• Charlie Moat


Dark and suspenseful, this Denis Villeneuve 2013 thriller doesn't quite get the recognition it deserves.

Nominated in just one Oscar category for cinematography, this shouldn't be overlooked as one of the best films of 2013. Roger Deakins stunned with the film's composition, but both Jake Gyllenhaal and Hugh Jackman gave inspired performances in the lead roles. Set in Pennsylvania, the hit creates immediate suspense when Keller Dover (Jackman) and family friend Franklin Birch (Terrence Howard) discover their daughters have been abducted. Hot shot detective Loki (Gyllenhaal) is put in charge of the case, looking to keep up his 100% record. As progression in the case meets a standstill, Dover takes it upon himself to bring justice to his family.

Paul Dano (The Batman) gives a convincing act as Alex Jones, a mentally challenged RV owner, the main suspect in the case, whilst Viola Davis (Suicide Squad) co-stars with a heart-breaking and empathy winning role as Birch's wife. Packed with household names, the blockbuster also merits mentions for Maria Bello (Lights Out) and Dylan Minnette (13 Reasons Why).

Prisoners isn't for the faint-hearted, featuring dark themes throughout and horrifying twists. It snatches your attention as the film progresses, and leaves you wanting more with the open ending. Jake Gyllenhaal steals the show, playing the "good guy" role we love to root for. Its clear Loki faces his own struggles and failure isn't an option for the detective who fights hard in a case not given the priority it should be. Hugh Jackman's performance as a recovering alcoholic father is both heart-warming and shocking, leaving the viewer unsure of whether sympathy or anger is the right emotion to feel.

Despite its lack of recognition, I found Prisoners to be a film that sticks with you, not just due to some of the shocking scenes, but the emotions felt throughout. A film that can capture your attention as well as this for 2 hours 33 minutes has to go down as a hit.

Square Eyes Rating: 8.4. Thrilling and mysterious with gut-wrenching scenes and a real emotional rollercoaster.

Star of the Show: Jake Gyllenhaal. No surprises here as Gyllenhaal gives one of his finest performances, overshadowing the great work of Jackman.

About Me

Hi, I'm Charlie! I'm a recent Law graduate with a massive love of films and TV. Throughout this blog you'll find reviews of the latest film and TV releases as well as some classics.

I hope you enjoy the reads, and feel free to use the contact page for any feedback, or releases you'd love to hear me review!

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