How far would you go to get your child back? The question, as answered in “Prisoners,” is pretty far.
Hugh Jackman stars as Keller Dover, a man who never doubts the end justifies the means. When his six year old daughter is abducted along with another girl, he kidnaps a mentally challenged man whose van was seen in his neighborhood at the time of the abduction. Alex Jones (Paul Dano) clearly knows something, but is he really responsible for the crime? Keller takes Jones to an abandoned rental property and proceeds to torture him until he gets some answers. It’s clear that Jones may not be able to give Keller what he needs to know, even if he so desired.
Meantime, a police detective (Jake Gyllenhaal) is pouring his heart into the investigation with only limited success. The investigator and Dover battle over how involved Dover should be in the hunt for his missing daughter.
“Prisoners” is a complex story well told. It’s gritty, violent and even nauseating at times. It asks the tough questions and the answers don’t necessarily add up to happily ever after. The torture scenes are difficult to watch. The performances are strong. And, the ending is as intense as it obscure.
“Prisoners” was originally rated “NC-17” by the MPAA. It was trimmed to an “R” rating, but let’s say it’s still a “hard” “R.” Plenty of seat squirming ahead.
The Blu-ray combo pack contains a couple of featurettes, but not much else. I would have included the original cut of the film. Would have been interesting to compare the two.
Bottom line: Intense drama that wrestles with moral issues. Nicely written and acted. Genuine suspense. Grade: B+
Street Date: December 17, 2013
Formats: Blu-ray/DVD combo pack and DVD Widescreen.
Runtime: 153 minutes
Rated: “R” for disturbing violent content including torture and language throughout.
Released by Warner Brothers Home Entertainment