Abdul Moeed Qurishi’s review published on Letterboxd :
“A thriller that is tightly rounded and contains emotional and moral complexities. Denis Villeneuve provides the convincing, clear and roller-coaster atmosphere with some of the greatest and scenic camera work in a mystery movie making Prisoners one of best thriller/mystery movies of all time.”
After watching Prisoners, Denis Villeneuve has jumped above in my favourite directors list surely, I have seen his films like Arrival, Enemy, and my favorite Sicario but I believe all are nothing compared to this amazing and thriller, Prisoners is slow paced mystery movie that contains scene after scene that have major impact on viewer and preceding scene. Denis is able to use a unique but a simple narration. The movie is a beyond any doubt one of the best suspense thrillers in recent times. It possesses a gripping story, thus getting the audience's attention. It is bolstered by some exceptional acting skills and a justified conclusion. Though it is a crime film, not much of action is portrayed, the only reason being is that the situation in the film doesn't favor it. The features a solid ensemble cast but you will only notice the likes of Jake Gyllenhaal and Hugh Jackman, Paul Dano and Terrence Howard are also among them. The film follows two families who live are turned upside down on Thanksgiving when their daughters go missing and when Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) finds a very strange suspect (Paul Dano), it jump-starts the case in a terrifying direction that goes further into the realm of gritty reality than most films will show. The film is very Fincher-esque and the whole journey of film is very Nolan-esque but its not really their film because Denis puts his own mark into it by giving it a beautiful background and slow building mystery that keeps you hungry for more, you will find that you just saw 2 hours long movie without even checking the runtime its that entertaining and gripping. The drama unfolds gradually and slowly over the first 90 minutes and is absorbing, gripping with the smack of truth. Shots are by Roger Deakins so we would expect it to be visually fine, in this case outstanding. The characters are well drawn. The wives played by Maria Bello and Viola Davis also did a great and convincing job of the struggles that a mother would experience in those conditions but let's be true its really Jake Gyllenhaal and Hugh Jackman show who provide strong and emotionally performances, while Paul Dano portrayal was amazing even though it was quiet and empathic. Along with some strong and decent performances Prisoners achieves everything it wants to get, a spot on mystery, cinematography that can equal its superlative storytelling a score that will be heard because no scene is perfect in the movie without it. Overall the movie so well was done and comprises a finale that is satisfying, fooling and frustrating, leaving it for viewers interpretation. Prisoners is an almost masterpiece, if I would do decimal ratings I would give it 9.8 or something but 9 is better at report than 10 for Prisoners. a decent thriller recommended to those fond of gloomy surroundings dinned by weather, slow thriller watchers.
Ensemble cast. Hugh and Jake performances. Striking cinematography. Brooding Score. Thrilling atmosphere.