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10th Anniversary TLDR: Prisoners (2013)
Every moment matters.
Plot: When Keller Dover’s daughter and her friend go missing, he takes matters into his own hands as the police pursue multiple leads and the pressure mounts. But just how far will this desperate father go to protect his family?
Direction: I don't care what the Dune fans have to say - this is Denis Villeneuve's best movie. It's without a doubt the most grounded and he's able to use his strengths to elevate, as opposed to everything being heady and...I'll say it...boring. This is anything but.
Screenplay: I've never seen another Aaron Guzikowski (Raised by Wolves) project, which I find interesting. I think we all figured that this guy would've really taken off.
Cinematography: It's Roger Deakins! Everything is very restrained, letting the characters and the story do the heavy lifting. Luckily, he also happens to be one of the best with basic source lighting. This piece is worth a read if a TLDR is not enough for you.
Performances: Easily the best part of the movie. This is a TLDR, after all, so I don't have the time I could use to talk about them all and their brilliance. Instead, I will lean on one of my go-to copouts and rank the performances, from my favorite: Jake Gyllenhaal, Terrence Howard, Paul Dano, Viola Davis, Hugh Jackman, Maria Bello, Melissa Leo, Dylan Minnette, David Dastmalchian (he is great, but sometimes he just falls back on being weird looking.)
Best moment: The opening 15 minutes is a great horror movie.
Fun fact: According to IMDB Trivia, "After filming had been completed, the costume and prop departments donated all of the clothing and props to Fodac Thrift Store in Tucker, Georgia." I cannot find this to be true on any reputable website, so I don't believe it until I believe it. But I do find the idea of people buying extra Hugh Jackman goatees to be very funny.
Imaginary accolade: Most Pennsylvania Movie Filmed in Georgia
Everything is too long. Is it too long? You will often find me complaining about a 153-minute movie, but this one really simmers. The reveal comes with 30 minutes left - and you want more than that!
Thanksgiving movie? Only after you leave your Grandmother's.
Rating: Unfortunately, it's a movie that will never be as good as the first watch. Revisiting it and knowing where it goes does diminish it a tad. But it's still great.
Credit: Plot synopsis from Letterboxd via TMDb.
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