All member reviews for Prisoners

Common Sense Media says

Engrossing revenge thriller is very violent and intense.

Users say

(out of 32 reviews)
age 15+
Review this title!
Teen, 17 years old Written bySean Broucek September 20, 2013

So Good, but not okay for kids.

Parents, this amazing, above engrossing drama with strong, lifelike performances and well crafted thrills, but this is not for anyone under the age of 18. Why? Intense brutal suspense and torture, along with strong language and smoking. Violence isn't very frequent, but when it occurs, it is very hard to watch. The overbearing emotional intensity and suspense just adds to the violence, making it almost unwatchable. It includes people, especially one innocent man, being knocked out, beaten up, lit on fire, forced to drink alcohol and sedatives, and them plot revolves around two kidnapped girls, which can be very upsetting to viewers. No sex, but some references to incest and rape. Langauge includes very frequent uses of f--k, s--t, c--t, c--k, and the middle finger gesture is used three or four times. In the end, this great movie is not for kids of any age. SUGGESTED MPAA RATING: Rated R For Intense Brutal Violent Content, Disturbing Images, Torture And Langauge Throughout Including Some Brief Sexual References.
Adult Written byChristian Movie Buff September 26, 2013

Mind boggling, suspenseful, and incredibly intense

Wow, I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I walked into the theater to see "Prisoners". I had no idea that I would be seeing the most physically and emotionally intense movie I have ever watched. Prisoners is a dark, mind blowing child abduction thriller with fantastic performances (specifically from Jackman and Gyllenhaal), riveting suspense, and deep/complex moral questions to discuss and think about after the film. Now you should be warned that on top this is disturbing violence and imagery and strong profane language. Most abduction thrillers like this will focus mostly on the revenge and action. In this case, though there are some intense revenge scenes, it really delves into how strongly one holds onto there faith, how inhuman they can become, and how they can renew that faith. I for one have never been okay with torture, but what they did in this movie was they portrayed it in a horrible, inhuman way, in appose to one just doing it to get what they and never think back on it. If you're a mature 16 year old or older, and you've prepared to handle a dark 2 1/2 hour movie about finding two little girls who have been kidnapped, and appreciated great film making, I say give this one a shot, but be prepared.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 17 years old Written byJared Broome September 22, 2013

Amazing & Makes You Think

This is the first time I've seen a movie worthy of a review in the last year or so, and I made an account just to review this movie. The movie's first 10 minutes are really the only non-suspenseful minutes of the movie, and it leaves you holding your seat literally until the last minute. While this movie's plot can be very disturbing and is pretty emotional, especially to certain parents, stuff like this really happens, and Hugh Jackman does an excellent job with his role. He makes very tough decisions, and it really makes you question what you would do if you were in his situation. He also keeps his faith up and prays even when all signs say that his daughter and her friend may be dead. While I don't think this movie is good for all people (my mom said it would be too heavy for her), I do believe that it's an amazing movie for anyone that can handle a realistic mystery/thriller, and it's very thought provoking. I'm 17, and I saw it with people ranging from ages 15-32, and everyone I went with thoroughly enjoyed the whole movie. Also, while it's a dark movie, it doesn't leave you with a bad/sorrowful feeling afterwards. While the movie has very strong messages of faith, it also has a good bit of language (f--k is used repeatedly, some s--t's, a--hole's, and SOB 's, d--n, and one godd--n), and the violence/torture scenes are pretty realistic. A character is punched over and over in the mouth with bloody results, a man is boarded in a shower and you hear his screams as scolding hot water is turned on and he's not able to move, a man is about to be beaten with a hammer, but nothing happens, there is also a close up view of a man's face which is deformed and bloody with his eyes swollen shut. Another man's head is slammed into a metal table, and a character also sticks a gun in his mouth and commits suicide (blood splatters on the window behind him). In another scene a man is shot in the head (more of a graze to the head with some blood), and a woman is shot 3-4 times, a child is lethally injected and starts to foam from the mouth, but is quickly taken to a hospital. There is some drunkenness, and some forced drug use. Other violent scenes I haven't mentioned are less graphic than the one's I have. I think that the movie is fine for mature teens, and odds are that they hear the same language used everyday at school. The acting, from all characters in this movie, is phenomenal, and I am looking forward to watching again.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 14 years old Written byKaterina2999 October 13, 2013

A great movie for mature teens

From the beggining of the movie I understood that it would contain violence because it started with shooting a deer... Other than that there are not many harsh scenes(apart from those when Alex is tortured which are really bloody so I had to cover my eyes with something due to my age). Furthermore there are used bad words in almost every sentence but a mature teen will be ok with that... The plot is clever and quick making you want to not stop watching... This movie comes to show that nothing is the way it seems and how far can a mentally disturbed person can go. The end was a little bit dissapointing though because it ended a little bit suddenly but that's not a major problem. On the whole, I think a mature teen will be ok with this movie but it's not for kids under 14! Personally I believe this movie was worth the money and time I spent in order to watch it. A really great movie!!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 14 years old Written byzepotronic March 18, 2014

probably the best movie of 2013

this movie is dark. there's bad language and even torture scenes but not in an over the top kind of way. what stroke me the most was how realistic this movie is. i figure a mature 12 year old could watch this movie.
Teen, 14 years old Written byJeffrey9789 January 21, 2014

