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Ed Gonzalez’s “Prisoners” Effortlessly Eviscerates

In response to Ed Gonzalez’s 586‑word review of Prisoners on Slant Magazine

By ,

Many critics get so caught up in disliking a film that their reviews of that film lack the sort of balance necessary to convince the audience that they‘re giving it a fair shot. Not so with Ed Gonzalez, whose “Prisoners” uses the films strengths against it. He separates style from substance and grittiness from depth, showing how in both cases his subject has the former but not the latter.

Gonzalez’s prose is cutting, to the point and not ornamental. He has a way with words and does not let them stray from the subject at hand. At 586 words long, “Prisoners” is long enough to feel substantial but not long enough to feel like a drag. The pacing is superb as Gonzales hits one point after another, like a master marksman hitting his targets.

While he is harsh, Gonzales is not merciless. He gives credit where credit is due, particularly in regards to the acting and cinematography. But that doesn’t stop him from reaching a conclusion that seemed inevitable from the opening paragraph.  There are certain words that, once said, cannot be unsaid. Luckily, Gonzales shows no inclination to backpedal. With “Prisoners,” he is a firing squad of one, and his aim is true.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation