The Captive

5.91 h 52 min2014X-RayHDRUHDR
After Matthew's daughter vanishes mysteriously, his life falls apart. Years later when image of his daughter appear online, Matthew risks everything to ensure his daughter's safe return. Starring Ryan Reynolds
Atom Egoyan
Ryan ReynoldsScott SpeedmanRosario Dawson
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Mireille Enos
Atom EgoyanStephen TraynorSimone UrdlJennifer Weiss
A24 Distribution LLC
R (Restricted)
Content advisory
Alcohol usefoul languagesexual contentviolence
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3.9 out of 5 stars

18732 global ratings

  1. 44% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 23% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 17% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 8% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 8% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Grady HarpReviewed in the United States on June 9, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
‘That’s what happened when you left her alone. Those monsters came and took her’
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Writer/director Atom Egoyan (Exotica, Ararat, The Sweet Hereafter, Chloe, Devil’s Knot) continues to puzzle viewers with his innate sense of ‘strange.’ Blending reality with its extremes of human response with bizarre alternatives that plead explanation, his films are visually stunning and psychologically mesmerizing.

THE CAPTIVE falls victim to that perplexing problem of altering time frames without letting the viewer know the circumstances: an incident occurs and the relating of that incident is eroded by passing in and out of an eight year hiatus and polar realities that are confusing, but in the end, add to the suspense the story generates.

The action takes place in Niagara – the US/Canadian border New York/Ontario – and one moment we are observing two youngsters, Cassandra (Peyton Kennedy) and Albert (Mark Gorodnitsky) ice skating, then the focus moves to the inside of pickup adorned with childhood trinkets and Matthew Lane (Ryan Reynolds) and daughter Cassandra stop for a pie at the request of the wife/mother Tina’s (Mireille Enos) phone call. Matthew leaves Cassandra in the truck and goes into the diner for the pie, and upon returning to the truck Cassandra is gone. The story begins, and told mostly after an eight year hiatus the machinations of investigation into Cassandra’s disappearance collide with Tina blaming Matthew for the loss of their daughter, authorities Nicole (Rosario Dawson) and Jeffrey (Scott Speedman), and gradually we learn that Cassandra (now Alexia Fast) has been trafficked to a ring and is under the control of Mika (Kevin Durand) who uses Cass to seduce other children via internet videos to being captured in the manner that she was abducted. The ring appears to be a variation of pedophilia: the atmosphere (including the drugged kidnapping of Nicole at a charity event) and the manifestations of the extent of the pedophiles actions make the story even more intense.

Online activity comes under scrutiny and offers a subtle statement about abuse – much like what is happening today. The cast is fine, the visuals are excellent, but the story teeters a bit due to the confusion of time/place. In the end, after the film is over, that ‘flaw’ seems additive to the horror of the message of the story. It would be helpful to see the film again – informed. Grady Harp, June 20
8 people found this helpful
Susan Wheeler McNeillReviewed in the United States on January 23, 2021
1.0 out of 5 stars
Half a movie, again
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This could have been a really good movie.
Unfortunately, movies no longer seem to require an ending.
The story is told in a zigzag fashion, moving around in the timeline with certain bits thrown in long after they have occurred, answering questions the audience has been wondering about. The story is good. Even the telling was almost well done.
But at the end only two of the villains of the child pornography ring are caught, or if so, it has been left out. Only one child victim is recovered, or at least she is the only one shown. The authorities are aware that this is a large ring of criminals with many victims spanning what appears to be decades. Over an 8 year investigation no progress is made on the kidnapping of a 9 year old girl by police.
Approximately 3 hours after the abduction one of the main detectives zeroes in on the father with no evidence to support his suspicions. He accuses the father of loaning his daughter out for sexual purposes because money is tight. In the end the father is the only one to find a way to locate his daughter. Using this information, the agent, who even after 8 years still believes the father should be the main suspect in his daughter's disappearance - even though he has evidence she is being used to lure young girls for the pedophile ring, locates the girl. His partner, who now has also been abducted , is then located by police searching randomly for the van they know she is being held in because the abductors have been watching her over an encrypted live streaming video online. Had his partner not been abducted he would not have followed the tip from the father to locate his missing daughter. The movie ends with no indication they have any clue how to locate any of the other children abducted by the ring of pedophiles who use them sexually online for clients to view in various ways. Once the children become too old to be used sexually they are used to lure other children. Which is what the abducted girl was being used for as she was too old to be valuable to them sexually any longer.
The movie simply ends there. None of the other criminals who were part of the online child pornography ring were caught, no other children were recovered, no interaction between the agent who immediately targeted the father and the father himself to apologize for his accusations or for any reason, no anything. Not even a clue that would have made it reasonable to conclude the children would be recovered and the criminals caught,.
It simply ends.
Have directors forgotten how to finish a story? I am once again disgusted at the waste of my time. Maybe the remaining criminals and their actions were unimportant? Maybe the remaining children being sexually abused online for profit weren't considered an important part of the story. What a waste. Had the story had an ending of any sort it would have been a great movie.
4 people found this helpful
Michael D.Reviewed in the United States on April 30, 2021
2.0 out of 5 stars
Spans eight years of always winter
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It's not an awful movie but it's hard to watch. It jumps all over the timeline without letting the viewer know and it's not much fun trying to figure it out. Even worse, it covers eight years, it's always winter, Reynolds work truck and all the adult actors never get older. Those were some really odd choices.
4 people found this helpful
Renee StevensReviewed in the United States on February 14, 2022
2.0 out of 5 stars
Angering and Confusing
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I love Ryan Reynolds and that's the only reason I subjected myself to this #$&@ show. It angered me right off the bat by not only the police, but the wife, blaming the husband for the daughter's disappearance. He is obviously broken by the events that had just taken place culminating in the loss of his daughter, and they add insult to injury by accusing him? (With a laughable motive I might add.) And the wife could easily have blamed herself because she was the one who asked him to stop by the pie shop in the first place.

The male cop had it in for him from the beginning because he "reminded him of someone he used to know"?? This is never explained. It causes us all a great deal of pain and confusion then it's never clarified? Come on.

So obviously one of my pet peeves
with movies is when someone is accused of something they didn't do. The other is when scenes jump the time/space continuum for no apparent reason. This movie does that constantly. One minute you're 8 years later, the next you're just after she was abducted...then jump ahead...then jump back...then you have utterly no idea where the hell you are except lost in the intonations of the movie maker's mind. It was exhausting and it didn't have to be. The story would have held up beautifully without all the confusing time jumps.

Ryan reynolds did his usual stunning work. Everyone else just pissed me off.
Joe BannisterReviewed in the United States on May 12, 2016
1.0 out of 5 stars
It's no 'Room' or 'Prisoners'
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Very underwhelmed by this film. Though it has a great cast, they battle with a script that is flat, flat cinematography, flat characters and dialogue, and over-complicated plot devices sprinkled with scenes and characters that are flat out unnecessary.

Ryan Reynolds is supposedly our main character, yet there are heaps of time we spend with our supporting roles that do nothing to further the plot. Rosario Dawson, who is usually amazing, is given a role that is built up to be important, only to deliver nothing in the end.

(Spoiler) it would have made more sense to have her character escape the van and end up helping save Cassie and Ryan Reynolds, rather than have her be magically discovered by the same police department who can't do anything right except be able to visualize puzzles that aren't put together (again, a scene that was contrived and had absolutely no point since that character did nothing later in the film).

The writer should have learned more about detectives and police protocols, and tried less to force down everyone's throats the idea that everyone believes Ryan Reynolds is the kidnapper, even though the motive forced on us is weak, and is stupid to think 8 years later he would still have her captive. But again, the detectives are so stupid in this film that that is the only suspect and motive they can ever think about.

