A twisted tale to tell in ‘Prisoners’

Prisoners is out now on DVD.
Prisoners is out now on DVD.

‘Prisoners’ was one of the most thought-provoking and interesting films of last year and now it is available to watch at home on DVD.

Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman), his wife Grace (Maria Bello), teenage son Ralph (Dylan Minnette) and daughter Anna (Erin Gerasimovich) visit their neighbours Franklin (Terence Howard) and Nancy Birch (Viola Davis) for Thanksgiving lunch.

Soon after, Anna and the Birch’s girl, Eliza (Zoe Soul), leave to look for a missing whistle and never return.

The two sets of parents are distraught and Ralph remembers a suspicious RV parked down the road.

Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) and local police arrest the driver, Alex Jones (Paul Dano), who has the mental age of a 10-year-old.

Without any evidence to link Alex to the crime, police are forced to let their prime suspect go back into the care of his mother, Holly (Melissa Leo).

So Keller kidnaps Alex at gunpoint and holds the young man hostage.

“We hurt him until he talks or [the girls] are going to die,” Keller tells Franklin.

Although it ultimately lacks the courage of its twisted convictions, ‘Prisoners’ is a provocative thriller that plays out its nightmarish scenario without any sense of urgency.

Desperate times call for desperate measures and, when authorities fail to solve the case, Aaron Guzikowski’s script pulls no punches as it depicts the father’s transformation from doting family man to snarling judge, jury and executioner.

Jackman is mesmerising as a protector willing to ignore his moral compass to reunite his fractured family.

Gyllenhaal invests his rebellious cop with an array of twitches and ticks while Dano is both pathetic and creepy as a man-child, whose innocence remains shrouded in doubt until the tricksy closing frames.

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Terence Howard, Viola Davis, Maria Bello, Paul Dano, David Dastmalchian, Melissa Leo, Dylan Minnette, Erin Gerasimovich, Zoe Soul.

Prisoners (Cert 15, 153 mins, Entertainment One, Thriller/Action/Romance, also available to buy DVD £19.99/Blu-ray £24.99)

Also out this week: About Time, Runner Runner, Justin and the Knights of Valour, Girl Most Likely, 42, Austenland, Odd Thomas, Penthouse North, Romeo & Juliet, Thanks for Sharing.