Viola Davis (Tate Taylor's “THE HELP” (2011), John Patrick Shanley's “DOUBT” (2008)), Golden Globe Award nominee Maria Bello (David Cronenberg's “A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE” (2005), Wayne Kramer's “THE COOLER” (2003)) and

Oscar® nominee Terrence Howard (Craig Brewer's “HUSTLE & FLOW” (2005)), with Academy Award® winner Melissa Leo (David O. Russell's “THE FIGHTER” (2010)) and Paul Dano.

Denis Villeneuve directs the film from an original screenplay by Aaron Guzikowski (Baltasar Kormákur's “CONTRABAND” (2012)). Academy Award® nominee Broderick Johnson (John Lee Hancock's “THE BLIND SIDE” (2009)), Kira Davis, Academy Award® nominee Andrew A. Kosove (“THE BLIND SIDE”), and Adam Kolbrenner are the producers, with Edward L. McDonnell, John H. Starke, Robyn Meisinger, Mark Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson serving as executive producers.

Villeneuve is supported by a top-flight creative team that includes 10-time Oscar®-nominated cinematographer Roger A. Deakins (Sam Mendes' “SKYFALL” (2012)), Oscar®-nominated production designer Patrice Vermette (Jean-Marc Vallée's “THE YOUNG VICTORIA” (2009)), Oscar®-winning editor Joel Cox (Clint Eastwood's “UNFORGIVEN” (1992)), editor Gary Roach (Clint Eastwood's “J. EDGAR” (2011)), and costume designer Renée April (Rupert Wyatt's “RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES” (2011)). The music is by Jóhann Jóhannsson.

Alcon Entertainment presents, an 8:38 Productions/Madhouse Entertainment production, "PRISONERS". The film opens September 20, 2013 and will be distributed domestically and in select international territories by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company." - Warner Bros. Pictures PR
"PRISONERS" - Official Trailer 1
"PRISONERS" - "Every Moment Matters" Featurette
Film Name: "PRISONERS"
Copyright: ©2013 ALCON ENTERTAINMENT, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Photo Credit: WILSON WEBB Caption: (L-R) MARIA BELLO as Grace Dover, HUGH JACKMAN as Keller Dover, ERIN GERASIMOVICH (on shoulders) as Anna Dover and DYLAN MINNETTE as Ralph Dover in Alcon Entertainment's dramatic thriller "PRISONERS", a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
Film Name: PRISONERS
Copyright: ©2013 ALCON ENTERTAINMENT, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Photo Credit: WILSON WEBB
Caption: (L-R) PAUL DANO as Alex Jones and JAKE GYLLENHAAL as Detective Loki in Alcon Entertainment's dramatic thriller "PRISONERS," a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
Film Name: PRISONERS
Copyright: ©2013 ALCON ENTERTAINMENT, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Photo Credit: WILSON WEBB
Caption: (Center l-R) JAKE GYLLENHAAL as Detective Loki and HUGH JACKMAN as Keller Dover in Alcon Entertainment's dramatic thriller "PRISONERS," a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
Film Name: PRISONERS
Copyright: ©2013 ALCON ENTERTAINMENT, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Photo Credit: WILSON WEBB
Caption: (L-R) MELISSA LEO as Holly Jones and PAUL DANO as Alex Jones in Alcon Entertainment's dramatic thriller "PRISONERS," a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
Film Name: PRISONERS
Copyright: ©2013 ALCON ENTERTAINMENT, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Photo Credit: WILSON WEBB
Caption: MARIA BELLO as Grace Dover in Alcon Entertainment's dramatic thriller "PRISONERS," a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
Film Name: PRISONERS
Copyright: ©2013 ALCON ENTERTAINMENT, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Photo Credit: WILSON WEBB
Caption: HUGH JACKMAN as Keller Dover in Alcon Entertainment's dramatic thriller "PRISONERS," a Warner Bros. Pictures release.