The following is a review for Prisoners (2013).
Prisoners tells the story of a child abduction case and the investigation that follows. Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) faces every parents' worst nightmare. He decides to take extreme measures as he tries find his daughter on his own.
Meanwhile, Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) and the police department pursue multiple leads as the case takes a number of twists and turns. While the police try to do their job, desperation sets in and it pushes Keller over the edge.
As a thriller, Prisoners is outstanding. There was never a dull moment. We get to see multiple sides of the case, including the family's reaction, the investigation and how it affects the main suspect in the case.
Not only does Prisoners work as a great mystery/thriller, it also has an interesting moral conflict. Just how far would you go in order to find and protect your daughter? Most fathers would do anything for their children. Even though some of Keller's actions may be extreme, we still understand where he's coming from.
The entire all star cast delivers top notch performances, including career bests from Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal. Other notables include Melissa Leo, Terrance Howard, and Paul Dano. That's just one of the reasons why this isn't you're average thriller.
The writing is crisp and intense. Coming in at nearly 2 hours and 30 minutes, it was always fresh and interesting.
Prisoners reminded me a lot of Zodiac and Mystic River. It's an eerie, atmospheric thriller that doesn't rely on cheap thrills. It focuses on the characters first and foremost, which makes the payoffs much more satisfying. It definitely belongs in the same class as these greats.