Monday, April 4, 2016

Captive - a movie review

Recently, I had the opportunity to review the movie Captive. I was given a complimentary copy by FishFlix Christian movies in exchange for an honest review of their film. I was excited to review this movie because it was based on the true story of Ashley Smith, a struggling drug addict, and a recently captured criminal, Brian Nichols. While living in Atlanta, I remember watching the exciting news reports when this incident actually happened in 2005. I was curious to see whether the movie followed the true story closely or if it veered off for movie theatrics. After watching it, I was happy to find that for the most part, the movie did a good job of keeping facts accurate and true.

The main characters of the movie are complete strangers but through dramatic events, their paths cross. Mr. Nichols is about to face the judge to be tried for recent crimes when he makes a choice that will take him on a difficult path for his life. In a rash decision, Brian Nichols assaults his jailer, steals her gun and uses it to kill the judge presiding over his case. Immediately thereafter, he manages to escape and in an attempt to get away, manages to steal several cars, assault and kill other victims. As he uses one of his victims cars to flee, he accosts Ashley Smith outside of her apartment unit. He holds her hostage and while inside her apartment, we begin to watch their characters unfold. The movie portrays Ashley as a single mother of a young daughter. Ashley is doing her best to overcome drug addiction while a family member has custody of her child. Brian is portrayed as angry and determined. An unlikely friendship develops between them as Ashley does her best to keep Brian calm and to find common ground between them. Ashley decides, if she is going to survive the ordeal, she needs to discover Brian's Achilles tendon and she finds that quickly as she asks if he has any children. Brian reveals that he has a newborn son and doesn't even know his name. Ashley capitalizes on his emotions by asking questions about his child and as she talks about her own. The movie has periods of ups and downs between Ashley and Brian. While she does her best to befriend him to protect herself, she is very aware that he is her captor. Brian has many mood swings and Ashley is careful not to upset him. She does everything she can to make him comfortable in her home, including cooking him breakfast.

During the time of her captivity, Ashley reads aloud from the book, The Purpose Driven Life, by Pastor Rick Warren. Although the movie indicates the book is about God, very little is quoted from the book and I was disappointed in that. I felt the movie could have used more material from the book to emphasize the faith aspect of Ashley's recovery. 

The movie contains some violence and brief above the waist male nudity. The violence includes aggressive behavior, blood, and shooting. Guns and ammunition are displayed in the movie. Parents also need to be aware the movie shows Ashley and Brian actually using the methamphetamine, Ice, and the paraphernalia necessary to use it. 

The movie was a little slow at times but overall, used real life events to show how God, even in the midst of trial, worked on the hearts of those involved to bring about good. It was interesting to see how the movie producers were able to set up realistic scenes and reenact the crimes committed. The movie was well done. The actors and actresses played their parts to the best of their ability and did a great job portraying the real life characters. 

I would recommend this movie for adults and mature teens. I would not recommend it for children because of the violence and drug use. I think this movie is well rated at PG-13.  The movie was entertaining and well thought out. I would have liked to have seen more Scripture used and more faith based conversation between the characters. 

If you choose to watch this movie, remember it is based on actual life events and therefore, there are not the usual dramatic sequences most secular movies of this type present. Secular movies of this type would have over dramatized the material used when Ashley was taken hostage and would probably have included some sexual content. This movie does not do that nor does it allude to any sexual encounters. 

Once again, I would like to thank FishFlix for allowing me the opportunity to review this movie in exchange for my personal review. I enjoyed the movie and would recommend it to my readers. 

© bonnie annis all rights reserved

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