Online Film Critics Society

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Reviews: Prisoners (2013)

prisonersReviews for this film from our members:

  • Marco Albanese @ Stanze di Cinema [Italian]
    • Excerpt: Denis Villeneuve, il regista canadese di Polytechnique e Incendies – La donna che canta, debutta negli Stati Uniti con un thriller ambiguo ed impressionante, che ritorna su uno temi chiave della sua opera: la natura del male, l’orrore quotidiano che travolge e spezza qualsiasi resistenza etica, qualsiasi fede.
  • Mario Alegre @ Primera Hora [Spanish]
    • Excerpt: El tremendo trabajo delante y detrás de las cámaras logran aliviar las deficiencias de un guión que gravita entre lo cautivante y lo absurdo.
  • Edwin Arnaudin @ Ashvegas
    • Excerpt: Laying the breadcrumbs of its child abduction story with assured ease, it’s in the exploration of clues and overall solving that the film struggles.
  • Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire
    • Excerpt: After a promising and evocative opening, full of snowy woodlands and torrential downpours and pangs of impending doom, it is slowly revealed as an increasingly sloppy thriller, filled with obvious clues, laughable red herrings, and halfhearted “shock” reveals, played at a snail’s pace that lets far too much air into the narrative.
  • [New – 12/13/13] | Luke Bonanno @
    • Excerpt: It’s just a well-made and significant film you wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to anyone old enough to watch an R-rated movie who has a stomach to endure some gruesome images.
  • Tim Brayton @ Antagony & Ecstasy
    • Excerpt: The very model of an Oscarbaiting exercise in social critique and deeply ambiguous character drama. Except for the part where the script makes it feel more like a trashy beach read.
  • Patrick Bromley @ F This Movie!
  • [New – 12/13/13] | Enrique Buchichio @ [Spanish]
    • Excerpt: La trama es compleja, tensa, por momentos perturbadora, porque uno sabe la diferencia entre el bien y el mal, entre lo que es correcto e incorrecto, pero también sabe que – empujado hacia ciertas circunstancias – el ser humano es capaz de cosas impensables.
  • Kevin Carr @ 7M Pictures
    • Excerpt: worth watching to start a “what would you do” conversation on the way home
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: If the screenplay occasionally frustrates by not asking obvious questions…and by scattering red herrings that venture into really loopy territory… the film overall works because of the filmmaking artistry and high acting calibre on display.
  • Tony Dayoub @ Cinema Viewfinder
    • Excerpt: …the allegory is gripping enough to afford some density to what might have otherwise been a predictable cop procedural-revenge film mash-up.
  • Carlos del Río @ El rincón de Carlos del Río [Spanish]
    • Excerpt: Prisioneros es un thriller muy oscuro con un gran reparto y está muy bien dirigido, pero tiene un guión que da demasiadas vueltas y está lleno de despistes para que el espectador no pueda atar cabos.
  • Billy Donnelly @ This Is Infamous
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: Guzikowski teases with some potentially intriguing ideas in between the point-A-to-point-B plotting … but the screenplay does not follow through on them.
  • João Marcos Flores @ Cineviews
  • Sam Fragoso @ SF Bay
  • Susan Granger @
    • Excerpt: Unflinching and intense, it’s an intricate thriller, evoking complex emotional conflict, moral ambiguity and sustained psychological suspense.
  • Vadym Grygoriev @ [Ukrainian]
  • Roderick Heath @ This Island Rod
    • Excerpt: The suspicion that ‘Prisoners’ is pulp being played as high art is stoked early on, and later proves entirely justified, although the film’s intense middle third muddies the issue.
  • Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: Prisoners is a nifty bit of writing that genuinely grabs the audience’s curiosity. By slowly releasing tidbits of information, we assemble the puzzle as the principals do on screen.
  • MaryAnn Johanson @
    • Excerpt: Please see this movie. We need to let Hollywood know that there is, in fact, an audience for sophisticated drama for adults.
  • Ben Kendrick @ Screen Rant
    • Excerpt: A disturbing and fascinating (albeit emotionally draining) character thriller.
  • Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: More unsettling than most horror films and grueling where it has to be, “Prisoners” asks a lot from the audience, not only to stomach it but to crack the case and ruminate its themes.
  • Oktay Ege Kozak @ Oregon Herald
    • Excerpt: Watching Prisoners is like reading a bus stop mystery novel written by someone who still thinks his work is worthy of a Pulitzer someday. It’s dark, brooding, heavy, emotionally draining and tries desperately for a grand thematic payoff as it delves valiantly into, I don’t know, the duality of man?
  • Benjamin Kramer @ The Voracious Filmgoer
  • Kristin Dreyer Kramer @
  • Piers Marchant @ Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
  • Mike McGranaghan @ The Aisle Seat
  • Brent McKnight @ Beyond Hollywood
    • Excerpt: A meticulously constructed mystery, “Prisoners” is as emotionally pulverizing to viewers as it is to the characters.
  • Darren Mooney @ the m0vie blog
    • Excerpt: Captivating drama… until the last third.
  • Pat Mullen @ Cinemablographer
  • Jason Pirodsky @
    • Excerpt: For all the first-rate effort that went into the making of this film, I was dismayed that the plot followed such familiar and conventional Hollywood protocol
  • Norm Schrager @ Meet In the Lobby
    • Excerpt: Despite some courageous acting, Prisoners chooses to wring its audience’s emotions the easy way.
  • Amir Siregar @ Amir at the Movies [Indonesian]
  • Cole Smithey @
    • Excerpt: While it lacks the oomph of a concrete true-crime drama like “Zodiac,” Denis Villeneuve’s taut innovative suspense-thriller keeps you guessing.
  • Josh Spiegel @ Sound on Sight
    • Excerpt: As fancy as it may feel, and as stacked as its ensemble is, Prisoners is pretty much a very well-acted and technically proficient feature-length episode of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.
  • Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: A terrific thriller, shattering domestic drama and probing character study in a single package.
  • Betty Jo Tucker @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews
    • Excerpt: The film’s strange ending may leave some viewers cold, but it’s a clever way to make us keep talking about this thriller for a long time to come.
  • Jean-François Vandeuren @ [French]
  • Amber Wilkinson @ Eye For Film
    • Excerpt: Holds you captive for the entire runtime.
Updated: July 30, 2015 — 9:31 pm

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