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Denis Villeneuve, 2013

Entertainment One

The Coen brothers’ regular cinematographer Roger Deakins assaults us with rain and dank, disused buildings to conjure a dark American underbelly in Prisoners. This is the territory of creepy misfits such as Alex (Paul Dano) and of paranoid survivalist Keller (Hugh Jackman), who resorts to extreme measures to trace his missing daughter.

Apart from the suspected kidnapper, his antagonist is a policeman (Jake Gyllenhaal) who plays too fair for Keller’s liking. Scenes of sickening violence are a price worth paying for tension that grips until the final twist. It’s good to see Jackman flexing his acting muscles (as opposed to his Wolverine ones).

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