Prisoners (2013 film)

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Prisoners
Prisoners2013Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDenis Villeneuve
Produced by
Written byAaron Guzikowski
Starring
Music byJóhann Jóhannsson
CinematographyRoger Deakins
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
Running time153 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$46 million[2]
Box office$122,126,687[2]
 
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Prisoners
Prisoners2013Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDenis Villeneuve
Produced by
Written byAaron Guzikowski
Starring
Music byJóhann Jóhannsson
CinematographyRoger Deakins
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
Running time153 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$46 million[2]
Box office$122,126,687[2]

Prisoners is a 2013 American thriller film directed by Denis Villeneuve. The film has an ensemble cast including Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard, Melissa Leo, and Paul Dano.[3] The plot focuses on the abduction of two young girls in Pennsylvania and the subsequent search. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Cinematography.

Plot[edit]

Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) and his family attend a Thanksgiving dinner at the home of their neighbors Franklin (Terrence Howard) and Nancy Birch (Viola Davis). Both families' young daughters, Anna Dover (Erin Gerasimovich) and Joy Birch (Kyla Drew Simmons), go missing.

Detective David Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) arrests the driver of a suspicious vehicle, Alex Jones (Paul Dano), who has the IQ of a ten-year-old, but finds no link. Dover attacks Jones as he is released, and Jones whispers to him: "They didn't cry until I left them." Dover abducts Jones and imprisons him in an abandoned apartment building, torturing him for days with Franklin's help, but learns nothing.

Pursuing other leads, Loki discovers a corpse in the basement of a priest's house. The priest admits that he killed the man because he confessed he was "waging a war against God" and boasted of killing sixteen children.

At a candlelight vigil for the girls, Loki sees a hooded man acting suspiciously who flees when Loki approaches him. The man breaks into both girls' houses. A store clerk recognizes the man from an e-fit and reports him buying children's clothing. The suspect, Bob Taylor (David Dastmalchian), is arrested at his home, whose walls are covered in drawings of mazes. Loki finds crates filled with maze books, live snakes, and bloodied children's clothing, including items belonging to the missing girls. Taylor confesses to the abduction, but kills himself before revealing more information. The police conclude that Taylor was a fantasist and had no involvement with the disappearance; he stole the clothes from the girls' homes and bloodied them with pig's blood to recreate abductions.

Dover continues to torture Jones, who denies he is Alex Jones and claims he escaped from a maze. Dover visits Jones's aunt, Holly (Melissa Leo), who tells him that she and her husband were religious until their young son died of cancer.

Joy Birch is found drugged but alive. Dover visits her in the hospital to ask for information. Her memories are confused, and she mumbles "You were there", making him a suspect. He realizes she may have seen him at the Jones's house, and runs from the police. Loki searches for Dover at the apartment building and discovers Jones.

Dover goes to the Jones's house to get information from Holly, but she pulls a gun on him. She explains that she and her late husband abducted many children as part of their "war on God" after their son's death. Alex was the first child they abducted, followed by Taylor. Holly imprisons Dover in a concealed pit in her yard, where he finds a whistle belonging to his daughter.

Loki goes to Holly's house to tell her that Jones has been found. He finds a photograph of Holly's husband wearing the same maze pendant found on the body in the priest's basement. Loki finds Holly with Anna and exchanges gunfire, wounding him and killing Holly. Loki rushes Anna to the hospital, where she reunites with her mother. Outside the Jones's house, Loki hears Dover's labored whistling from the pit.

Cast[edit]

Release[edit]

The film premiered at the 2013 Telluride Film Festival and was released theatrically in Canada and the United States on September 20, 2013. It was originally rated NC-17 by the MPAA for substantial disturbing violent content and explicit images; after being edited, it was re-rated R for disturbing violent content including torture, and language throughout.

Critical response[edit]

Prisoners received positive reviews from critics. The film has an 82% approval rating on review-aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 224 reviews. Its consensus reads: "Prisoners has an emotional complexity and a sense of dread that makes for absorbing (and disturbing) viewing."[4] Christopher Orr of The Atlantic wrote: "Ethical exploration or exploitation? In the end, I come down reservedly on the former side: the work done here by Jackman, Gyllenhaal, and especially Villeneuve is simply too powerful to ignore." Ed Gibbs of The Sun Herald wrote: "Not since Erskineville Kings, in 1999, has Hugh Jackman appeared so emotionally exposed on screen. It is an exceptional, Oscar-worthy performance." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 74 out of 100 based on 46 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[5]

