Starring: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Melissa Leo, & Maria Bello
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars
Prisoners is a prime example of why I will never understand Hollywood. You've got a truly great story, an all-star cast, and a world renowned Director, making his American debut. Prisoners was considered to be an Oscar caliber film before it was even released, yet for some reason they had to make it nearly three hours long. If there was enough story for a three hour film, then I'd be all for it, but Prisoners has a good 45 minutes worth of repetitiveness, that does nothing to help the movie, in fact, it takes something away from the film. The story begins on Thanksgiving, when two little girls go outside to play and disappear. Feeling that the police aren't doing enough to find the kids, one father (Hugh Jackman) decides to take matters into his own hands. Hugh Jackman stars in a role I wouldn't have imagined him playing in a million years. Based on his other roles and what I know about the man, this doesn't even seem like the kind of role he'd be interested in, but he gives one of the strongest performances I've seen all year, I really didn't know he had that in him. Jackman is paired by Jake Gyllenhaal, another guy who I couldn't see playing a tough as nails police detective, but he too surprised, giving a very strong performance. The cast isn't the problem and the story isn't the problem, what bothered me about this film was how much of it was unnecessary. Did we really need dozens of scenes with Jackman and Dano or all the talk and sadness amongst the families? This was a great all-around movie, but it was so long, that by the end, I'd stopped caring about what was happening and just wanted it to be over. Don't get me wrong, I highly recommend this film for a unique twist on classic story, great performances from an unlikely cast, and the work of a Director who his known around the world for his signature style, but just a word of caution. Prisoners is a very long film, that at many points seems to go around in circles. When they eventually do get to the point, it's outstanding, but it takes a while to get there.