A film that is really really good

prisoners is a really good suspense film I really thought that hugh jackman gave an Oscar nominating performance I loved the tone for the film the writing and the acting so to anyone who didn't see the film go rent it it is worth one watch
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 15 years old Written byTeenager890 February 13, 2016
Unless your child scares easily, I think this is a really good movie. Saw it when it came out (I was 13) and I thought it was great. It doesn't show anything to gruesome, only the idea of the dark thing that people will do to each other. Psychological thrillers/suspenseful movies are something I've enjoyed for awhile and if you and your kids like that as well, then this is really good. I watched it with my dad and there were no uncomfortable moments for us to watch, we were just on the edge of our seats.
Teen, 13 years old Written byKristaM April 29, 2014

Meh.

Honestly, I wasn't even going to review. I watched it a long time ago with the family, and it just wasn't worth it. There are very few movies I can't say anything good about, but this is one of them. If there was an award for the most disappointing movie of the year, this'd win it. Extremely violent, excessive swearing, not for the faint hearted. My grandmother was visiting, and while she usually doesn't mind action/thriller types (even enjoys a lot of them), she had to excuse herself from the room. The only reason I decided to review this is to even out the star rating. I had extremely high hopes for this movie - it seemed to have a great storyline, plot, and actors, so I was highly anticipating the day it came out on DVD so we could rent it on Amazon. It was horrible. There was so much violence it was almost pointless. Now, it wasn't because of the excessive violence or swearing this movie isn't in my good books, it's the fact that there is really NOTHING ELSE. A plot that could have been developed and explored so thoroughly has been barely scratched in Prisoners. Usually I love this genre, but this was extremely disappointing. If I could give it no stars, I would.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 15 years old Written byStevie111 September 30, 2013

Very suspenseful kidnapping thriller, isn't too graphic, but the torture is still there

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Kid, 11 years old February 17, 2014
This movie is very scary at most parts, for children. I don't think anyone under the age of 17/16. Personally as a child I had a blanket over my eyes most of the time. It is a very good movie but not suitable for young children
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byiwouldtrustme13 August 27, 2014

iwouldtrustme2

mind bending reminded me of taken just with child auduction only down side to this movie is there is 43 uses of the f-BOMB with some of the violent scenes makes this movie very intense i say mature 15 year olds if not 16 is the perfect age.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Adult Written bywonder dove December 27, 2013

An intense experience!!!

What an incredibly sad, chilling film! It was very depressing and a real eye opener. If you're sensitive to child abduction movies (like my mom - although I'm trying to convince her to see it), then be aware that this one is very sad but real. Real life situations like this happen daily, this film explores each character's way of dealing with such tragedy and is also a test for everyone, how far are you willing to go to save a loved one? Some people will go too far. In this story, two families (neighbors) get together for a nice holiday dinner. When two little girls Anna and Joy (one daughter from each family) head outside to play, the parents realize it's been a while and they have not returned home. Tension builds when Anna's father Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) will stop at nothing to locate his daughter while Joy's father Franklin Birch (Terrence Howard) is just as anxious as him although isn't interested in intentionally hurting anyone to find the truth. With the help of the cops and Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal), they slowly but surely unravel the mystery and the truth behind a timid mentally challenged man Alex Jones (Paul Dano) who was the driver of a mysterious RV that the two girls once played around before they went missing. But they discover more then they bargained for and turns out that the case may involve multiple missing children from more than one abductor. The ending sends chills down your spine, it was a perfect ending. Amazing cast! The suspense never stops and will most definitely leave you with some questions after watching. Language is very strong with plenty of f-words (over 50), sh*t, @ss, Jesus, b*tch, hell, @sshole and more. Violence is strong and intense including lots of painful torturing of a disabled man with lots of blood and gore, a mans entire face is shown bloody and brutally beaten, a man chained, lots of screaming, a man is threatened with a large hammer, a man is put inside a small cell and boarded in with a shower that is often turned on to torture him with either freezing or scalding hot water, many shootings including a man graphically shoots himself in the mouth with blood and brain splatters, a man and woman shoot at each other with bloody results, a man is shot in the leg and thrown in a deep ditch, a woman is kicked in the stomach, a window is smashed, a disabled man chokes his dog while on a walk, dead body is discovered heavily decayed, a man learns of 16 other child murders, many suitcases are found with snakes and kids clothes drenched in blood, graphic bloody photos of children's clothes are shown, lots of angry arguments and outbursts. No sexual content. There is drinking and a scene of an intoxicated man on the floor. Kids are drugged and held hostage. A man is also drugged by a drink. Some prescription pills taken. Content is much too harsh for young ones, 16+ only.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 11 years old November 18, 2014

Violent

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 17 years old Written bymoviebuff6996 December 31, 2013

