MOVIE REVIEW: Prisoners – War Waged Against God


Written By: Justin Morales

Director: Denis Villeneuve
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis

Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) is a man of faith who would do anything to protect his family. It’s Thanksgiving morning and Keller and his son Ralph (Dylan Minnette) are in the woods hunting for their Thanksgiving deer. Keller is letting Ralph shoot for the first time and prior to pulling the trigger, Keller recited the prayer “Our Father”; a prayer Keller would often recite. The Dover family bring the prize deer to the Birch family’s house in which they spend the Thanksgiving holiday with.

Both families have two kids, Ralph and Anna Dover (Erin Gerasimovich) and Eliza (Zoe Borde) and Joy Birch (Kyla Drew Simmons); with Joy and Anna being the youngest children of each family. As the meal is being cooked, Joy and Anna asked if they can go play outside and both parents agreed as long as their older siblings go with them. As the children are playing they find this run down RV that they thought was abandoned. But as soon Ralph and Eliza heard a noise come out the RV they grabbed the girls right away and went back inside of the house right on time to eat their Thanksgiving meal. After their meal, the girls asked to go out once again but just down the block back to the Dover’s household. The parents agreed with the same terms as last time but the girls didn’t follow orders. When Keller went asking for Anna, no one seemed to know where she was and no one could find her either.

Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) was assigned to the case and he immediately found the suspect’s RV that the missing kids were playing on earlier. When Loki and his crew got to the RV, the driver Alex Jones (Paul Dano) immediately crashes into a tree,  making himself look suspicious. Captain Loki takes Jones’ attempt to escape very seriously and brings him back for questioning right away. Jones never admits to kidnapping or even seeing the girls and the forensic teams backs that up due to them finding no trace of evidence of the girls in the RV or Jones’ aunts house where he lives and what makes it worse is that Jones has an IQ of a 10. Now it is a battle against time as each day that passes is another day that the two missing girls can be closer to death. Keller Dover, who doesn’t believe that Alex Jones is innocent abducts him and holds him prisoner as well and won’t let him go until he gets some answers and will do anything to get some out of him as well.

If I can use one word to describe Prisoners I would use “brilliant”. From the story to the acting right down to the directing – everything was brilliant. Prisoners is an exhausting 2 hours and 30 minutes long yet Denis Villeneuve has you on the edge of your seat throughout the entire film. You will only complain about the run time because you are tired of having your heart beating so fast in suspense of finding out where the two little girls are. There are so many cases described in the film about other child abductions from the children being killed, never being found or being adopted into a family that you’re mind is racing predicting what would be the outcome of  both Anna Dover and Joy Birch.

With most mystery films, you find yourself trying to piece the clues together before the characters in the film do just so you can solve before the film gives away anything. But in Prisoners you’re on the same page as Detective Loki and go through the same roller coaster ride as he does with the investigation. And the acting plays a huge role in why this investigation comes alive, as everyone involved can easily be nominated for an Oscar.

Prisoners is a must watch film and I highly recommend taking out your wallet and going to see this film in theaters. It will be one of those movies that you will be upset you didn’t see it and one of your friends and ending of the film for you. Especially because the film has you leaving with a HUGE sigh.

What The Delio?: 9/10