Sound Off: Aaron Guzikowski/Denis Villeneuve's 'Prisoners' - Thoughts?

September 20, 2013

Prisoners Sound Off

Now that you've seen it, what did you think? Every moment matters. Now showing in theaters is Prisoners, a chilling new crime drama featuring a Black List screenplay by Aaron Guzikowski, directed by French-Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve. In the film, Hugh Jackman and Terrence Howard play fathers of daughters who are kidnapped, and the two set off to find them. Jake Gyllenhaal plays a detective trying to put all the pieces together before time runs it. So how is it? Does it live up to all the buzz? Is it as good as Zodiac? Once you've seen it, leave a comment with your thoughts on Villeneuve's Prisoners.

Spoiler Warning: We strongly urge everyone to actually see the film before reading ahead, as there may be spoilers below. We also encourage all commenters to keep major spoilers from the film to a minimum, if possible. However, this is an open discussion from this point on! Beware of spoilers, don't ruin this film!

To fuel the fire, I really really enjoyed Prisoners. In my review from the Telluride Film Festival, I compared it to the likes of other crime classics such as David Fincher's Zodiac and Seven or even Silence of the Lambs, and wrote "the movie succeeds thanks to Villeneuve's excellent direction of Guzikowski's script, and a cast that really gives it their all." The more the film settles with me as I think back to it, the more impressed I am with Jake Gyllenhaal, who seems to outshine everyone else with a refined and exceptional performance. In addition to praising Aaron Guzikowski's brilliant screenplay, I have to mention cinematographer Roger Deakins, whose incredible work really elevates this film and adds so much depth to it. Every single shot, and car chase, and intimate moment looks beautiful in this very dark, harrowing, chilling but thrilling film.

What did you think of Villeneuve's Prisoners? Instant crime classic or muddled & overlong? We will remove any comments that indicate you have not seen the movie, as this area is meant to discuss the film only once you have seen it and can talk about your thoughts. Please keep the comments civilized!

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Reader Feedback - 7 Comments


This is the best film of the year and Hugh Jackmans best performance to date.

Ben Moore on Sep 20, 2013


what an emotional roller coaster. Loved it

Frank S IƱamagua on Sep 21, 2013


Yet another didactic screed about the American male psyche from a gen-x writer one step away from a job as a Starbucks barista. So transparent you can see the gears turning. Skip it.

SaintLo on Sep 21, 2013


You said brother.

Xerxexx on Sep 22, 2013


How dare this movie have a plot.

Xerxexx on Sep 23, 2013


Really, the low brow masses? I'm not sure how anyone can call this low brow in a nation of Saws and Man of Steels. It's not a masterpiece but it was very well done, and even fairly emotional for a mainstream release.

Boiler Bro Joe on Sep 23, 2013


One of the best movies this year (so far)! I agree with your points about cinematography! Really added to the film's atmosphere.

Wendy on Oct 1, 2013

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