Denis Villeneuve’s (Incendies) kidnapping thriller Prisoners screened for the first time at the Telluride Film Festival yesterday and reviews have been great across the board so far. The film centers on a Boston man who kidnaps the person he suspects is behind the disappearance of his young daughter and her best friend. The Playlist said the film “connects thanks to some masterclass filmmaking in suspense, terror and intrigue,” while Variety remarked that it’s the type of “searing adult drama of the sort Hollywood almost never makes anymore.” Check out all the early reviews after the jump! I will definitely be checking this one out at TIFF next week. Maria Bello, Terrance Howard, Viola Davis, Melissa Leo, and Paul Dano also star. Prisoners is set to open in theaters September 20th.
Keller Dover is facing every parent’s worst nightmare. His 6-year-old daughter and her young friend are missing, and as minutes turn to hours, panic sets in. The only lead is a dilapidated RV that had been parked on their street. Heading the investigation, Detective Loki arrests its driver, but a lack of evidence forces the only suspect’s release. Knowing his child’s life is at stake, the frantic Dover decides he has no choice but to take matters into his own hands. The desperate father will do whatever it takes to find the girls, but in doing so, may lose himself, begging the question: When do you cross the line between seeking justice and becoming a vigilante?
The Playlist: “Prisoners” is dark, disturbing, white-knuckle stuff with an unnerving shade of dread blanketed over almost every frame. Every parent’s worst nightmare, “Prisoners” connects thanks to some masterclass filmmaking in suspense, terror and intrigue. Watching the emotional toll the abductions take on the families, law enforcement and community around them is particularly brutal and affecting.
The Hollywood Reporter: Jackman gives what may be the most intense and satisfying performance of his career. Leaving aside the movie’s uncertain commercial prospects, this much is certain: Viewers who see the movie will find it absolutely riveting, and this is a tribute to the filmmaker’s skill and to the excellent cast that brings the story to life.
Variety: Powered by an unusually rich, twisty script by Aaron Guzikowski (“Contraband”) and career-best performances from Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, this tale of two Pennsylvania families searching for their kidnapped daughters sustains an almost unbearable tension for two-and-a-half hours of screen time, satisfying as both a high-end genre exercise and a searing adult drama of the sort Hollywood almost never makes anymore.
Hit Fix: It’s a patient film, almost painful in its suspense, and as mentioned, unafraid of pushing to an arguably unnecessary length. You could feel the length of “Incendies,” too, but the difference here is that drawing the bow so meticulously tight adds to the atmosphere Villeneuve is building.
Deadline: Pundits will have to add this Alcon production being released by Warner Bros on September 20th to the list of strong Oscar contenders this year. That is, if audiences and academy members can handle the intensity of this superbly directed and produced film that features career best performances, for sure, from Jake Gyllenhaal and Hugh Jackman (okay, I liked Les Miz too a lot), plus a brilliant supporting cast including Melissa Leo going for another supporting win, Terence Howard, the great Viola Davis, Maria Bello and Paul Dano who goes through the ringer for his art.
(Page will be updated as more reviews roll in)