The Movie: 10/10
If you have read the hundreds of reviews I have written, and of course you have, you will know that the more I like a movie the less I want to say about it. Prisoners is one of the best crafted films I have seen in years. It’s powerful and emotional and the story is gripping. There are so many good things woven into it I can’t mention them all. I’ll just cover the basics.
The cast is amazing. Every single line of every scene went straight to my movie loving brain and set standards that other movies will have a hard time living up to. Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal along with Maria Bello, Viola Davis, Paul Dano, and Melissa Leo are the leads and drew me in from the very beginning. Their natural ease as the families is believable and when they have to dig deep for the most terrible emotions they all completely triumph. They are surrounded by a supporting cast that is equally as top quality. I can’t think of them all off the top of my head, but you can watch the movie and find out. It’s an excellent experience to watch such a well put together group of performers, especially in such an intense story with some challenging moments.
The story is riveting, I mean, it’s terrible and tense and tragic, and riveting. The raw look of the movie makes the subject matter even more gritty at times. The kind of grey tint of everything, the muted colors, match the darkness of the tale of these families and police officer are living in. It’s winter, cold, dreary, and that works beautifully with the solemness of what we are experiencing. Have I mentioned the story is intense and difficult? It is. That’s just how it is. It’s not entertaining, it’s just engrossing and emotional and beautifully made.
I put this as one of my favorite movies of this year. It’s moving and stays with me even now, a week after watching it. I might not want to watch it again, it’s too emotional. My only disclaimer will be this. If you don’t appreciate a darker story, sensitive subjects like children being kidnapped, mental health issues, etc. it might not be the movie for you.
- Prisoners Every Moment Matters – A 3 minute EPK style featurette that is light on information.
- Prisoners Powerful Performances – Another all to short featurette running at 9 minutes. Here we at least get interviews with the cast including the amazing Paul Dano.
- DVD & UV Digital Copy
Cover Art and Menus: 5/10
Because this movie is so awesome I can’t go lower than 5 for the cover, but it deserves a 2, at the most. It’s terribly boring and the faces look weird. I would not have this as a poster, of course. The menu is functional, that is all.
Audio & Video: 9/10
Roger Deakins is fast becoming my all time favorite cinematographer and Warner have done his work justice with a faithful 1080P/AVC encode that keeps his vision intact. The movie is purposely subdued with most of the color sucked out of the picture leaving a dull drab lifeless palette. That might sound bad but it adds a very imposing flavor to the entire film, close up detail is impeccable and shadow/contrast is perfectly replicated. You will not find much to complain about here at all.
This is also a subdued soundtrack that goes for realism over the hollywood soundtracks we are used to hearing. Front loaded with crystal clear dialog the rear speakers are only used for rain and storm noises. This adds a nice ambiance to the movie and the directional effects are very impressive. Prisoners is presented in DTS-HD Master 5.1 Audio.
It’s an amazing movie. I can’t fault it, so the value is right for this one to be in your collection. I don’t usually advocate spending $22 on any movie, however, you will find that I make a few exceptions and Prisoners is one of them.
Overall Score 10/10