Critic Reviews



Based on 19 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Although the TV ads and other promotional material appear to promise a megaplex-ready thrill ride about space invaders and rebellious Earthlings, this rigorously intelligent, cunningly inventive, and impressively suspenseful drama plays more like a classic tale about a disparate group of resistance fighters united in a guerrilla campaign against an occupying force.
An atmospheric, affecting science fiction flick with big ideas, slick execution and a message that will stick with you.
Chicago Sun-Times
Though Captive State has plenty of action, it’s not a blood-and-guts sci-fi thriller. It aims for a more cerebral, social-commentary approach.
Captive State is imperfectly constructed, at times frustratingly so, but it’s trying, doggedly, to do something different and given the bland efficiency of so many wide-releasing sci-fi movies, that’s hard to fault.
It’s not unreasonable to expect something like excitement out of a story about freedom fighters plotting to take back the planet. Captive State does not clear that fairly low bar.
The groundwork is laid for a rich playground of political intrigue and sci-fi thrills, but Captive State is continually hobbled by acting more like a mouthpiece for the state we are in rather than a memorable genre outing with characters we can root for.
While director Rupert Wyatt's film has a handful of things going for it -- alien invaders, bursts of action, sociopolitical subtext, a stern-faced John Goodman -- it is missing one key element: a soul.
Captive State might have achieved some sort of screen satisfaction had the straight-forward-with-obvious-twist script not been hacked into tiny image bites, rendering huge passages of it a confused visual mush.
Appearances from aliens are sparse in co-writer/director Rupert Wyatt's movie. Thrills of almost any kind, on the other hand, are completely absent.
Visually murky, choppily edited and lacking both narrative clarity and well-defined characterizations, Captive State is a deeply frustrating viewing experience. It seems to be straining mightily for a future cult status which it doesn't deserve.

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