Prisoners is an unsettling movie but also a truly emotionally compelling and complex movie

The Positives for Prisoners are the storyline (It’s such a great story and an engrossing one at that. The story is well told and totally gripping. There’s no denying that there are similar films out there, but none of them come close to the greatness of this when it comes to storytelling.), the acting (The performances are fascinating and well acted at that. Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal in particular give Oscar worthy performances and the secondary performances are solid to boot.), the cinematography (Simply amazing, the camera angles and shots are truly well placed. They showed off Suburbia Pennsylvania really well and have a lot of Establishing shots and wide angle shots, which I liked a lot), the pace (I liked how it felt like the actual time length of the events. Very few movie actually do this and I was glad they did it with this film), the character development (This was awesome because I actually did feel like I was there with Keller and Detective Loki going through the procedures of finding two missing daughters. I also got to know and care about each individual character. This movie was an excellent character study), the twists (I saw some of the pieces of the puzzle but I didn’t connect them. I was floored by how amazing the reveals were at the end), the music (It truly fit the movie perfectly and is highly memorable), the editing (It was excellent and I liked how they went back and forth between Keller and Detective Loki’s journeys trying to find the two daughters) and finally the ending (It was compelling, satisfying, unique and thought provoking). The only negative is that it’s a hard film to watch (Especially if you’re a parent). I would highly recommend this film. For parents: A lot of the violence is implied but there is still plenty of it to make for an uncomfortable viewing. No nudity or sex and there is some language (50+ f-words). For ages 16+
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byThomasLovesCinema November 30, 2013

A Extremly Good And Intense Movie

This is such an incredible movie, extremly intense, powerfull acting and a brilliant script. It's 153 minute long... But, it's NEVER boring. It has some strong cruelty, but this movie it's really good!. The end isnt great, but trust me, this is brilliant.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written byThe Cheap Seats January 15, 2014

Every Moment Matters

Prisoners is one of the best films of 2013. It's performances are riveting and the story is simple yet compelling. I highly recommend it. A.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Adult Written bychristian2011 October 21, 2013

The best film of 2013. A powerful and compelling experience.

Prisoners is widely noted for it's array of incredibly talented actors such as Hugh Jackman, Viola Davis, and Jake Gyllenhaal - whom give exhilarating and captivating performances throughout the film. The main character is a father who becomes flustered, enraged, and desperate to find the reasoning behind his child daughters sudden kidnapping. This eventually points out to a young man who seems to have a form of mental retardation, which of whom Jackman discreetly kidnaps and tortures him to the extent to potentially giving him valuable information to the source. Prisoners has very dark and intense psychological themes throughout - giving the audience the relational thought of "what would I do in this type of horrific situation?" It shows the desperate actions of a grief stricken father, and the ambition of a crass police investigator who eventually pinpoints the location of the kidnapper. The violence that occurs in Prisoners is infrequent and doesn't occur often, but when it does, it is moderately to extremely graphic and shocking. A man commits suicide, a short gunfight between two people, close-ups of a decomposed corpse, a mentally retarded man is tortured (beaten to a bloody pulp, takes forced showers with scalding/freezing water). Language isn't pervasive but is strong at some moments (use of f**k, sh*t). There's no sex or nudity in this film. A man goes on a drinking binge and a woman becomes dependent on psychiatric prescription medication, a person injects poison into another. Prisoners is recommended for older teens and adults due to the nature of two children getting kidnapped and the possible implications (pedophilia, sex trafficking, murder, rape); the grisly scenes of torture, infrequent strong language, and disturbing imagery. Violence (3/5) Language (3/5), Drugs (4/5), Sex/Nudity (0/5), Intense/Frightening Scenes (4/5)
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byColeZett12345 January 28, 2014

Very good, but highly disturbing.

Prisoners is a very good movie, but has a very disturbing concept. It has shooting, animal abuse, and disturbing torture scenes full of blood and screams. There are also many angry uses of the f word, and heavy drinking. It also just has a creepy feel to it. But overall, it has a message that even in situations where you might have to do bad things to fix it, choose the law first. I think that most older teens can handle it, though. Not for the faint of heart.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written bydoubleE January 5, 2014

The Most Intense and Gripping Film of the Year... or ever

This movie was unbelievable and extremely hard to handle. The violence is brutal and disturbing. There a scenes of torture and severe beatings that are very hard to watch and are graphic. This film is heart pounding and the language is very strong. A must see!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Adult Written byccb1996 August 16, 2014

Dark thriller that leaves you on the edge of your seat

Wow. It has been a long time since a movie has truly scared me as much as Prisoners did. Huge kudos should go to the director for creating such an oppressive atmosphere as he did in this movie. It's the story of two families whose daughters are kidnapped and the lengths they go to to get them back. If you have an easily upset stomach this is not for you. There is a lot of brutality, violence, and disturbing moments, making this a movie I would NOT under any circumstances let kids watch. Why this wasn't given more credit during the awards season is a big mystery to me- it's that good.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing

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