Possibly year's most immaculate-looking drivel, a prismatically shot whodunit abundant in red herrings, but lacking in moral contemplation.
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What are critics saying?
Before all else, Villneuve's grim chronicle of the fallout when two young girls vanish in a small town succeeds at crafting one powerfully suspenseful moment after another.
Entertainment Weekly by Owen Gleiberman
The thriller that's exciting, cathartic, and powerfully disturbing. Prisoners is that type of movie. It's rooted in 40 years of Hollywood revenge films, yet it also breaks audacious new ground.
In his first English language film, Quebeçois director Denis Villeneuve has produced a masterful thriller that is also an engrossing study of a smalltown America battered by recession, fear and the unrelenting elements.
This is the rough cut of a good movie, and a splendid opportunity wasted.
The picture is often graphic and pulls no punches in its disturbing violence, but its unflinching nature gives it a memorable sear that won't soon be forgotten.
A spellbinding, sensationally effective thriller with a complex moral center.
The Hollywood Reporter by Stephen Farber
Prisoners can at times be a hard film to watch, but thanks to all the talent involved, it’s even harder to shake off.
Flexing some of that Jean Valjean resolve, but with a payload of untrammelled, Wolverine-like rage behind it, Jackman comes closest to shouldering the movie, without ever seriously threatening to make it work.
Rarely a moment is ever wasted, a consequence ignored, and though the climax is a corker, the final shot is even better. Prisoners requires and rewards your attention in equal measure. Be ready.