With the recent critical and financial success of Dune, Denis Villeneuve is once again making headlines. The acclaimed Canadian director has been associated with some of the best modern-era movies. The 2017 classic Blade Runner 2049 instantly comes to mind but a movie of his that sometimes gets overlooked is for Movies like Prisoners.
Released in 2013, Prisoners was the 5th full-length feature film that Villeneuve had directed. Just like, Prisoners was the first of his movies that made him into the mainstream name he is today. Featuring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal in lead roles, Prisoners is a mystery thriller following the abduction of two young girls and the investigation that ensued.
Hugh Jackman plays the role of Keller Dover, whose daughter Anna gets kidnapped after a Thanksgiving dinner. Terrence Howard acts as Franklin Birch who is the father of Joy Birch, the second girl that gets abducted. Jake Gyllenhaal plays the role of Detective Loki, the investigator trying to solve the case.
The movie follows a thrilling ride full of twists, turns, and emotionally tense situations that keep you glued. Prisoners was a huge hit worldwide and has stood the test of time as one of the best thrillers of all time. If you loved watch movies like Prisoners,
Here is a list of movies Like Prisoners that will be right up your alley.
The fans of movies like Prisoners will have two special reasons to look forward to this movie. First, Zodiac is a mystery thriller, and second, Jake Gyllenhaal is featured in a prominent role.
Zodiac was directed by the renowned David Fincher and is based on a book by Robert Graysmith from 1986. Both the book and the movie are based on the real-life figure Zodiac Killer, an unidentified culprit responsible for a series of murders that took place in Northern California in the 1960s. Robert Graysmith, a political cartoonist, worked on the original case and wrote the book “Zodiac” based on his findings.
Jake Gyllenhaal plays the role of Robert Graysmith in the movie. The movie also stars Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo in the leading roles. Downey Jr.plays Paul Avery, a crime reporter, while Ruffalo is in as Inspector Dave Toschi. Both characters are based on real figures who played a part in the real Zodiac Killer investigation.
The movie begins with the Zodiac Killer assaulting a couple and leaving one dead. The killer then sends encrypted letters to a popular newspaper agency, challenging anyone to decode his real identity. Graysmith decodes the letter and concludes it didn’t include the killer’s identity. Uninterested at first, the crime reporter Avery ends up working alongside Graysmith in order to solve the mystery.
The movie revolves around their attempts at finding the Zodiac Killer’s identity and bringing an end to his killing spree. Zodiac is still considered to be one of the finest mystery thrillers ever by fans and critics alike.
David Fincher is often considered to be a pioneer in the psychological and thriller genres. Hence, it is no surprise that another one of his movies makes an appearance on our list. Released in 1995, Se7en is the epitome of what a psychological thriller should look like.
The movie follows a sinister plot of tracking down an unidentified serial killer that uses the Biblical seven deadly sins to commit gruesome murders. Se7en was released to a positive response and ended up being one of the highest-grossing movies of the year 1995. Decades later, it is still considered among the best thrillers of all time.
A lot of credit for that can be given to an amazing cast of the likes of Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Gwenyth Paltrow, and Kevin Spacey among others.
Pitt and Morgan star as Detective David Mills and Detective Lieutenant William Somerset respectively, two investigators on a hunt for the culprit. One by one they came across horrifying scenes of victims being punished for their “sins” of gluttony, greed, and sloth. The goal is clear; find the murderer before he completes his series of 7.
The acting performances are class, the direction is suspenseful, and the environment Fincher has created will give you goosebumps. Especially, the final sequence of the movie that gets engraved in the minds of viewers forever.
Memories Of Murder
If there is an argument that every cinephile agrees upon, it is how underrated Korean cinema is. Over the century, they have produced some of the finest movies ever and Memories Of Murder is definitely one of them. Some even call it the greatest creation of Korean cinema. While that is still subjective, the class of Memories Of Murder is completely objective.
Like Zodiac, Memories Of Murder is based on a real-life case as well. It is in fact based on Korea’s very first confirmed serial killings that took place from 1986 to 1991. Song Kang-ho and Kim Sang-Kyung star as two fictional detectives given the task of stopping a horrifying wave of crimes in a small town.
