How far would you go to solve the mystery of a missing loved one? The new crime drama Prisoners presents us with that very question and begins to blur the lines of right and wrong, when gut-wrenching desperation sets in. The story is this: One Thanksgiving afternoon neighbors Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) and Franklin Birch (Terrence Howard) have their family together enjoying the day at the Birch's home, when both of their youngest daughters decide to quickly run back to the Dover's house to retrieve a toy and are both abducted. From there the intense search and investigation begins, being lead by Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal), a cop who has solved every case he has ever worked. As the hours and days tick by, the one suspect police have is released from jail and nerves and tempers climb. Keller Dover makes the decision that he needs to take matters into his own hands if he ever wants to see his little girl again.
Now, I just want to start off saying that if this was me, I would do ANYTHING to save someone I loved. I would go to the ends of the earth if that is what it would take. So I can completely sympathize with some of the twists and turns these characters take as the movie progresses. You know some of the actions that Dover takes are beyond wrong, and if it was any other situation you would be hoping the police would bust in a catch him, but under these circumstances you will find yourself pulling for him every step of the way. He remains human because he is getting no joy from what he is having to do, but he is doing what he must for his family. Gyllenhaal and Jackman are perfect in these roles, both taking different approaches to solving the same problem. One bound by laws and the other just determined to find answers. Jackman's acting is top notch in this film. You can literally feel his desperation and hopelessness through the screen as he struggles with what to do next, when he knows the clock is running out. The acting and directing are perfectly done. This may be a long film, clocking in at 153 minutes, but it doesn't feel that way since you are too wrapped up in the story to notice.
The story is carefully laid out and even though there were a few things I was able to put together ahead of time, there were still plenty of twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat with anticipation. These characters are at their breaking point and the tension and the need to hurry up and find the next clue or take their actions up a notch is right there in your face from beginning to end. It is a movie of urgency.
Overall, I give prisoners a solid A+. The subject matter may be dark, but it is a fantastic story. It is a movie that will definitely have you talking about it all the way home. It will make you want to keep a more watchful eye on your loved ones. And it will leave you with a oh my God moment at the very end. Go see this film. Check out Prisoners in theaters everywhere September 20th!