The men and women in Prisoners (2013) are mostly either lunatics or idiots—in the case of Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman), a thoroughgoing idiot. Dover is a blue-collar fellow who, after his young daughter is abducted, just KNOWS that the culprit is Paul Dano’s simpleminded, nearly mute Alex Jones and so he takes him to an abandoned house and, to get him to talk, starts torturing him. To be sure, Alex is a suspect but Dover abuses him ad infinitum, and the whole thing is simply stupid.
A police detective acted by Jake Gyllenhaal finds another suspect—one who runs from the detective when he doesn’t have to—and now it’s time for the movie’s lunatics to show their true crazy colors. Man!
That abandoned house, by the way, used to belong to Dover’s parents and Dover inherited it. Why has he allowed it to become an unspeakable wreck?
Directed by Denis Villeneuve, Prisoners is a dismal thriller—suspenseful, yes, but still dismal—and an intellectual disgrace.