Few movies can invoke the kind of dread, sadness and raw anger a family goes through when they experience every mother and father’s worst nightmare: Their child has gone missing.
The new movie “Prisoners,” staring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, perfectly recreates the heartbreak and rage a parent feels when their child disappears without a trace – and how far they are willing to go to get their children back.
Jackman stars as Keller Dover, a carpenter and father whose daughter disappears along with her friend on Thanksgiving. Police detective Loki, played by Gyllenhaal, is assigned to the case and vigorously searches for clues to hopefully find the young girls still alive.
Believing the police are not doing enough to find his daughter, Jackman kidnaps a suspect he believes knows where his daughter is and proceeds to “do what’s necessary” to get the person to talk.
The plot of the movie feels a little cliché, but never has the tale been told with such raw power and grit.
Throughout the film, the audience is left with more questions than answers about the disappearance, building more and more suspense and emotion as the movie rolls onward.
Cinematically, the film captures a beautiful yet gloomy atmosphere, making every scene feel like it could be happening right outside your window during a rainy day.
With the exception of a few minor characters that have very little screen time, the acting is superb, with every scene feeling well thought out and directed accordingly.
The only downfall of “Prisoners” is its whopping 2 hour and 33 minute length that will guarantee anyone who bought a drink will need a bathroom break and end up missing out on an important scene.
The end of the movie is also a little awkward, but understandable. The film would be more complete if another 10 minutes or so were added for closure, but that would be asking a lot for audiences who are already squirming in their seats.
“Prisoners” might be incredibly long, but every minute of the film matters and keeps audiences worried about the fate of the two missing children. Any movie that can be so long and keep the audience emotionally involved is worth seeing.
Rating: 5 out of 5
Runtime: 153 minutes