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James Berardinelli Is a Master Who Takes His Time in “Prisoners”

In response to James Berardinelli’s 953‑word review of Prisoners on ReelViews

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James Berardinelli makes one think of ancient philosophers in “Prisoners”, a quiet and potent composition that is a must-read.

The opening paragraph is astonishing in that it provides a thorough look at Hollywood Whodunits, and how often they fail by not posing larger questions. This brilliant piece by Berardinelli brings to light the themes of guilt, innocence and desperation.

The early insightful commentary by the critic is refreshing, and is a nice prelude into the actual review of the film itself. Berardinelli takes his time but doesn’t tease. The master continues on with even more insight with a look at the Oscar race and where the film will fit in. The awards mention will not only entice the viewer to the film, but is an amazing tactic by Berardinelli as he slowly leads into his review.

The critic has a commanding presence and is firm with the reader. The subject matter is dark and not for everybody. After a brief description of the main plot, Berardinelli moves into the arena of social commentary and makes an interest point on how the general public can become consumed with solving a crime rather than uncovering the truth.

Berardinelli’s character analysis is superb and applauds the performance of the leads. The words are of one who is enthused about cinema, and knows to effective express that to the reader.

“Prisoners” is a magnificent take by one of the masters. It’s a grown-up piece that is ready for the big time, and Berardinelli has made his mark in the world of “Prisoners” reviews.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation