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USA 2015 - with Kate Mara, David Oyelowo, Mimi Rogers, Michael K. Williams ...

The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:

Movie info

Original title:Captive
Genre:Thriller, Drama
Direction:Jerry Jameson
Cinema release:17.09.2015
Production country:USA 2015
Running time:Ca. 97 Min
Rated:From 12 years
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Atlanta, March 11, 2005: Actually, Brian Nichols (David Oyelowo) should be tried on that day for rape. But after overpowering a guard and shooting the judge and two other people, he managed to escape from the courthouse. Detective John Chestnut (Michael K. Williams) and his colleague search desperately for the fugitive murderer and are close on his heels when Nichols takes young Ashley Smith (Kate Mara) hostage. The single mother is desperately struggling against her crack-addiction and tries everything to start a new life to get her daughter Paige back. But when Nichols hides with her and holds her by force of arms, it looks like she'll never see Paige again. And for the first time in her life Ashley is willing to do anything to prevent it from happening...

With "Captive" the 80 year old filmmaker Jerry Jameson returns to the cinema. For many years Jameson has worked primarily for television and has participated in series such as "Dallas", "Magnum" or "Walker, Texas Ranger". The many years spent watching television have had a lasting impact on Jameson's style. Because in many moments his thriller drama seems like a TV movie - which doesn't have to mean anything bad in general. And indeed, the story based on Ashley Smith's book about her experiences of Brian Nichols taking hostages offers absolutely solid genre food. Especially the first third has some convincing moments of tension to offer. The escape of Nichols is grippingly staged and also has a very stirring narrative tempo. Ashley's somewhat clichéd fight against her inner demons is also absolutely convincing here, especially because of Kate Mara's convincing play.

When the film turns more and more into a two-person chamber play in the second half, the advertising for a Christian self-help book and the associated message, which is still used quite subtly, becomes clearer and clearer, which already spreads a rather unpleasant aftertaste here. But this is very well absorbed by the actors. Their play prevents the film from degenerating into a religious touchstone of a particularly intrusive kind. But what they can't do is maintain the tension. The dialogues are too debauched and repetitive, and are so empty that they don't really bring the characters closer to the viewer.

Until the finale, the film still offers solid entertainment. David Oyelowo ("Selma") adds some interesting facets to the character of the fugitive murderer, even though the script hardly supports him. As soon as the story is told and the final shot, drowned in Hollywood kitsch, can be seen, you should jump up and leave the cinema immediately. Because what can be seen in the credits destroys many of the positive impressions that the film could leave behind despite its weaknesses. In some parts of the USA the message, which is communicated here with the wooden hammer and which the film fortunately avoided until then in this clarity, may go down very well. In this country the whole thing - to put it nicely - seems rather strange to most people.

"Captive" is really not a bad movie. However, the true story would have been much more suspenseful towards the end and the good actors would undoubtedly have deserved a better script. In the end all this is only enough for one: with some concessions worth seeing!

An article by Frankfurt-Tipp


Cinema trailer for the movie "Captive (USA 2015)"
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