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?
Release Year: 2013
Rating: 7.9/10 (541 voted)
Director: Denis Villeneuve
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?
Filming Locations: Conyers, Georgia, USA
Did You Know?
Leonardo DiCaprio was attached for a long time to the project but he dropped out eventually. See more »
Prisoners, the new film from Canadian director Denis Villeneuve
(Polytechnique), is a top notch nail-biting crime-drama that is as good
a theatre as modern Hollywood has the ability to produce.
Hugh Jackman and Maria Bello play the parental figures of the Dover
family. They are your average hard-working blue-collar family who begin
their story by visiting neighbours Franklin and Nancy Birch (Terrence
Howard and Viola Davis) for a Thanksgiving dinner. The Franklins and
the Dover's each have two children, the youngest of which (Anna and
Joy) head out from their home on a November afternoon to play only to
Upon a frantic search, the Franklins and the Dover's suspect the worse.
Especially when their elder children tell them of a mysterious camper
that was parked just down the street. Police soon find the camper with
Alex Jones (Paul Dano) behind the wheel. Alex has the mentality of a
10-year-old and tries fleeing when surrounded by authorities. But when
Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) begins to interrogate Alex, he is less
convinced that Alex was a part of the abduction. As days pass, Loki and
Keller Doller work in opposite directions on the investigation. Keller
is convinced that Alex Jones was a part of the abduction and kidnaps
the frail and challenged Jones and tortures him for days in an attempt
to extract answers. Meanwhile, Detective Loki follows leads that open
up possibilities of a crime where multiple persons may be involved. And
Oscar nominee Melissa Leo appears in a supporting but pivotal role that
will assist in the closure.
The trailer for Prisoners may have audiences hearkening back to Ron
Howard's Ransom, but this is hardly the cookie-cutter kidnapping film
that Mel Gibson lead back in 1996. Prisoners instead is an engulfing
drama. One with a superb performance by lead Hugh Jackman that
challenges how far someone would/should go in an effort to locate their
The script, from writer Aaron Guzikowski (Contrband) takes audiences
down many different paths and emotional rides and Jackman's performance
will have you rooting for his quest for answers even though his methods
are unorthodox and highly illegal.
The film is gritty and full of realistic characters and situations
culminating in a perfect ending that goes 9/10ths of the way in giving
its audience full closure. Not as much an edge-of-your seat thriller as
it is a Zodiac type of crime drama where the stakes are the lives of
two small children.
Denis Villeneuve's last effort, Incendies, was nominated for an Academy
Award for Best Foreign Film in 2011. Prisoners shows that he can move
solidly into big star larger scaled films with the ease of a well worn
slipper. And Prisoners catapults Villeneuve into not just a director to
watch, but a director whose work should be awaited with palpable