An unknown figure has been sexually assaulting women and then murdering them. As the local police fail, Seo Tae-yoon (Kim Sang-kyung) a detective from Seoul volunteers to help them. He teams up with Park Doo-man (Song Kang-ho), a not-so-professional local detective. Memories Of Murder has all the elements of Prisoners, Zodiac, and Se7en.
There are two investigators, an unidentified killer, and an enthralling ride full of suspense and fear. The movie leaves a lasting impression on the minds of everyone who watches it once. It will make you feel stressed, sad, afraid, and everything else you expect from a quality thriller. Memories Of Murder is an experience you will never forget.
The Silence Of The Lambs
The Silence Of The Lambs has solidified its place as a classic for the fans of the thriller genre along with the fans of Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins who starred in the movie.
Silence Of The Lambs is a psychological horror directed by Jonathan Demme that was released in 1991. It is based on a 1988 novel of the same name written by Thomas Harris.
The story focuses on FBI agent Clarice Starling, serving as a psychiatrist in training, who is tasked with learning the secrets of heavily-guarded prisoner Hannibal Lecter. Jodie Foster stars as Clarice while Anthony Hopkins plays the role of Hannibal, a former psychiatrist who was notorious for cannibalism.
Clarice is, however, not there just to study him but requires his help in finding the identity of Buffalo Bill, a serial killer on loose. Bill is a psychopath who targets young women and skins them. The movie follows Clarice trying to track down the killer while attempting to get hints from a reluctant Hannibal.
With its stunning acting and fear-inducing tone, Silence of the Lambs quickly became a classic that continues to spark debates over the movie’s ending even after 25 years of its release. The Silence Of The Lambs was not only a commercial success but also ended up winning a total of 4 Academy Awards. While the movie has its fair share of critics, fans all over the world still regard it as one of the best movies ever made.
Gone Baby Gone
The Affleck brothers are no stranger to the Hollywood limelight. Both Ben and Casey are accomplished and multi-talented performers, and not so far away from being called household names.
The duo put their talents for the show together in the 2007 crime thriller Gone Baby Gone. Ben Affleck served as both the director and the screenwriter while Casey played the male lead. The movie is based on Dennis Lehane’s novel Gone, Baby, Gone. Like the novel, the movie too features private investigators Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro hired to find a missing four-year-old girl and her doll.
Casey Affleck is in as Patrick Kenzie while Michelle Monaghan plays Angela Gennaro, his partner, and his love interest. Amy Madigan stars as Beu McGready, the victim, and Amy Ryan stars as her mother Helene.
The movie follows Patrick and Angela going from suspect to suspect as the case begins to get mainstream attention and the clock keeps ticking. The viewers are presented with a suspenseful experience enhanced by the tight screenplay and refined acting performances by the cast.
Gone Baby Gone is to date considered a masterpiece by critics and viewers, and is a must-have in the watchlist of anyone who loves movies like Prisoners.
If you haven’t watched Taken, you are missing out on one of the most popular and action-packed thrillers ever. While the Liam Neeson starrer was a subject of the earliest internet memes, no one can deny the quality of the film.
Taken is a French production, directed by Pierre Morel. Despite that, the entirety of the movie is in English. Taken was released in 2008 and turned out to be a turning point in Liam Neeson’s career, essentially resurrecting his spot as a respected performer.
The plot of the movie revolves mostly around Bryan Mills, played by Liam Neeson, who is an ex-CIA agent. Bryan is divorced and is trying to balance a relationship with his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace), who lives with her mother Lenore (Famke Janssen) and stepfather Stuart (Xender Berkeley).
The actual story begins with Kim and her friend Amanda (Katie Cassidy) going out to follow the rock band U2 on their tour. They befriend a stranger who drops them off at their destination where Amanda’s cousins live. However, they find nobody there and as Bryan contacts Kim, he overhears both Kim and Amanda being abducted on the call. Bryan vows revenge and sets out to find the kidnappers.
The story is full of actions and suspense. Not a single moment feels dull and the viewers are kept engrossed throughout the runtime.
Both David Fincher and Ben Affleck make another appearance on the list and this time with the 2014 thriller Gone Girl that made waves upon its release. Based on a novel of the same name, Gone Girl can be best described as a postmodern mystery. Affleck this time is in an acting role alongside Rosamund Pike in the lead roles.
