BY: SHANE NEWELL
While it may have partially collapsed under its grandiosity towards the end, “Prisoners” is easily one of the most thrilling films of the year. Starring Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal and Paul Dano, “Prisoners” examines just how far desperate parents will go to try and save their children.
“Prisoners” begins in a quaint East Coast town. Keller (Jackman) and Birch (Terrence Howard) are two fathers whose girls go missing. Originally told to go back to a house and grab their favorite safety whistle, the girls end up not coming back. After frantically searching, the police (Gyllenhaal) are informed and the search begins for suspected kidnapper Alex Jones (Paul Dano).
The appeal of “Prisoners” lies in its pure thrills. Throughout the film, audiences witness just how far Keller and Birch will go to find their daughters. Torturing someone for answers is commonplace.
While the film featured magnificent performances from Gyllenhaal and Jackman, its grandiosity ultimately prevented it from becoming a newly minted classic. As the plot develops, more and more characters are brought in that never get fully introduced. Instead of focusing on the suspense, some audience members may scratch their heads and wonder why the character on screen is significant.
Regardless, “Prisoners” is worth the watch for its Oscar-worthy performances. Just don’t see it alone.