Friday, October 18, 2013


When my girlfriend suggested we see PRISONERS the other night I said okay only because she is my girlfriend and guys are supposed to let their girlfriends pick the flicks sometimes.


I mean, the last few films we had seen together were, admittedly, more up my alley than hers. Superhero stuff. IRON MAN and the like.

I wasn't terribly enthusiastic about PRISONERS because I thought it was a movie about a couple of guys breaking out of a prison, an assumption I made simply from the title. I didn't know who was in it or bothered to search YouTube for a trailer.

When I said I would see PRISONERS I discovered it was anything but what I thought. Turns out it's not about bad asses breaking out of prison (thank goodness, because when was the last really good prison movie? I'm thinking SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION?).

PRISONERS is the terrifying story of two families struggling with the disappearance of their daughters  and a cop who is trying his best to help them find the kidnappers.

The film stars Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal. Both are fantastic but for me it's Gyllenhaal who steals the show. I just love this guy. He is one of those actors I could watch in just about anything. In PRISONERS he shines as a young cop with a dark past (it is really only hinted at by the dark circles under his eyes and the tattoos scattered over his body, particularly his neck and fingers). He exudes law enforcement intelligence and the seeming ability to see past peoples cleverly built walls.

The film is very atmospheric. Lights and darks and the weather playing important mood settings from scene to scene. In one of the most electric scenes between Jackman and Gyllenhaal characters the weather outside smoothly switches from a torrential downpour to wet snow. Other scenes take advantage of shifting shadows during a candle light vigil for the missing girls that shifts amazingly into a frantic backyard chase in cold darkness.

I highly recommend PRISONERS. It's a perfect fall season mystery thriller. Don't miss it!

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