Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal star in Oscar-nominated director Denis Villeneuve's Prisoners, a film that might just be one of the best thrillers, if not one of the all-round best films, of the year. The film hits cinemas up and down the US this weekend (arriving in UK cinemas on 4 October) and whilst it may be lacking in the audience pull power of the latest superhero epic, it has all the substance a gritty thriller needs and promises to be one of the year's most thought-provoking watches.

Hugh Jackman Jake Gyllenhaal
Jackman (L) and Gyllenhaal (R) are being praised for their performances

Jackman stars as Keller Dover, who is put into a position no parent ever want to be in when his six-year-old daughter and her friend go missing at Thanksgiving. When Detective Loki (Gyllenhaal) is called in to handle the case, he promises to bring back Keller's daughter, and when the creepy, RV-dwelling outsider Alex Jones (Paul Dano) is found near the scene, he immediately becomes the prime suspect. But with police unable to pin him for the crime he may have committed, he is released following a 48-hour hold, enraging Keller, who decided to take matters into his own hand. It is up to Loki to get to the bottom of the case before it's too late for the missing girls, and before Keller does something he might regret.

See the trailer for Prisoners

The film is being hailed for asking how far a parent can go when faced with the ultimate parenting disaster, and it is being hailed as one of the finest, most grippingly tense whodunits since Seven. Screenwriter Aaron Guzikowski has clearly been influenced by real life tragedies and how they affect people and after four years of travelling around studios and different directors, his script has arguably found it's rightful home and the correct team to turn it into an unmissable film. Villeneuve's arthouse style has blended in perfectly with his big budget settings and stars and he manages to take the viewer into some difficult places throughout the film, places he explores with originality and pathos.

Described as "one of the most intense thrillers in recent years," and "an intricate, horrifying mystery [made] with breathtaking skill" by critics, Prisoners might not be expecting to wow at the box office, but when awards season comes around don't be surprised if Villeneuve and co. decide to crash the party.

Paul DanoTerrence Howard
Paul Dano (L) and Terrence Howard (R) also star in the film