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Eric Kohn’s “Prisoners” Review Is a Tense, Edge-of-Your-Seat Thrill Ride

In response to Eric Kohn’s 996‑word review of Prisoners on indieWIRE

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Eric Kohn’s “Teulluride Film Festival Review: Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal Carry Denis Villeneueve’s Tense Kidnapping Drama ‘Prisoners’” has an unfortunately lengthy and off-putting title that may turn off some readers. Those who make it past this obstacle and reach the heart of the review are in for well-constructed criticism that deals admirably with dark themes without ever becoming melodramatic.

The review opens with a prominent picture of two men confronting each other, one of them with a hand in the air as if to say, “Hey buddy, calm down.” It sets the tone of what’s to come: a tense, suspense-filled review that leaves the reader wondering whether or not Kohn is going to give the movie a proverbial thumb’s up.

The answer is not quite so clear throughout the body of the review, with Kohn providing aspects of the movie he liked, such as the “constant level of engagement,” with those he didn‘t, like the “underwritten female characters.” As the review reaches its climax, though, the puzzle pieces begin to fit into place, eventually leading to a satisfying and elucidating conclusion.

Without giving away the ending, I will say that Kohn provides his audience with a convincing picture of Prisoners’ overall level of quality. It’s quite a journey getting to that conclusion, but despite some initial wordiness it’s well worth the time it takes.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation