Skip to main content

This 2013 Hugh Jackman movie is popular on Netflix. Here’s why you should watch it

Just like the recent streaming hit Missing, which first came to theaters, Prisoners is enjoying a second life now that it’s available to stream on Netflix. The movie, which tells the story of a father who begins to spiral after his six-year-old daughter and her friend go missing, is a chilling tale that feels firmly grounded in the many true stories that it likely drew from. Although Prisoners is undoubtedly bleak, many viewers are attracted to it partly because of its great cast and partly because it’s so well-made.

The movie was not an enormous hit in theaters, but its popularity on Netflix has many people wondering why it might be worth a watch. Here are three reasons why the Jake Gyllenhaal/Hugh Jackman-led Prisoners might be worth a watch:

The direction is top-notch

Prisoners - Official Trailer 1 [HD]

Denis Villeneuve has since become best known for his hugely impressive large-scale blockbusters, but Prisoners was one of the first times that American audiences took notice of this Canadian auteur.

Collaborating with frequent partner, the cinematographer Roger Deakins, Prisoners is a carefully crafted, stunningly shot movie that digs into the darkness that men can feel in their most desperate moments. It may be the most despairing film of Villeneuve’s entire career, but because he’s at the wheel, it’s also gripping from its very first moment through to the credits.

Prisoners is a grounded crime thriller that will leave you guessing

Jake Gyllenhaal looking pensive in the movie Prisoners
Image used with permission by copyright holder

For all of its many dramatic elements, Prisoners is more firmly grounded in reality than any other movie in Villeneuve’s entire filmography. The movie is about real people grappling with a frightening situation, and trying their best not to lose their minds in the aftermath.

It’s set in the middle of America, and while it may not be 100% authentic, it doesn’t require nearly as much buy-in as something like Dune or Blade Runner 2049, which are both set in far-flung futures that don’t feel anything like the world we live in. Prisoners feels almost like a true crime story, even if it has a few more heightened elements.

It features a slew of great performances

Prisoners Jake Gyllenhaal and Hugh Jackman.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Thanks to the strong ensemble cast that Villeneuve was able to attract, the movie features incredible performances from Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, The Batman‘s Paul Dano, Terrence Howard, Maria Bello, and the rest of the sprawling ensemble. Jackman has never given a darker or angrier turn, tapping into everything that made him a great Wolverine as he feverishly searches for his daughter and her friend.

Dano is also particularly great, in part because he’s able to be a complete weirdo without seeming at all out of place. The rest of the cast is just as great, and it’s the strength of this ensemble that helps the movie linger in your mind long after you’ve left the theater.

Prisoners is now streaming on Netflix.

Editors' Recommendations

Joe Allen
Joe Allen is a freelance writer based in upstate New York focused on movies and TV.
How to watch boxing online: Stream every fight
how to watch fury vs wilder 3 live stream online deontay v tyson

Zhilei Zhang and Joe Joyce meet for the second time this weekend. Joyce is hoping to recover from the massive upset loss Zhang gave him in their first meeting, when Zhang pummeled Joyce's eye with straight rights until the doctor recommended stopping the fight. Below we have the details of every major boxing streaming service, but if Zhang vs. Joyce II is all you care about, you can head straight to ESPN+ for a subscription and watch the fight there on Saturday.

If you're new to boxing and want to catch all the bouts from the biggest stars in the sport, we can help you find the best and cheapest ways to watch boxing online. It can get complicated. Fighters are tied to specific promoters who are tied to specific streaming sites. The days of Friday night fights on network TV are long gone.

Read more
New York Giants vs. San Francisco 49ers live stream: Watch Thursday Night Football for free
49ers player standing in the foreground in Madden.

A historic rivalry resumes in Week 3 of the 2023 NFL season as the New York Giants (1-1) travel to the Bay area to play the San Francisco 49ers (2-0) on Thursday Night Football. The game will be played at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California. How is this even a rivalry? The Giants and 49ers have played each other 42 times, with both teams winning 21 games.

Last week, the Giants were down 20-0 to the Arizona Cardinals at halftime. Thanks to a huge second half from quarterback Daniel Jones, the Giants outscored the Cardinals 31-8 in the final two quarters to escape Arizona with a three-point victory. Meanwhile, San Francisco took care of business against the Los Angeles Rams, winning 30-23.

Read more
Where to watch Love Is Blind season 5
A group of excited girls enter a room in Love Is Blind.

More singles head back into the pods for their shot at true romance in Love Is Blind season 5. It's only been five months since The Love Is Blind season 4 live reunion, which didn't go at all as planned. Nevertheless, the reality TV series returns this month with an eclectic group of singles from Houston looking for love.

Hosted by Nick and Vanessa Lachey, Love Is Blind is a social experiment where men and women build connections through conversation. Contestants can't see each other while secluded in their "pods." Instead, the singles go on dates while communicating through a speaker within their pod. Couples will only meet face-to-face when a marriage proposal is brought forward. The couples then live with each other for a few weeks. In the end, the couples choose to get married or split up.

Read more