Today I saw Prisoners, starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Keller (Jackman) and Grace (Maria Bello), have a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with their neighbors Franklin (Terrence Howard) and Nancy (Viola Davis).
Each couple has a young daughter and the girls leave together after the meal to go play. The adults don't realize they are missing until much later. They report a suspected abduction and soon are on the trail of the owner of an RV who was parked on their street.
Detective Loki (Gyllenhaal) has solved every case to which he's been assigned, so the families are grateful when he takes on the challenge of finding their girls.
That same night he apprehends the RV owner, a mentally slow man named Alex (Paul Dano) who doesn't have any trace of the girls on his belongings. They hold him for 48 hours and release him to his aunt's custody.
Because Keller is convinced that Alex is guilty, he kidnaps him at gunpoint and takes him as a prisoner at an empty property he owns. He begins torturing him to get information from him, but gets no results.
Soon, he involves Franklin and Nancy, who don't feel right about what he's doing, but also choose not to stop him.
Meanwhile, at a candlelight vigil for the girls, a man's odd behavior catches the eye of Detective Loki and he gives chase. This is where, of course, the plot thickens.
From Hugh Jackman's desperation to the numbness of Maria Bello, each actor lives their role with frightful realism. The pain of the families is tangible, as is the frustration of the detective who is unable to decode the puzzle that may lead them all to the girls.
I was on the edge of my seat for the duration of this lengthy film, and with every twist and turn I held my breath, hoping for resolution.
Aside from a few key gruesome scenes, I never looked away.
I'm glad I didn't—a solid thriller is always a great way to get the adrenaline going.