Prisoners is a 2013 American thriller film directed by Denis Villeneuve from a screenplay written by Aaron Guzikowski.
Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard, Melissa Leo, and Paul Dano are among the cast members.
The plot focuses on the abduction of two young girls in Pennsylvania and the subsequent search for the suspected abductor by the police. After police arrest a young suspect and release him, the father of one of the daughters takes matters into his own hands.
The film was a financial and critical success, grossing US$122 million worldwide. It was chosen by the National Board of Review as one of the top ten films of 2013, and at the 86th Academy Awards, it was nominated for Best Cinematography.
Prisoners’ Ending Explained (in Detail)
Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoners is a highly complex detective-thriller, both emotionally and in terms of mystery. The film tells the heartbreaking story of a family Thanksgiving dinner that ends in the disappearance of two young girls.
The film’s central two characters, Keller Dover and Detective Loki, played by Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, respectively, are then taken on a complex journey as both attempts to solve the mystery in their own ways.
Keller Dover, the father of one of the missing children, Anna, goes to extreme lengths in Prisoners, even kidnapping and torturing one of his own, Alex Jones, in his quest for answers.
Dover eventually discovers that Alex Jones is actually Barry Milland, who was abducted by his “mother,” Holly Jones, who also kidnapped Keller’s daughter and her friend Joy.
Keller is left in a pit beneath Holly’s house after Loki exposes Holly and saves Anna in Prisoners’ ending, which had an alternate ending at one point in production. Prisoners arrive at this point through a series of twists and turns, and its ending is purposefully ambiguous.
‘Prisoners’ Movie Review: a Well-made, Pulpy Crime Thriller
“Prisoners,” a crime thriller starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, was one of the early popular hits at last week’s Toronto International Film Festival, earning rave whispers in the word-of-mouth fog that inevitably engulfs the 11-day event.
As if the hype wasn’t enough, Canadian director Denis Villeneuve sent a written message to this week’s preview screenings, thanking attendees for their “interest” in his film, which sounded for all the world like a genuine little passion project he and his friends cobbled together on a shoestring and a dream.
— themarvelousmarc (@Marc53295108) December 24, 2022
In reality, “Prisoners” is a big-studio genre film, a well-known — and undeniably well-executed — example of pulp miserablism in the vein of “Seven” and its grisly imitators. This pulp procedural, given gravitas by Christian imagery and a mood of millennial survivalist desperation, joins a long line of films that sell themselves through the very depravity and malignant moral imagination they pretend to condemn.
But hey, if that’s your thing, “Prisoners” is pretty good. Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) is a Pennsylvania contractor who has joined friends and neighbors the Birches (Terence Howard and Viola Davis) and their children for Thanksgiving dinner when young Anna Dover and Joy Birch go missing.
Loki (Gyllenhaal), a local detective, takes the case, and when a suspect emerges, a battle of wills ensues as Dover, whose motto is “Be ready,” and who keeps a gas mask, generators, and canned goods in his basement, threatens to take matters into his own hands.