But, if you like a good eye roller that continually makes you say out loud, "what is going on? When is it now? What the f---?"--this is your film. You'll be left wondering why the edit jumps around in time, especially since there is no solid indicator of what period you're in. It's a game! Present day? 13 years ago? 8 years ago? 6 years ago? Does it matter? Nope.

If you want to see a good abduction thriller, don't watch this film, and go watch Room or Prisoners. Save yourself from the headache this film is.
21 people found this helpful
Joshua J.Reviewed in the United States on July 1, 2016
1.0 out of 5 stars
Possibly one of the worst films of all time!!!!!
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This movie is brutal!!! The plot could have produced a good movie but the director screwed that all up. It starts out with Ryan Reynolds' daughter getting kidnapped and the first thing the cops do is ask him if he sold her because his landscaping business is failing. Yeah because that would be my first thought. I'm sure that happens all the time. The acting was good but that is the nicest thing I can say about this. It has flashbacks that you don't know are flashback until half way through them and they don't help the plot move along. They never really tell you anything about the abduction or the ring of criminals that are responsible for it. The movie has so many holes and useless scenes it will make your head spin. My wife has made me watch terrible movies on LMN that look like Classic Academy Award Winners compared to this pile of crap. At least the actors got paid for this but I guarantee you they wish it wasn't on their resumes. Don't bother watching it and as a matter of fact I think every copy of this film should be burned so it can never waist anybodys time again!!!!!
18 people found this helpful
stryderReviewed in the United States on June 6, 2015
2.0 out of 5 stars
BADLY in need of a reality check. Could have been SO much better!
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Why do directors and others involved with a movie that has great potential, like this one, not wake up to reality? For example: 1) A Dodge Ram truck that looks exactly like it did 8 years before and is intimidated by a wimpy Land Rover? Huh? 2) A dozen trees in the back of your truck can lead someone down the road? Huh? In reality it would take hundreds to accomplish the feat as shown in the movie. Even if the rendezvous place was right next door there weren't enough trees to leave a trail. 3) Totally unbelievable cops that question the father a few hours after the kidnapping. Huh? You don't start making accusations against the victim until you've got plenty to suspect and certainly NOT when they first show up to report their daughter is missing. At least Ryan Reynolds got to punch the stupid cop out in his driveway.

Then there's the wife who is miscast and you dislike for dumping her husband or at least abandoning him. Cops that have to end up romantically entwined when it's not necessary and the unexplained time travel jumps in the story that are too cool for their own good. SMH at the director of this movie.
15 people found this helpful
KJHReviewed in the United States on November 16, 2015
1.0 out of 5 stars
Don't Even Start!!
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So last week I went searching for snowshoes I went all over and never found any. I went to try and find a dress for this thing with a dinner I was going to go to. I worked and oh yeah my dog totally ate my homework. There was this one time I was hanging out with my friends, oh that's it.

Confused yet!? Yeah me too after watching this movie!!! Which is about all the movie does. It has a never ending supply of flashbacks, You turn around and yup you guessed it another unnecessary flashback scene. I could never figure out what in the heck was going on. Then it gets you all the way to the end and you think you are finally going to have closure and figure out what the heck is going on.... WRONG! That's it movie over. This movie felt like chickens running around with there heads cut off.

The story line was all over the place. You never did figure out how any scene really linked to another. what was the point of the kidnapping, why did they want all her memories? Why were they videotaping the mother? It was a mess and a complete disaster!!
Acting was good considering what they had to work with. I so badly wanted to like this movie because I love the actor Ryan Reynolds but this movie was such a mess it was hard to like anything about it. Just do yourself a favor and don't get caught up in it. Don't Watch it I promise you won't have missed out on anything spectacular... in fact you won't have missed out on anything at all. Just find another movie and move along!

I would not recommend this movie to anyone. I can't believe I wasted an hour of my time even watching it. Do yourself a favor and just don't even start!
7 people found this helpful
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