The 2013 thriller film Prisoners is currently streaming on Netflix. The movie is directed by Denis Villeneuve from a script by Aaron Guzikowski. It features an ensemble cast including Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Terrence Howard, Maria Bello, Paul Dano, and Melissa Leo. The story revolves around the Dover and Birch families, whose two young daughters go missing.
The dark and tense thriller Prisoners, featuring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, is now streaming on Netflix.
Prisoners opens on Thanksgiving Day in a small suburban town, where the Dovers and Birches gather for a meal. Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) and Franklin Birch (Terrence Howard) are close friends, and their families spend the day together. During the festivities, the two youngest daughters, Anna Dover and Joy Birch, go missing while playing outside. Panic sets in, and the families contact the police.
Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) is assigned to the case and starts by investigating the girls’ last known activities, questioning neighbors and potential witnesses. A suspicious RV is identified, and its driver, Alex Jones (Paul Dano), is brought in for questioning. However, due to his limited mental capacities, Loki is unable to extract meaningful information from him.
As days become weeks and the investigation stalls, Keller Dover becomes increasingly desperate and frustrated by the lack of progress. He becomes convinced that Alex Jones knows more than he’s letting on. In a moment of desperation, Keller abducts Alex and holds him captive in an abandoned building. He believes that by using force, he can extract information about the girls’ whereabouts in Prisoners.
Detective Loki discovers a maze pendant worn by one of the missing girls, which leads him to a suspect with a history of child abductions. However, he cannot directly link this suspect to the current case. Meanwhile, Franklin Birch struggles with Keller’s (Hugh Jackman) extreme actions, torn between his friendship and his sense of morality.
Nancy Birch (Viola Davis) also grapples with losing her daughter and the increasing tension within their group of friends. As Keller continues to interrogate Alex, he becomes increasingly violent and desperate. At the same time, Loki starts to uncover a web of secrets, including a history of abuse in the Jones family and connections to other child disappearances, bringing Prisoners to a shocking conclusion.
Prisoners is a darker and more realistic version of Liam Neeson’s Taken.
Prisoners debuted at the Telluride Film Festival and was released in theaters in September 2013. The Hugh Jackman film received critical acclaim for its tense atmosphere, strong performances, and thought-provoking themes. It currently holds an 81 percent critics score on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes alongside an 87 percent audience score.
Prisoners also performed well at the global box office, earning over $122 million against a comparatively modest budget of $46 million. Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal engaged in extensive research for the movie. Gyllenhaal spent time with detectives to prepare for his role, while Jackman explored the psychology of a desperate father.
The maze motif seen in promotional material and on the Prisoners movie poster is a visual metaphor for the characters’ journey through moral complexities. The project also marked the first time that Denis Villeneuve collaborated with cinematographer Roger Deakins, leading to a strong creative partnership that continued in subsequent films.
After Prisoners, Hugh Jackman appeared in several movies across various genres. He reprised his role as Wolverine in 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past. He also starred in the 2015 sci-fi drama Chappie as Vincent Moore, an ex-military officer. The film revolves around a police robot imbued with artificial intelligence, which leads to ethical and philosophical dilemmas.
In a shift from Prisoner‘s thriller genre, Hugh Jackman took on the role of Blackbeard in the 2015 fantasy adventure film Pan. The movie serves as a prequel to the Peter Pan story and explores the origins of Peter and his rivalry with Blackbeard. Jackman also starred in the 2016 sports drama Eddie the Eagle as Bronson Peary, who serves as a coach and mentor to the aspiring British ski jumper.
Prisoners was a box office success, earning $122 million against a budget of $46 million.
Some of his other notable film credits include The Greatest Showman in 2017, Bad Education in 2019, Reminiscence in 2021, and The Son in 2022. Hugh Jackman’s post-Prisoners filmography demonstrates his versatility as an actor, with roles spanning various genres, from science fiction and superhero films to dramas, comedies, and musicals.
This diverse range of projects showcases his ability to tackle different types of characters and storytelling styles. Hugh Jackman will next be seen in Deadpool 3. But for now, fans can catch him in Prisoners, which is available to stream on Netflix.