Prisoners was a second runner-up for the BlackBerry People's Choice Award at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, behind Philomena and 12 Years a Slave. Gyllenhaal received the Best Supporting Actor of the Year Award at the 2013 Hollywood Film Festival for his "truly compelling, subtly layered" performance as Detective Loki.[6]

Box office[edit]

Prisoners grossed $20,817,053 in its opening weekend in North America. It earned $61,002,302 domestically and $61,124,385 internationally, earning a worldwide gross of $122,126,687.[2]

Accolades[edit]

AwardDate of ceremonyCategoryNominee(s)Result
Academy AwardsMarch 2, 2014Best CinematographyRoger DeakinsNominated
American Society of CinematographersFebruary 1, 2014Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Theatrical ReleasesNominated
Chicago Film Critics AssociationDecember 16, 2013Best CinematographyNominated
Critics' Choice Movie AwardsJanuary 16, 2014Best CinematographyNominated
Empire AwardsMarch 30, 2014Best ThrillerNominated
Hollywood Film Festival[6]October 21, 2013Best Supporting ActorJake GyllenhaalWon
Key Art Awards[7]October 24, 2013Best Teaser - Audio/Visual"Ticking"Bronze
Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards[8]February 15, 2014Best Contemporary Make-UpDonald Mowat, Pamela WestmoreWon
National Board of ReviewDecember 4, 2013Best CastHugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis,
Maria Bello, Terrence Howard, Melissa Leo, Paul Dano, Dylan Minnette
Won
Top Ten FilmsWon
People's Choice AwardsJanuary 8, 2014Favorite Dramatic MovieNominated
San Diego Film Critics SocietyDecember 11, 2013Best CinematographyRoger DeakinsNominated
Best Ensemble PerformanceNominated
Best Original ScreenplayAaron GuzikowskiNominated
Satellite AwardsFebruary 23, 2014Best CinematographyRoger DeakinsNominated
Best EditingGary D. Roach, Joel CoxNominated
Best Supporting Actor – Motion PictureJake GyllenhaalNominated
Saturn AwardsJune 26, 2014Best Make-upDonald MowatWon
Best Supporting ActressMelissa LeoNominated
Best Thriller FilmNominated
Toronto International Film FestivalSeptember 15, 2013People's Choice AwardDenis Villeneuve3
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics AssociationDecember 9, 2013Best EnsembleNominated

Soundtrack[edit]

The Prisoners soundtrack, composed by Johann Johannsson, was released on 20 September 2013.[9]

No.TitleArtistLength
1."The Lord's Prayer"  Jóhann Jóhannsson2:31
2."I Can't Find Them"  Jóhann Jóhannsson4:09
3."The Search Party"  Jóhann Jóhannsson2:54
4."Surveillance Video"  Jóhann Jóhannsson3:34
5."The Candlelight Vigil"  Jóhann Jóhannsson5:10
6."Escape"  Jóhann Jóhannsson5:44
7."The Tall Man"  Jóhann Jóhannsson2:47
8."The Everyday Bible"  Jóhann Jóhannsson2:23
9."Following Keller"  Jóhann Jóhannsson2:11
10."Through Falling Snow"  Jóhann Jóhannsson2:44
11."The Keeper"  Jóhann Jóhannsson2:49
12."The Intruder"  Jóhann Jóhannsson3:11
13."The Priest's Basement"  Jóhann Jóhannsson2:48
14."The Snakes"  Jóhann Jóhannsson2:51
15."The Trans Am"  Jóhann Jóhannsson2:37
16."Prisoners"  Jóhann Jóhannsson6:59
Total length:
55:00[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "PRISONERS (15)". E1 Films. British Board of Film Classification. September 13, 2013. Retrieved September 13, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c "Prisoners (2013)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 10, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Hugh Jackman to Star in Vigilante Thriller PRISONERS for November 2013 Release". Collider.com. March 15, 2012. Retrieved March 4, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Prisoners (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 1, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Prisoners Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved September 17, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Feinberg, Scott (September 23, 2013). "Jake Gyllenhaal to Receive Acting Honor at Hollywood Film Awards (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 4, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Catalog: Audio/Visual - Winners". Key Art Awards. Retrieved April 4, 2014. 
  8. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (February 15, 2014). "'Dallas Buyers Club,' 'Bad Grandpa' Win at Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Awards". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 4, 2014. 
  9. ^ Prisoners Soundtrack SoundtrackMania.com. Retrieved 1 August 2014
  10. ^ Prisoners Soundtrack Soundtrack.Net. Retrieved 1 August 2014

External links[edit]