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Peter Travers’s “Prisoners” Is a Taught, Concise Thriller

In response to Peter Travers’s 424‑word review of Prisoners on Rolling Stone

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At 424 words long, Peter Travers’s “Prisoners” leaves no room for circumlocution. It is a lean, mean critique machine, all meat and no filler. From the opening sentence to the conclusion, the text is uninterrupted by needless images or video clips that would only get in the way. Advertisements are mercifully sidelined, and the reader is allowed to absorb the review without interruption.

Traverse hits high and low with quick jabs as he touches on important points like plot, acting, and pacing. There are no grammatical errors to ruin the reader’s suspension of disbelief, no fumbling attempts at being cute or clever to throw off the tone of the review.

In short: Prisoners is short, but the content is not given short shrift. Traverse is a professional who knows how to get in and out like a master thief robbing a museum of its prized jewels.

With all that said, it’s hard not to be left wanting more. The review could easily be twice as long as it is without overstaying its welcome. Still, it’s better to burn out than to fade away, and Prisoners burns brightly. Travers is an old pro at the film review game, and he didn’t get where he is by writing dense, impenetrable prose.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation