Film Review: Captive State

09:23 March 15, 2019
By: Fritz Esker

In the effective new thriller Captive State, Aliens have invaded Earth and are now ruling over it as an occupying force.

Ashton Sanders plays a young man who watched the aliens murder his parents during the initial invasion. Many years later, he bristles under the occupation and wants to follow in the footsteps of his activist hero brother. His late father’s best friend (John Goodman) is a cop working for the aliens who tries to dissuade Sanders from getting into trouble. But since this is a movie, Sanders, of course, becomes entangled in a covert plot to strike back at the aliens.

Blackbelt moviegoers will see a lot of similarities between Captive State and the classic French film Army of Shadows (about the French underground in WWII—if you haven’t seen it, definitely check it out). Both of those films are about small groups of dedicated people fighting against seemingly insurmountable odds, even though they know their actions will likely lead to their deaths.

It is also worth noting that in an era of big-budget blockbusters, Captive State keeps the proceedings relatively low-key. It’s tense and suspenseful, but it doesn’t rely on a lot of explosions or special effects to create that tension. Director Rupert Wyatt was also responsible for Rise of the Planet of the Apes, another pleasant surprise. He’s a director worth keeping an eye on.  

*** stars (out of four)

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