Netflix UK film review: Prisoners
Ruby | On 08, Feb 2014
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Viola Davis, Terrence Howard, Maria Bello, Melissa Leo
Watch Prisoners online in the UK: Netflix UK / TalkTalk TV Store / iTunes / Rakuten TV / Sky Store
From Denis Villeneuve, the director of the Oscar-nominated Incendies, comes a film which takes you deep into the belly of two families whose young daughters go missing on Thanksgiving in rainy Pennsylvania.
The only clue to their disappearance is a parked RV in the neighbourhood earlier in the day. Alex Jones (Dano), a young man who “has the mind of a 10-year-old boy” and lives with his aunt, Holly (Leo), is arrested and subsequently released, much to the frustration of one of the dads, Keller Dover (Jackman), who believes Alex is to blame. Feeling betrayed by the police – in particular, Detective Loki (Gyllenhaal) – Dover takes action. Not all the parents react in the same way, causing tension in both households.
Riveting at first, Prisoners holds you firmly in its clutches, then disappointingly loosens its grip at the end, as we piece together the numerous clues that Loki and colleagues haven’t quite noticed.
Still, Prisoners is worth watching for Jackman and Dano alone. Jackman embodies the pure pain and frustration of a father dealing with the uncertainty of his family’s future and Dano never fails to deliver a great performance. The film may fall at the final hurdle, but it brings up the age-old question of what we might do in his position. This one is creepy and nuanced, which keeps you guessing until the last set piece.
Prisoners is available on Netflix UK, as part of £7.99 monthly subscription.