Andy: As is the case with almost any crime-drama, there is a consistent theme of mystery to the film. It purposefully twists and turns through the final 45 minutes so much that it almost becomes counterproductive. A movie like this is entitled to a good gotcha-moment, but it feels like Prisoners is too close to spinning out of control toward the end. Clocking in at just over two and a half hours, it seems like Prisoners could have been a lot more effective if it were about 20 minutes shorter. Fortunately, the interesting moral questions raised by the film (how far will people go to protect their children?) overshadow some contrived plot twists.
Ryan: Jackman’s haunting portrayal of a despondent yet driven father leads the strong ensemble cast of Prisoners. Above anything else, it’s nice to see Jackman in a non-genre movie where’s he’s playing an everyman. Also delivering a noteworthy performance is Jake Gyllenhaal. I don’t really know if Gyllenhaal is a great actor but he’s a good, consistent actor—he’s that non-flashy first baseman that bats .300 every year. In a lot of ways Gyllenhaal is the glue guy that holds the film together.
Atmospheric, moody and unnerving, Prisoners is a (mostly) well-crafted crime thriller.
Final Grade: B.