Welcome to the Colossus Movie Guide for Prisoners. This guide contains everything you need to understand the movie. You’ll find a quick explanation of Prisoners, as well as our library of material covering key aspects of the movie. We encourage comments to help us put together the best possible guide. Thank you!
The Quick Explanation
Prisoners is a seemingly straightforward crime thriller. But there’s a huge subtextual dialogue going on about personal prisons. Each of the characters is lost in some kind of prison. Most of them are existential—grief, trauma, fear. But some are quite physical: the girls dealing with their kidnapping, Alex dealing with his kidnapping, Loki trying to solve the kidnappings. Faith and religion are also prisons explored through the dynamic between Dover and Loki. Dover is very Christian, while Loki is less singular and broadly tied to multiple belief systems. The character’s name is even derived from mythology. Which also gets at a motif of trees and nature.
Prisoners is arguably one of the most impressive and nuanced films of the 21st century. You can enjoy the superficial story and completely miss or ignore the thematics. But once you become aware of the themes, re-watching Prisoners takes you down a rabbit hole that should make film nerds quite happy.
- Keller Dover – Hugh Jackman
- Grace Dover – Maria Bello
- Franklin Birch – Terrence Howard
- Nancy Birch – Viola Davis
- Detective Loki – Jake Gyllenhaal
- Alex Jones – Paul Dano
- Holly Jones – Melissa Leo
- Bob Taylor – David Dastmalchian
- Anna Dover – Erin Gerasimovich
- Joy Birch – Kyla-Drew Simmons
- Written by – Aaron Guzikowski
- Directed by – Denis Villeneuve
Chris and Travis share an in-depth discussion of the strengths and flaws of Prisoners.
What does the title Prisoners mean? What does it tell us about the movie’s intentions and storyline? Let’s figure it out.
Discover themes that help us define Prisoners’s commentary, message, and meaning.
If the ending of Prisoners confused you, this explanation will help you understand everything you need to know.
Explore important motifs that indicate Prisoners’s most crucial moments of symbolism.
A visual guide to Prisoners.
If you have questions about Prisoners, we have answers. Comment what you’re curious about and receive a response.