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'Prisoners' gets a thumbs up from critics

Hugh Jackman is mainly known for his action packed turn as the traumatised character Wolverine in the X-Men films, so it's refreshing to see him finally breaking away from the superhero genre and exploring different kinds of characters to play. In this week's big ticket release, a crime thriller, he stars with Jake Gyllenhall, as Kelly Dover who's six-year-old daughter goes missing. The film is directed by Denis Villeneuve, who helmed the Oscar®-nominated foreign language film Incendies.

Jake Gyllenhaal and Hugh Jackman in Prisoners

With several stories in the media recently about abducted children, Prisoners seems very socially relevant.

The early reviews for the film that have been trickling in are encouraging, and the overall consensus is that the film is an engaging thriller which will be remembered for superb performances by both Gyllenaal and Jackman. The film is currently "Certified Fresh" (77%) on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, based on 146 reviews.

Richard Roeper of the Chicago Times heaped praises on the film saying it was "one of the most intense thrillers in recent years and the performance of Hugh Jackman's career."

Claudia Puif of USA Today too praised the film: 

"The plot raises complicated moral questions about how far an anguished person will go for the love of a child. At the same time, it sets up an intricate, horrifying mystery with breathtaking skill."

An early UK review from The Digital Spy wasn't so enthusiasic however:

"At the beating (if broken) heart of it all is Jackman, sunken eyes and permanent scowl, delivering a turn so intense it makes Wolverine's berserker rage look like an infant's hissy fit. .." — Simon Reynolds

Prisoners also stars Viola Davis, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard and Melissa Leo and hits theatres this Friday 27 September. 

Official synopsis:

How far would you go to protect your child? Keller Dover (Jackman) is facing every parent’s worst nightmare. His six-year-old daughter, Anna, is missing, together with her young friend, Joy, and as minutes turn to hours, panic sets in. The only lead is a dilapidated RV that had earlier been parked on their street. Heading the investigation, Detective Loki (Gyllenhaal) arrests its driver, Alex Jones (Paul Dano), but a lack of evidence forces the only suspect’s release. Knowing his child’s life is at stake, the frantic Dover decides he has no choice but to take matters into his own hands. The desperate father will do whatever it takes to find the girls, but in doing so, he may lose himself, begging the question: When do you cross the line between seeking justice and becoming a vigilante?

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