Prisoners, directed by Denis Villeneuve and written by Aaron Guzikowski, focusses on a relatively simple premise. Two children go missing, and a lengthy police investigation starts. However, the film is elevated beyond the trappings of predictability and mediocrity by its layered plot, accomplished, confident direction, and compelling performances.
The film’s plot moves briskly enough from one forced cliché to the next that’s punctuated by some well-staged action sequences (including one atop a speeding bullet train). The pace is also advantageous in speeding past some of the fairly large plot-holes, especially considering the talent that collaborated on the screenplay