Prisoners | Chicago Reader


Denis Villeneuve returns to the themes of religion and torture he explored in his 2010 drama Incendies, but with this exquisitely calibrated thriller enters the Hollywood mainstream. Hugh Jackman and Maria Bello play Christian survivalists whose young daughter is abducted along with her friend, the child of a neighbor couple played by Terrence Howard and Viola Davis. Soon Jackman, impatient with the lack of progress in the investigation headed by a hotshot local detective (Jake Gyllenhaal), kidnaps the prime suspect, a damaged soul played by Paul Dano, and tries to break him to learn the girls' whereabouts. Clues abound in Aaron Guzikowski's superlative screenplay—but not loose ends.



  • Denis Villeneuve


  • Hugh Jackman
  • Jake Gyllenhaal
  • Viola Davis
  • Maria Bello
  • Terrence Howard
  • Melissa Leo
  • Paul Dano
  • Dylan Minnette
  • Zoe Soul
  • Erin Gerasimovich
  • Kyla-Drew Simmons
  • Wayne Duvall
  • Len Cariou
  • David Dastmalchian


  • Broderick Johnson
  • Kira Davis
  • Andrew A. Kosove
  • Adam Kolbrenner
  • Edward L. McDonnell
  • John Starke
  • Robyn Meisinger
  • Mark Wahlberg
  • Stephen Levinson

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