Tension builds in ‘Prisoners’

Nadia Churchill-Gilstrap, Columnist

People aren’t rational when it comes to their children.
When Keller (Hugh Jackman) faces his daughter Anna’s disappearance, he will stop at nothing to get her back.
“Prisoners” explores the dark side of humanity including child predators and murderers as well as the way four individuals try to deal with every parent’s nightmare.
While two families celebrate Thanksgiving together, their youngest daughters disappear. Foul play is suspected and the parents of the two little girls react with emotions ranging from denial and desperation to depression and despair.
The tension in this movie, mixed with the subtle mind-games and unfolding clues make it an intriguing and engrossing psychological thriller. For those who enjoy mysteries, this plot offers a complex story with many aspects to consider. Although some parts may be predictable, it’s enjoyable to watch the pieces fall into place.
As for the acting, Jake Gyllenhaal and Jackman each gave the kind of performance you’d expect from actors of their caliber. At this time in their careers, they can both be expected to do wonderfully in almost any role they play, and “Prisoners” is no exception. Gyllenhaal was almost too convincing in his role as an over-worked, over-stressed detective and Hugh Jackman presented a chillingly realistic representation of a desperate father willing to do anything for his daughter.
On the other side of the spectrum, Terrence Howard portrayed a father more pained by the moral dilemma the families face. His character has trouble deciding exactly how far he will go and how much of his humanity he is willing to lose for his daughter. The great acting only contributes to the story, making it frighteningly believable.
If you’re looking for some light-hearted Friday night fun, “Prisoners” is not for you. Overall, it was a well-made and well-cast film. I would recommend it to drama and suspense lovers, along with anyone who enjoys movies involving moral dilemmas and the deeper concepts behind human behavior.

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