The Captive

WRITTEN BY: Atom Egoyan
DIRECTED BY: Atom Egoyan
STARRING: Ryan Reynolds, Rosario Dawson, Scott Speedman, Mireille Enos, Kevin Durand
RATING: 3.5 stars

The Captive reminded me a little bit of Prisoners with its theme of kidnapping - it just was not as good. However, it does have an interesting take on the abduction story and is quite fascinating in its study of humanity including how we deal with grief, child pornography rings and the way we portray our lives online. Writer/director Atom Egoyan does a great job of creatively jumping back and forth in the timeline to add intrigue. Just make sure you pay attention, or you will get confused.

On the way home from skating practice, Matthew (Ryan Reynolds) and his daughter Cass (Peyton Kennedy) stop briefly at a roadside diner. Matthew leaves Cass lying down in the backseat and goes inside for a few minutes, but when he returns, she is gone. Eight years later, Matthew and his wife Tina (Mireille Enos) are still struggling to move on. Detectives Nicole Dunlop (Rosario Dawson) and Jeff Cornwall (Scott Speedman) are not giving up on the case either after strange clues start to appear that suggest Cass, now aged 17 (Alexia Fast), is still alive.

Reynolds and Enos are both very good, playing parents dealing with their loss very differently. Enos is particularly emotional, while Reynolds is given a rare opportunity to show off his acting ability displaying frustration and heartache. But it is Dawson who steals every scene she is in, encouraging empathy while also being a gutsy detective. Speedman has some striking moments too as a more hardened detective, and Kevin Durand is super creepy in his unique portrayal of the villainous Mika.

Ultimately, The Captive is worth seeing just because it is an unusual thriller in the way it tells its story and its depiction of the perpetrator's point of view.