Denis Villeneuve might be gaining something of a reputation in the sci-fi genre with his last three movies having been awards season favorite Arrival, acclaimed box office disappointment Blade Runner 2049 and his upcoming adaptation of the seminal novel Dune, but the Academy Award-nominated filmmaker has proven himself more than capable at tackling all sorts of different material.
One of his very best is his English-language debut Prisoners, which was one of the two movies starring Jake Gyllenhaall that the Quebec native saw released into theaters in 2013 alongside the surreal noir Enemy. While the plot might make it sound like a generic thriller on the surface, Villeneuve managed to create an atmosphere of near-permanent dread and nail-biting tension, with many people naming it as one of the best titles of the year, although it only managed a solitary Oscar nomination for the always-reliable Roger Deakins’ impeccable cinematography.
Prisoners also boasts arguably the best performance of Hugh Jackman‘s career, with the actor showing previously unseen depth and range in the lead role as a father overcome by both grief and rage that decides to take matters into his own hands when the suspect arrested for his daughter’s abduction is released without charge.
The cast is outstanding across the board and packed with top-level talent as Paul Dano, Melissa Leo, Viola Davis, Terrence Howard and Mario Bello lend support to leads Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, and while Prisoners might not be a particularly easy watch, the gripping dark thriller is well worth checking out when it arrives on Hulu next month, on September 10th.