He Said, She Said at the Movies: Prisoners - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

He Said, She Said at the Movies: Prisoners

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Prisoners, directed by Denis Villeneuve, is one of the most absorbing and disturbing movies I've ever had the fortune/misfortune to sit through. I mean that as a compliment. It features career best performances from the entire cast (specifically Hugh Jackman, Paul Dano and Jake Gyllenhaal). It tells the story of the Dover and Birch families who both lose their young daughters, with the only lead an RV that had been parked on the street where the kids were playing.

It's every family's worst nightmare and the direction could not have been more spot-on. The tension and stakes are high throughout. I could literally feel and hear my pulse pounding each second of the 2 hour, 26 minute runtime (it goes by fast, trust me). It also raises the question, how far would you go to find/protect your child? And it pushes a lot of limits, both with human reaction, and with the emotional response by the audience. People were squirming in their seats the entire time, me included, and it's due to some truly grisly images/details seen and heard during the movie. THIS IS NOT FOR YOUNG CHILDREN. And honestly, it's not for people who can't handle how realistically this kidnapping is portrayed.

I found myself in awe of this film, and while it made me physically sick, I quickly forgot the Hollywood star power, as each and every one of these actors disappear into everyday families with suburban lifestyles. Jackman is a tour de force here, and Gyllenhaal gives his most layered performance to date. Melissa Leo is absolutely mesmerizing and terrifying in the short, but important role of Holly Jones, the mother of the lead suspect in the case. I give Prisoners my full recommendation, and expect to see multiple nominations come awards season. It isn't just a movie reaching for a sense of dread; it's a fully-realized nightmare that everyone can relate to, which makes it scarier than any horror movie you'll see in theaters.

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