We are all prisoners of something.

The really amazing thing about this film is that it shows that all of the characters are prisoners without telling you. Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a prisoner of his past. Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) is a prisoner of his need to protect his family at all costs. And so on, and so forth.

The performances in this movie are absolutely outstanding. Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal are the obvious ones, but I thought that Paul Dano and David Dastmalchian did excellent jobs portraying creepy, disturbing characters.

I really liked the cinematography. It’s beautiful and dark and claustrophobic. The musical score is also orchestrated incredibly well, with tense atmospheric tracks to amplify the stress when needed.

The plot of Prisoners is intricate, but not overwrought or convoluted. It’s easy enough to follow if you’re paying attention, and allows the viewer to make connections on their own. It’s fascinating and stressful to watch the characters discover the pieces and fit them together. Everything is important.

Most importantly, this film asks very difficult questions. If you were in the shoes of Keller Dover or Franklin Birch (Terrence Howard), what would you do? Would you follow the path of Keller, or the path of Franklin? Would either choice be right or wrong? Would it destroy your faith, the way that the perpetrator intended?

Overall, Prisoners is a fantastic morally grey movie that forces the viewer to think about what they’re being shown.

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