Prisoners
Denis Villeneuve’s English language debut is a tough, gritty and downright chilly thriller about a man (Hugh Jackman) who takes the law into his own hands when his daughter goes missing. The cops seems slow and reluctant to help, while he is certain almost from the outset that Paul Dano’s weasely recluse is to blame. There are certainly similarities here to Israeli thriller Big Bad Wolves, but whether they are intentional (or for reasons even more nefarious) it doesn’t detract from either film. Prisoners takes dead aim at the US policy of advanced interrogation methods, torture and where exactly the line should be drawn between violent crime and the violence used to bring those people to justice. Ultimately it does all feel somewhat overcooked & heavyhanded, but is never less than utterly compelling. While Jackman shows an impressive degree of intensity here, Jake Gyllenhaal as the young detective is particularly good surrounded by a cast of screamers. Roger Deakins’ cinematography is also worthy of special mention.

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