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Amy Nicholson’s “Prisoners Is Hugh Jackman and Jake…” Is a Weak Ploy

In response to Amy Nicholson’s 954‑word review of Prisoners on L.A. Weekly

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Amy Nicholson’s “Prisoners Is Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal’s Ploy for Oscars That’s Bound to Fail” is a review full of ambiguous schlock. The reader is first assaulted by multiple pop-up adds, which is quickly followed by a puff review aimlessly looking for prestige.

Nicholson insists three times that Prisoners makes no sense, but she never effectively explains why. She gives away too much plot information with the review, but her descriptions of the characters and storyline does the opposite of what she intends—making the reader want to watch the film for its obvious merits.

Nicholson clearly understands how to employ platitudes, because like so many other reviewers, she compares the film to a red herring without explaining her choice of the metaphor at all. She goes on to lament Prisoners’ macho vibe with stale psuedo-feminist style, which isn’t a style that even a feminist reader wants to read.

If Nicholson wants to attack internal logic, she should work on providing solid reasons for her dislike of the movie.

While explaining the deep thematic ambiguity of the film, she again claims that it makes no sense, which certainly calls into question this reviewer’s state of mind. Nicholson obviously hasn’t been tasked (let alone pressured) to write a good review, and she’s ultimately held captive by her inability to make a strong point.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation