10 Great Movies Like Prisoners: If You Loved Villeneuve’s Thriller

Directed by Denis Villeneuve, “Prisoners” is a crime mystery film that centers around the kidnapping of two little girls.  Prisoners is the kind of movie that keeps you glued to your seat the entire time. The film is a masterpiece thriller that took the world by storm back in 2013.

If you haven’t watched the film yet, you have a gem in your movie closet and you still don’t know.  And for those who have enjoyed the thriller and are looking for other similar movies, here are 10 great movies like Prisoners.

10. Incendies | 2010 | 8.3/10 IMDB

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A family tragedy is at the heart of Denis Villeneuve’s first film in English, which follows a young woman played by Lubna Azabal on a quest to learn more about the mother she never knew.

As the mystery around her mother’s death unfolds, she uncovers a family legacy of secrets and heartbreak, with the help of her brother. In this powerful drama based on Wajdi Mouawad’s play, Villeneuve once again proves his ability to craft ambitious and layered narratives that explore the complexities of human relationships.

9. Jar City | 2006 | 6.9/10 IMDB

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Directed by Baltasar Kormákur, “Jar City” is an Icelandic crime mystery that centers around the disappearance of a body from an archeological excavation site. The film is quite lengthy, but it is very well-written and directed. Not to mention, the acting is great. The film is a must-see for those who are interested in crime mysteries like Prisoners.

8. Memories of Murder | 2003 | 8.1/10 IMDB

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One of the most acclaimed murder mystery dramas of all time, Bong Joon-ho’s film was entirely shot on location in and around a remote small town in South Korea in order to give the whole feel of a true-crime documentary and is based on real-life murder cases perpetrated by a serial killer in 1986.

The twists and turns of the investigation uncover deeply disturbing truths about the nature of crime in general and the often twisted relationship between murderer and detective. It is, in short, one of the best movies ever made.

7. Wind River | 2017 | 7.7 IMDB

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A detective (Jeremy Renner) investigates the murder of a Native American girl on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming. The film was directed by Taylor Sheridan (Sicario), who also wrote the screenplay and also stars Elizabeth Olsen.

This is Sheridan’s second film as director and the first to be widely released. He also wrote the screenplays for Sicario and Hell or High Water, which were directed by Denis Villeneuve and David Mackenzie, respectively. All three films star Benicio del Toro, who also appeared in Sicario and is expected to return for the sequel, Soldado.

Wind River is a compelling and gritty drama, with the remote setting and stark beauty of Wyoming proving a perfect backdrop. This was a late release in 2017, which might make it a bit harder to track down, but it’s well worth seeking out.

6. Zodiac | 2007 | 7.7 IMDB

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David Fincher’s epic mystery, about the hunt for a serial killer who terrorized San Francisco in the 1970s, is a true masterpiece and one of the best films of the decade.

Based on the true story of a series of killings in San Francisco in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Zodiac is a classic detective thriller that follows the police investigation over the course of the next two decades as they hunt the unknown killer.

Zodiac is a tough, dark, and very, very good movie that explores the nature of obsession and the price of obsession in the search for justice. The film is a masterpiece and a must-see in its own right, but it’s also an essential watch for Prisoners fans. Not only does Jake Gyllenhaal feature in this film but Prisoners star Hugh Jackman makes a crucial appearance too.

5. Mystic River | 2003 | 7.9 IMDB

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This crime drama is about three childhood friends who grow up in South Boston and are taken for granted as they reach adulthood.

When their lives intersect again as adults, they are forced to deal with the consequences of decisions they made long ago.

Film noir is a genre that is not only about the story and the characters but also the atmosphere and mood that surrounds them. This is an example of a film noir made in the new millennium and it is a great one.

4. Nightcrawler | 2014 | 7.8/10 IMDB

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Released in 2014, Nightcrawler is the directorial debut of Dan Gilroy, who also wrote the script. Jake Gyllenhaal plays the lead role in this film that is based on the underground world of freelance crime journalism in Los Angeles.

The story is about a driven young man who stumbles upon the underground world of L.A. freelance crime journalism. Finding a group of freelance camera crews that film crashes, fires, murder, and other mayhem, he sees a business opportunity. He starts to shoot videos of events himself and sells the footage to local news stations.

The young journalist is seemingly investigating a series of brutal murders that have been attributed to an urban legend known as “The Night Crawler.” When the police find he is missing, his friends set out to find him and soon discover that there is something more to the story.

3. The Clovehitch Killer | 2018 | 6.6/10 IMDB

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The Clovehitch River is a slow-burn crime drama that’s never less than engaging and entertaining. It’s also the kind of film that doesn’t immediately make you crave more when it’s over. So in that regard, it’s an above-average crime drama.

A man who’s never been able to forget about a childhood tragedy – even after all these years – gets a chance to make things right, when he comes across the boy he once wronged.

2. Seven | 1995 | 8.6/10 IMDB

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Seven is a gritty and gripping police procedural with a powerful performance from Morgan Freeman as a detective investigating a serial killer.

The film’s most noteworthy aspect is its realistic portrayal of a homicide investigation. The movie has some of the longest murder scenes in film history, with some going on for as long as 10 minutes.

Seven was a breakout success for director David Fincher, whose background was in music videos.

1. Psycho | 1960 | 8.5/10 IMDB

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This is the film that made Anthony Perkins a star, and it’s an incredible film.  In Alfred Hitchcock’s chilling and iconic thriller, Janet Leigh stars as Marion Crane, a secretary who steals $40,000 from her employer and heads to California to start a new life.

Psycho is a masterpiece in suspense and tension, and also features some of the most iconic images in film history.

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