Metacritic Movie Ratings
Prisoners Reviews

4.0

74

out of 100

Metascore®
Generally favorable reviews
Based on a weighted average of all critic review scores.

A sample of reviews from critics across the country.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Entertainment WeeklyOwen Gleiberman

    The thriller that's exciting, cathartic, and powerfully disturbing. Prisoners is that type of movie. It's rooted in 40 years of Hollywood revenge films, yet it also breaks audacious new ground.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    VarietyScott Foundas

    A spellbinding, sensationally effective thriller with a complex moral center.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    The Hollywood ReporterStephen Farber

    Prisoners can at times be a hard film to watch, but thanks to all the talent involved, it’s even harder to shake off.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    USA TodayClaudia Puig

    Prisoners is infused with a poetic intensity that's rare in American thrillers. The closest cinematic comparisons would be "Zodiac," "In the Bedroom" and "Mystic River."

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  • 88

    out of 100

    ReelViewsJames Berardinelli

    The cast is remarkable. Five of the seven principal cast members own previous Oscar nominations.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-TimesRichard Roeper

    Even with the stretched-out running time, Prisoners is one of the most intense moviegoing experiences of the year. You’ll never forget it.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    Wall Street JournalJohn Anderson

    There's a near-sacred history in Hollywood of non-U.S.- born directors providing fresh perspectives on America. Miloš Forman. Alfred Hitchcock. Ang Lee. Ernst Lubitsch. Billy Wilder. For Prisoners, a stress-inducing trip into child abduction, the director is Quebecois filmmaker Denis Villeneuve, who gives us an American "hero" guaranteed to push many buttons, many times, and who might not have been allowed to be quite so awful, under a different director's lens.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago TribuneMichael Phillips

    Some will take it and like it, all the way to the heart of darkness. Others may feel they've been jacked with, manipulated. Villeneuve collaborates with unusual sensitivity with his actors. The script operates on one level; the interpreters on another, higher level.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    The New YorkerDavid Denby

    Prisoners, despite its gathering anxiety, has some of the pleasures of ordinary thrillers. But Villeneuve, who previously directed “Incendies,” does volatile scenes without exaggeration; parts of the movie are exceedingly violent, though the violence isn’t “fun” — it makes you wince.

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  • 60

    out of 100

    TimeRichard Corliss

    This is the rough cut of a good movie, and a splendid opportunity wasted.

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See all Prisoners movie reviews at Metacritic.com

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