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Tom Clift’s “Prisoners (Review)” Is a Solid, Personal and Moving Work

In response to Tom Clift’s 679‑word review of Prisoners on Moviedex

By ,

Tom Clift’s assured “Prisoners (Review)” is a triumph on every level. The writing is so confident, so smooth, that while the piece is something of a thrill ride, there is never a need to buckle up. The audience can tell from the first few sentences that they are in good hands and that they will safely arrive at a desirable destination, seeing a lot of great sites along the way.

Clift thankfully doesn’t disappoint. His paragraphs flow smoothly one into the next as a beautiful painting of the film emerges.  (Review) manages to showcase Clift’s film knowledge without indulging in it. He’s like a docile tour guide, confidently directing your eyes to the next item of interest, without trying to shove his encyclopedic learning down your throat.

There is a fair amount of plot description, but it is consistently effective and interesting. He laces each character’s introduction with a thorough look at the roles they play, the way  they interact with each other, and the themes they embody. Without spoiling much about the film, Clift is able to paint a clear picture of what to expect and what to enjoy.

The work gets really interesting when it turns political. Clift writes himself into the narrative, discussing how his political view informed his viewing and his enjoyment. To maintain the level of balance that he does while simultaneously admitting that he was far from unbiased is an achievement in and of himself.

There is a lot to love in Clift’s (Review).  It is undoubtedly among the best in the genre.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation