Good, Bad & Ugly Review: Prisoners

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 78% (Critics) / 90% (Audience)
Directed By: Denis Villeneuve
Written By: Aaron Guzikowski
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Paul Dano, Terrence Howard and Melissa Leo
Studio: Warner Bros.

Synopsis: 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? – (Source)

The Good:
Sometimes, when watching Hugh Jackman running around with that goofy haircut and metal claws popping out his arms as Wolverine, it is easy to forget that he is a damn fine actor. It is Jackman’s emotionally powerful and energetic performance as the father of a missing child who becomes willing to do almost anything to find her, that carries PRISONERS. He gets some able assistance from Jake Gyllenhaal in a quirky turn as the detective working the case and Melissa Leo as the adoptive mother of the accused kidnapper. Viola Davis and Maria Bello also gave very heartbreaking performances as the mothers of the missing girls.
I also liked how director Denis Villeneuve shot some of the scenes in a way that made it feel like the viewer was actually in the rooms with the characters

The Bad:
The movie was promoted heavily on the BIG TWIST but I pegged it pretty early on and so did several other people int he theater I saw PRISONERS in. It was pretty telegraphed and heavy handed which limited the surprise aspect that the movie was obviously aiming for.

The Ugly:
That ending was not very satisfying.

Final Verdict: A good suspenseful thriller with performances ranging from good to great helping to cover up some of the more predictable beats that the movie delivered. Hugh Jackman especially deserves kudos for a powerful performance that is likely to garner him some nominations during awards season.

Grade: B

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