Prisoners (2013) Review

I can’t seem to review this film without spoilers so be warned there are spoilers.  I have been convinced to see this film through bloggers and friends. Not the type of films I would review, various reasons for that but I did and it was a good film, it’s just not my cup of tea, great film just not one I’d watch again but I would recommend it to others. It’s a very thrilling film and if I had kids it would disturb me a great deal. The acting is brilliant and whilst the film is horrendously long the story is griping throughout. I’ll go into much more detail below but for now bookmark this if you are waiting to see the film, leave any comments below, if you have seen the film then check out the spoiler sections and I will look forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts.

“Every day she’s wondering why I’m not there!!! Not you, but me!!!”



How far would you go to protect your family? Keller Dover is facing every parent’s worst nightmare. His six-year-old daughter, Anna, is missing, together with her young friend, Joy, and as minutes turn to hours, panic sets in. The only lead is a dilapidated RV that had earlier been parked on their street. Heading the investigation, Detective Loki arrests its driver, Alex Jones, but a lack of evidence forces his release. As the police pursue multiple leads and pressure mounts, knowing his child’s life is at stake the frantic Dover decides he has no choice but to take matters into his own hands. But just how far will this desperate father go to protect his family?

Tim’s Film Reviews Recommended

Story: 85%     Acting: 100%     Characters: 85%     Dialogue: 90%

Thriller/Abduction: 90%     Style/Sound: 85%     Visuals: 80%

Total: 87%


The story starts just like most of these kidnapping films, most of which are made for TV is what I feared most walking into the screening. The story does go in a much darker place though with Hugh Jackman’s character though and we eventually get to a man whose snapped and will do anything to find his daughter, and so yeah he crosses a line. The question I had going through most of the film was is he delusional or is he correct about Alex Jones? Is he torturing an innocent mentally disabled man or is he failing to crack a sadistic mind? In a big ish twist (SPOILER!!!) the man he’s torturing is actually innocent and is in fact one of the victims just like his daughter. Naughty Jackman! The “Bad guy” is a clever character, lots of innocence and evil, and through the film you just don’t know. Plus his look is so creepy (Not an excuse).

Prisoners-2013-Movie-Jake Gyllenhaal-and-Hugh Jackman

Jake Gyllenhaal plays a very believable Detective Loki and quite frankly he was my favourite part of this film. The film has a lot of very powerful moments and one I specifically remember being hard to watch was the picture evidence scene, very sad as the teddy socks were revealed covered in blood. Good acting on Hugh’s side though. It was so far into this incredibly long film. Okay now my nit-picking complaints, why both of the wives are broken and useless? And the husbands are strong and looking for their daughters. The length is nearly unbearable. Both in the sense that it’s a long time and that the type of film it is takes its toll. Didn’t’ need to be two and a half hours! I wanted to do this review on Sunday but didn’t get back until just after midnight.

Prisoners-2013-Movie-Jake Gyllenhaal1


The best reviews I found would be these:

“Just a warning for parents out there, you might not want to take your young kids to see it, they might get nightmares. At the screening I went, some parents brought their kids to the movie, I just went “WTF!”, did they think it’s a kind of movie their children would enjoy!? Seriously, what the heck is wrong with some of these parents?” Flix Chatter. Full Review

“Imagine your children are all of a sudden removed from your life. You’re not sure where they are or how they are doing; you don’t even know if they are alive after a week of being missing. What would you do to get them back, and to what lengths would you go to ensure that that happens? It’s not exactly an easy watch, no. . . but these dire circumstances make for extremely engrossing viewing. Even if you’re not the head of a household, you’re going to find this an involving and sprawling story that’s difficult to believe is not BOATS.” Digital Shortbread. Full Review

“For some, Prisoners will be a long strand of darkness to get through, and in one piece no less, but for those that are as determined as the characters in the movie itself, you’ll find it a rewarding, tense, exciting, and very thoughtful thriller, even if it does shoot itself in its own foot by the end.” Dan The Man’s Movie Reviews. Full Review

Prisoners-2013-Movie-Jake Gyllenhaal2

My favourite scene would have to be the probably the end, SPOILER!!! Basically I thought the whistle was very interesting. Will they find him? Does Loki just ignore? You never know. Don, Don, Donnnn!



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About Tim The Film Guy

Very opinionated about films!

27 responses to “Prisoners (2013) Review”

  1. ruth says :

    Thanks for the spoiler warning as I haven’t seen this one yet.


  2. Glittering-Diamonds says :

    I loved this film but I couldn’t help but think it would have benefitted more by being a hell of a lot shorter.


  3. Nerdy Girl Ramblings says :

    I liked this movie a lot but found it a lot more predictable then I thought it was going to be. I kept hearing “you’ll never be able to figure out where this movie goes… every time you think you have it figured out you’re wrong” so I was disappointed when I was right haha.


  4. Hypersonic55 says :

    Cool review man, I saw this film and when I left the cinema I just felt kind of confused about the film. I liked it, but I couldn’t help but feel a tad disappointed with the way that the film played out. The film throws a whole load of curve balls at ya and you can never tell who is in the right until very end and to be honest by that point I’m not overly fussed. Hugh Jackman is great but I really didn’t like his character’s motives, so unlikeable, I understood why he did what he did, but in the end I felt like his character was kind of fucked over. Gyllenhaal was good but his character was SO shady, he didn’t act like a regular cop, and his expressions and mannerisms make him look sketchy at first until he proper looks into things. Overall the film is good, but its not something I’d watch again.


  5. Dean_filmguidedublin says :

    nice piece. Villeneuve’s approach sees the audience doing some pretty heavy lifting in a film that feels like a heart thumping thrill ride, which is the real brilliance of this work.I liked it a fair amount, although it undoubtedly has it’s issues, too.


  6. Issy R. says :

    It is a very good movie but towards the end the twist becomes convoluted. If it wasn’t for that it would of been one of the best movies of the years for me. Nice review.


  7. keith7198 says :

    I skipped your review because I haven’t seen the film. But seeing your score makes me think I need to check it out.


  8. CMrok93 says :

    The cast was great and really allowed for this material to breathe and move along at a nice pace. Even when it got conventional and a bit silly by the end, even then the cast still kicked ass. Good review Tim.


  9. jjames36 says :

    Agreed that this flick is a tad too long. And with you analysis of some its ethics questions.

    Great review!


  10. davecrewe says :

    I was happy enough with the length – it felt like an ordeal at times, but I think that suited the subject matter – but wholeheartedly agree about how the wives were marginalised.


    “the man he’s torturing is actually innocent and is in fact one of the victims just like his daughter.”

    I don’t …entirely agree with this. Alex was certainly one of the victims, but while Keller’s actions were deplorable they were also somewhat justified – Alex did, after all, take the two girls for a ride, and had he been more mentally competent, he could have told Keller where they were.


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