Family Matters
Review by Ross Anthony

A grueling and stressful, but powerful drama. When a film portrays or even implies mistreatment of children, audiences can understandably become quite uncomfortable, myself included. However, with such a strong cast (Jackman, Gyllenhaal, Bello, Howard, Davis) I had to give this a look. The cast does not disappoint. Jackman and Gyllenhaal drive the film with palpable passion. Whenever they share the screen, they set resonating a magnificent tension.

The film downplays any action, but pumps up the drama by bringing hard-heads head to head. For all the riveting pressure, it's a surprisingly quiet movie with a gentle sure pace and an independent feature texture.

It's a thriller, and generally speaking, I'm not a lover of thrillers. Yet, this one pulled me in and impressed me right up to just before the third act where a crucial character behaves in a crucially uncharacteristic way. That disappointment drops the film from the A range. The film also avoids resolution of the interesting ethical conundrums it so artfully presents.

The tone and subject matter remind me of Mystic River or In the Bedroom, though Prisoners bests both of those. And again, a great job by Jackman. In times of family crisis, who wouldn't want The Wolverine for a dad?

-- Books by Author/Illustrator Ross Anthony --

  • Prisoners. Copyright © 2013.
  • Starring Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Melissa Leo, Paul Dano, Maria Bello, Viola Davis, Terrence Howard. Directed by Denis Villeneuve. Written by Aaron Guzikowski. Warner Bros.

Grade..........................B+ (2.5/4)

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Copyright © 1998-2023 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Friday, 20-Sep-2013 15:11:26 PDT