Captive: Review 


On March 11th, 2005, Brian Nichols was sentenced to twenty-five years imprisonment for the rape of a former girlfriend. Taken away in cuffs, Nichols managed to escape, killing three people in the process and sparking a nationwide manhunt.

Whilst on the run, he managed to take hostage Ashley Smith, a single mother in the middle of recovering from a drug addiction, for seven hours. 

Essentially, it’s an interesting and shocking news story that’s been stretched out for ninety minutes and given the big screen treatment, in Captive – a film that feels more like rubbish television, than it does brilliant cinema. 

David Oyelowo, who played Martin Luther King Jr. so ferociously in this year’s Selma, looks suitably angry and miserable in this. In between fits of rage and tears of regret, you can quite clearly see the words pay and cheque written all over his expression.

Kate Mara, who plays his hostage, once again fails to show any spark of talent too, proving in this, that she really is ‘the invisible woman’. The two leads are considerably better than their supporting actors though, who look like they’ve just walked off of the set of one of CSI shows.

It’s not necessarily either of the performers faults though, as there is little to play with in terms of story. Themes of faith and redemption are there in large portions, to the point where large chunks of dialogue about God are rammed down your throat.

Some creative flare wouldn’t have gone amiss from the director and writing team, or, at the very least, some kind of tension in the sequences between Nichols and Smith. Instead, the film seems content with simply going through the motions.

Everybody in front of and behind the camera seems bored, and whilst the film’s poster promises an ‘inspiring true story’, I found it so dull that it was hard to find any inspiration whatsoever. Put simply, Captive is less than captivating. 

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