‘Prisoners’ Review: Smart Thriller Kidnapped by Red Herrings

Not unlike Argo last year, “Prisoners” is a contemporary version of the kinds of movies made a few decades ago – this time serial-killer movies rather than political thrillers, and from the ‘90s rather than the ‘70s. Directed with sober, solemn earnestness by Denis Villeneuve (“Incendies”), it examines the emotional fallout of a child kidnapping on two families, even as it chronicles the psychological unraveling of the investigating detective.

Grim where its predecessors were spooky and barren where they were theatrical, “Prisoners” is a movie whose execution and performances are admirable, but its eventual concession to monologuing villains and life-or-death standoffs undermines the honest and substantive character work that precedes it.  Read More...



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