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Prisoners Review

Updated on June 25, 2020

Prisoners (2013) review

I hate snakes. Why did there have to be snakes? This was a dark and gritty crime drama that was loaded with mystery and suspense. And of course, a nice twist. I really liked the way this movie kept me thinking. I thought I had the story figured out at one point, but alas, the kidnapper was the person I least suspected. By the way, this happens to me every time. It is an extension of my gullibility. I really enjoyed it, but I do wish it was about 35 minutes shorter.


Prisoners (2013) was written by Aaron Guzikowski and directed by Denis Villeneuve. It stars Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal. Keller Dover (Jackman) invites his friend Franklin and his family over for Thanksgiving. That afternoon, Keller’s daughter and Franklin's daughter go outside to play together and end up disappearing. The blame is put on a mysterious van parked on their street. The police find the van and the man who was in it, but there is no evidence to support that he was guilty so they had to release him. Convinced of his guilt, Keller decides to take the law into his own hands to find his daughter.


This was a crazy cat and mouse scenario where you weren’t exactly sure who was the cat and who was the mouse at times. Keller seemed to have some anger issues, but his heart was in the right place…… until it wasn’t, that is. There is not a whole lot you can blame a father for doing wrong when their child is missing I suppose. This was a fantastic film, my only critique was the length. I feel like it could have been a half hour shorter. Save the long epic runtimes for movies that are more…. well, epic. This was a solid film, but it wasn’t 150 minutes worthy.


Go check this one out if you like Jackman or Gyllenhaal, both of them were stellar in this film. Or if you like good crime dramas with a twist. I promise you won’t suspect the real kidnapper..

Cast trivia

  • Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale were set to star, with Bryan Singer directing, but the two actors opted to make The Fighter instead.
  • Hugh Jackman was attached to the project with Antoine Fuqua directing. Both dropped out. After several years in development, Jackman returned in the lead role.
  • Jessica Chastain was rumored for a role.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio was attached to the project fora long time, but he dropped out.
  • Hugh Jackman portrays a father whose daughter is kidnapped and missing in the film. He was originally attached to play a similar role in The Lovely Bones, but dropped out.
  • Jake Gyllenhaal and Denis Villeneuve had such a great time working on Enemy that Villeneuve cast him for this movie without any audition.
  • The film cast includes two Oscar winners - Melissa Leo and Viola Davis.
  • Ryan Gosling auditioned for the role of Detective Loki which later went to Jake Gyllenhaal, a frequent collaborator of director Denis Villeneuve. He and Gosling would finally get a chance to work together in Blade Runner 2049.

Production trivia

  • Prisoners had a budget of 46 million dollars and the worldwide gross is 122.1 million dollars.
  • This film was released on September 20,2013 and was distributed by Warner bros.
  • This film was shot in Georgia and Connecticut.
  • The byline of one of the newspaper articles shown in the film is "Aaron Guzikowski", the film's screenwriter.
  • According to Guzikowski, the original cut of the film was three hours.
  • The screenplay for this film was featured in the 2009 Blacklist; a list of the most liked unmade scripts of the year.
  • Detective Loki's tattoos, Freemason ring and facial tics were all Jake Gyllenhaal's ideas.

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