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David Denby’s “Search Missions: ‘Prisoners’...” Is Genuinely Satisfying

In response to David Denby’s 593‑word review of Prisoners on New Yorker

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David Denby’s “Search Missions: ‘Prisoners’ and ‘Salinger’” is impressive and well worth reading. An arresting artistic pictures precedes the review, which is a great indication of the way Denby writes.

Denby shares the cinematic mood of the film with wonderfully lush yet readable language. He describes the characters so that the reader wants to see them too, and he gives an excellent introduction of the plot without ever giving away too much information.

Denby manages to reveal the underlying socio-cultural context of the film with insight and maturity of thought.

The reader feels Denby’s appreciation of the movie, which he translates into meaningful analysis quite well. He creates a sense of urgency for movie watchers to see the film, but surprisingly, he never exaggerates. Hands down: Denby is a stellar writer.

Obviously, this isn’t just a review about Prisoners, but the writer does a good job of separating them – the potential movie watcher can read to paragraph three and stop.

Denby provides some of the pleasures that a normal review does, but he doesn’t fall into the trap of over-playing his own horn. By the end, the reader has the tools to decide whether or not to watch Prisoners, which makes this review at the top of the list to read!   

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation