Whenever Hugh Jackman leaves Wolverine-land to return to the world of real-ish moviemaking, he leaves a spotty record. For every Les Miserables (2012), there’s an Australia. For Prisoners, he teams up with a bona fide director, Incendies‘ Denis Villeneuve, for a story that makes him push into territory beyond his usual action/romance repertoire.
My review is at Film Journal International; here’s part:
For his first Hollywood film, Denis Villeneuve’s take on Aaron Guzikowski’s famously long-unproduced screenplay about the kidnapping of two little girls is rooted in a rare workaday realism. When revelations start knocking the film this way and that, Villeneuve keeps a firm hand on the pressure valve while still giving his performers room to grow with the story rather than in spite of it. Without him, this might have been just an exceptionally twist-laden thriller. With him, it’s a dour but exceptionally high-stakes drama with several performers giving their best efforts in years…
You can see the trailer here: