After ‘Taken’, Liam Neeson became the world’s best known dad-on-a-mission. But he might have met his match in Hugh Jackman, star of this drama about a seemingly straightforward child abduction case that spirals into a disturbing moral dilemma. While ‘Taken’ was action-packed but unrealistic, ‘Prisoners’ deals with a similar subject in a far more gritty, suspenseful and harrowing fashion.
When his six-year-old daughter goes missing, Keller Dover (Jackman) transforms overnight from average suburban dad into vengeance-fuelled, whiskey-swigging, hammer-wielding maniac. Despite their shared goal, Dover finds himself at odds with the detective assigned to the case: Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal), a methodical and determined investigator. Things get seriously complicated when Dover kidnaps local weirdo Alex (Paul Dano), who he suspects is hiding the girl. The grim subject matter is heightened by the bleak, run-down smalltown setting, and the result is a fast-paced but believable thriller with Oscar-worthy performances from Jackman and Gyllenhaal. Unmissable. Ishbel Beeson