Prisoners (2013) - Run time: 2h33min
When two little girls go missing, a father (Hugh Jackman) goes to any length to find them. Meanwhile, a local police officer (Jake Gyllenhaal) tries to find the kidnapper before time runs out for the little girls. This movie has a huge cast of big names that play supporting roles, including Maria Bello & Viola Davis as the distraught mothers, and Terrence Howard as the other father who tries to keep his friend from going to far in search of their daughters.
I don't know what it is with Hollywood these days making movies that run well past the 2 hour mark, and I sure hope it isn't a growing trend. Having said that, this is yet another very LONG movie that doesn't feel that long while you are watching it. I had high hopes for this movie, mostly due to the cast, and I have to say I wasn't disappointed. As I have said before, I am no movie critic - all I want is to be entertained, and this movie delivered. It is suspenseful almost right from the start, and keeps the drama and suspense coming right to the very last second.
Hugh Jackman gives a great performance as the father who will do whatever it takes to get his daughter back. I think what I love best about his performance is that you absolutely feel his fear and anger, and you totally understand why he is doing what he is doing. BUT ... at the same time you wonder if he isn't taking things a bit too far. This conflict between supporting his motives and disliking his methods creates even more drama. Maria Bello plays his wife and I have to say I think she is a bit underutilized in this film. I love her and basically all she does through the entire movie is lay in bed and cry. While I understand this, I am used to seeing her play much stronger characters and I would have liked to see her do a LITTLE bit more than fall apart completely. Jake Gyllenhaal's character was a bit strange for me. On the one hand, he played the "cop" very well and even managed to bring a bit of humour into an otherwise very dark movie, but on the other hand, for some reason they (or he) decided to give his character what I can only describe as autistic/Asperger's type qualities. He is not very good when dealing with other people and has this weird little blinking tick thing going on. I think it took away from his otherwise great performance and didn't really seem to fit with the rest of his character or seem necessary. I did like his character, he was just sometimes hard to watch on screen (which I didn't think could be possible for Gyllenhaal!).
Now for my few critiques: First, there were some great plot twists in this movie, but I found that I was able to guess them 5-10 minutes prior to them being revealed in the film. If you are going to come up with such great twists, don't let your audience see them coming!! Second, there were several times throughout the movie where I found myself shouting (in my head of course) "WHY WOULDN'T HE JUST _______!!!" Overall, I found this film to be fairly realistic and the characters relatable, but every once in a while someone would do something that made no sense.
Overall, I really liked this film. As I said, I was certainly entertained and it didn't feel as long as it was. There was some graphic violence in it, but I don't think they took it too far and it was always for a reason.
Rating 8/10 - Some minor flaws but definitely worth a watch.