Published On: Fri, Sep 18th, 2015

‘Captive’ Review: David Oyelowo shines in God lacking faith-based film

During the surge of successful faith-based films, Captive recaps the true story of Brian Nichols and Ashley Smith, highlighting the impact of Rick Warren’s popular book: A Purpose Driven Life. Unlike the in-your-face approach of God’s Not Dead or War Room, the subtle nature of spirituality in Captive may keep the Bible believing Christians scratching their heads.

Nichols, played by Selma’s David Oyelowo, escaped from police inside of the Fulton County Courthouse in 2005 and going on a murder spree, killing three people and hid inside of Smith’s apartment, dodging the intense manhunt. Smith alleges that reading A Purpose Driven Life and being kind to Nichols enabled her to be freed.

Captive chronicles these events, influenced greatly by Smith’s book, Unlikely Angel: The Untold Story of the Atlanta Hostage Hero, but offers no real examination of the Christian faith. In fact, Kata Mara’s Smith reads a few random passages from Warren’s book which strike a nerve to Nichols and ultimately leads to his “changed heart.”

Captive_(2015_film)_posterThe events appear to align with the actual moments of horrible tragedy, but other than Oyelowo, none of the actors deliver anything memorable on screen – even Mara. While she’s not as bland as her Sue Richards role in Fantastic Four, the House of Cards actress looks like a second actress and the word “overrated” may become her new stigma.

Paramount has failed miserably with the “faith based” send up, hiring Jerry Jameson to helm the picture. Jameson comes from a strong TV background (Walker, Texas Ranger and Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman) and sadly, delivers a TV movie drama instead of a Hollywood quality film.

The supporting cast of Michael K Williams, Mimi Rogers, Leonor Varela and Jessica Oyelowo are adequate, but basically just bland set pieces in the biopic. Captive is all David Oyelowo, pure and simple. Another strong film performance for his resume, one I’d liken to Benedict Cumberbatch’s Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate.

In fact, Oyelowo is so good, Nichols becomes likable and reshapes the monster as a “nice guy.”

Christians are going to be so disappointed. The few moments of faith are basically just an infomercial for the Warren book and the true story of redemption came for Smith AFTER the ordeal – not captured in Captive.

Overall Captive receives 2 stars out of 5 stars.

Normally I discuss how to “add a star” if you like certain topics or themes, but Captive didn’t give me much to work with. If you are expecting this powerful “coming to Christ” tale – you will be disappointed. If you are expecting Kate Mara to deliver an Oscar worthy performance, you will be HIGHLY disappointed. If you just think that you’ll walk out of the theater “uplifted” – you will be disappointed.



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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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