"Prisoners" was easily one of the best films that I have seen this year. The plot will keep you on the edge of your seat, the acting will render you in awe, the cinematography will be a feast for your eyes, the suspense will tear into you and every twist & turn of the story will have your heart beating faster and faster straight to the very end.
The film begins with the Dover family going over the Birches' house for a cheerful and average thanksgiving dinner. The families are forever changed when the families' young daughters go out to play and go missing. Detective Loki (Gyllenhaal) is assigned to the case. His only piece of evidence: A strange RV that was spotted in the area (and played upon by the girls) before the get together.
I refuse to give away any bit of the story within this review for those who may have not seen the movie yet. If you haven't seen it yet, DROP EVERYTHING AND GO! I touched upon several of the aspects in my first paragraph that really make this film spectacular. Obviously, one of the most important pieces of every movie is the plot (Duh). The plot and script for "Prisoners" was incredible and thoroughly planned out. There is foreshadowing all throughout the beginning of the movie to important events that occur toward the end along with backstories that further enrich and reinforce the story.
The acting in Prisoners is impeccable and truly brings this horrific story to life. Each actor brings their character to life, exposes different aspects of the human condition as the abduction of the two innocent girls transforms once seemingly happy people into ravaged, heart-broken, angry and grief-stricken people. The most explosive transformation occurs within Keller Dover played beautifully by the great Hugh Jackman.
Dover's change from a loving and caring father to a cornered animal, who takes out his anger on the RV driver whom suspects for taking the girls, is disturbing and cringe inducing. There is no questioning Hugh Jackman's talent as an actor considering he can do just about everything regarding to acting. From playing Wolverine in an action packed blockbuster to singing as the legendary Jean Valjean in Les Miserables to playing a shattered father here in Prisoners, Hugh Jackman can really do it all.
Another actor worth noting is Jake Gyllenhaal. The role of detective Loki is interesting because of its importance to the story and the emotional journey this character experiences while attempting to solve this case. Gyllenhaal doesn't just bring an experienced investigator to "Prisoners", he brings a character who is interesting, comical (a few one-liners), and passionate with his work. If you are a fan of Jake Gyllenhaal, this movie is a must see just to view his acting prowess in full action.
Two other actors who receive honorary mention are Paul Dano and Melissa Leo. After watching the movie, reasons behind their honorary mention will become obvious.
Director DenisVilleneuve's vision and cinematography is spellbinding as well as simply artistic. Screenshots are beautiful and audiences are exposed to endless imagery that reinforces the painful and riveting story that will consistently keep you on the edge of your seat.
The only complaint that I could think of giving this film is length. Certain parts seemed a tad too long but they certainly did not detract from the power of the film.
I highly recommend this movie to a more adult crowd. If you haven't seen it, drop what you're doing and rush to the movies. You will definitely not regret it.