Captive State

Critics Consensus

This sci-fi thriller may not necessarily leave viewers in a Captive State, but it offers reasonably diverting alien invasion action with ambitious political undertones.

46%

TOMATOMETER

Reviews Counted: 54

42%
liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 247

TOMATOMETER

N/A
All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0

AUDIENCE SCORE

42%
Average Rating: 2.8/5

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Movie Info

Set in a Chicago neighborhood nearly a decade after an occupation by an extra-terrestrial force, "Captive State" explores the lives on both sides of the conflict - the collaborators and dissidents.

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Critic Reviews for Captive State

All Critics (54) | Top Critics (12)

  • Overall it's a mess, compounded by murky CGI and some unrealistic performances.

    Mar 16, 2019 | Full Review…
  • An unsatisfying potluck of quasi-relevant, frustration-inducing ideas.

    Mar 15, 2019 | Full Review…

    Carlos Aguilar

    TheWrap
    Top Critic
  • Goodman, Dunn and Farmiga play even the more ridiculous elements straight, as if they're in a cop movie. The younger actors are all terrific as well.

    Mar 15, 2019 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Unfortunately, character development is perfunctory and unsatisfactory. We're watching a bunch of pawns on a filmmaker's chessboard.

    Mar 15, 2019 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • The central plot development...is galvanizing in theory but mostly just confusing in practice.

    Mar 15, 2019 | Rating: C- | Full Review…
  • It's really rather impressive, the extent to which Captive State sucks everything even potentially fun out of the alien-invasion genre.

    Mar 15, 2019 | Rating: C | Full Review…

    A.A. Dowd

    AV Club
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Captive State

½

The fraught world of Captive State is interesting, a political landscape ten years into an alien occupation. We follow a small band of human resistance fighters working to get past a security stopgap to strike back at the alien overlords who resemble human-sized pine trees. John Goodman plays a police security chief trying to unravel the insurgent conspiracy while working with the collaborative government. It has a slight cat-and-mouse feel of a good conspiracy thriller and there are asides that broaden the world, giving an interesting peak at the realities of this strange new world. The problem is that it feels like a whole mini-series stripped into a two-hour movie. The characters feel less like people and more like impressions of people, and the story is plowing through so many incidents that there isn't much time to flesh them out except for the occasional trope. As a result, the movie feels like it has a lot of things happening but my interest level flagged because I felt little for the characters. The limitations of the budget are felt here and there as far as the sense of scale. Director/co-writer Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) takes a docu-drama approach and favors nighttime chases and sneaking, which also conceals special effects restrictions. The visual grittiness adds a visceral level of realism but can lend itself to additional logic questions. I kept waiting for the world to feel more lived-in and offer important slivers to add layers of context to this conspiracy. Captive State is frustrating with how much it leaves unspoken and unclear. It's ten years in to this occupation and what exactly have the aliens offered the world? What has changed? Why are these freedom fighters fighting back? What are the goals of the aliens? I can handle ambiguity and nuance but with too much the world building can feel unsatisfying and incomplete. It comes together well but by the climactic end I felt the universe it established was more intriguing with potential than the story it delivered. Nate's Grade: C+

Nate Zoebl
Nate Zoebl

Super Reviewer

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