Affleck stars as Nicholas Dunne, a former writer currently married to Amy Dunne, played by Rosamund Pike. The plot kicks off with the mysterious disappearance of Amy at the fifth marriage anniversary of the couple. Previously seen as a perfect couple, Nicholas is suddenly a prime suspect in the disappearance of his own wife.
The case makes media waves and the story follows an unexpected set of twists and turns with the final reveal still being fresh in the memory of every viewer. Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, and Emily Ratajkowski among others star in supporting roles.
Gone Girl is guaranteed to not only set you on a thrilling journey but also take you aback with twists that you would never see coming. Fincher’s direction shines as always and every actor puts in a performance to remember.
It wouldn’t be an overstatement calling Wind River a hidden gem of the mystery genre. Released in 2017, It is one of the best mystery movies to come out in the recent years and deserves more credit than it was given. It is one of the best Alternative to Movies Like prisoners.
However, it would be unfair to categorize Wind River as just a mystery. It is a unique mixture of western, neo-noir, and murder mystery perfectly executed by the director Tyler Sheridan who is also the scriptwriter.
The setting of the story is based around the Wind River Indian Reservation of Wyoming and a murder that takes place there. Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen star in the lead roles of Cory Lambert and Jane Banner. Marvel fans might be very familiar with this pairing that has been a mainstay in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Cory is a Fish and Wildlife Service agent who discovers the frozen body of Natalie Hansen, a Native American teenager played by Kelsey Chow. The incident awakens the suppressed memories of the passing of Cory’s own daughter.
Olsen enters the scene as an FBI agent Jane Banner. Autopsies confirm the suspicions of sexual assault as Jane and Cory set out to find the culprit. Both put their lives on the line as the situation keeps getting grimmer.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Yet another David Fincher movie and honestly who can complain? Fincher is undisputedly responsible for the best of the best movies to come out in the thriller or mystery genre. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is one the darkest presentations of Fincher and is surely not for the faint-hearted.
This movie is based on a novel of the same name released by the Swedish writer Stieg Larsson in 2005. The movie follows the same plotline from the novel that revolves around the disappearance of a girl. Mikael Blomkvist is the main character who is a journalist bent on exposing the elites which gets him into legal and financial trouble following a lawsuit loss.
Daniel Craig was selected to play the role while Rooney Mara stars as the female lead Lisbeth Salander. Lisbeth is a hacker hired for a background check on Blomkvist by a wealthy businessman Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer). Vanger wants to hire Blomkvist to investigate a 40-year-old murder of his niece and offers evidence that can overturn the lawsuit in return.
Agreeing to the offer, Blomkvist sets out on the quest with Lisbeth on his side. What follows is a dark and sadistic chain of events and reveals that will leave you shocked.
Secret In Their Eyes
Not to be confused by the 2015 remake of the same name. The Secret In Their Eyes is an Argentinian thriller that was released worldwide in 2009. Directed by Eduardo Sacheri, the movie follows the story of a judiciary employee and his boss’ experience investigating a rape-murder case. The movie follows a nonlinear format and keeps switching between the investigation and the characters reminiscing it 25 years later.
Ricardo Darin and Soledad Villamil star in the leading roles. The movie takes you through a long and suspenseful journey of what the duo goes through during and after the horrifying investigation. Yeah, you have heard it right! it is also one of the best movies like Prisoners.
The Secret In Their Eyes was a huge success both critically and commercially. In fact, the movie went on to win the Academy Award for the Best Foreign Language Film in 2010. This was the second Argentinian movie ever to win an Academy Award.
Movies Like Prisoners is certainly a cult classic when it comes to the thriller genre. Despite being released nearly a decade ago, this movie is still as relevant and popular as ever. From the direction to the performances by all of the actors, everything about Prisoners is perfect. Especially Gyllenhaal’s performance throughout the movie is still talked very highly of.
The music and the production shouldn’t be discredited either and all of these elements made Prisoners the movie we know it as today. While like all cinema, it is a unique experience but these are 10 more movies Like that the fans of both Prisoners and the genre will surely love.