Captive State

Captive State

2019, PG-13, 109 min. Directed by Rupert Wyatt. Starring John Goodman, Ashton Sanders, Jonathan Majors, Vera Farmiga, Machine Gun Kelly.

REVIEWED By Matthew Monagle, Fri., March 22, 2019

When a film hits the market ahead of reviews – often because the studio elected not to screen the movie for critics – this is often seen as a vote of no-confidence by the distributor. Most of the time they’re even right, but every so often, a film proves itself to be far better than anyone had suspected. So is the case with Captive State.

It’s been nine years since Earth surrendered itself to the Legislators, an extraterrestrial invading force, and life has gotten back to some semblance of normal. In exchange for access to our underground resources, the Legislators let humanity look after itself; this is the job of William Mulligan (Goodman), a Chicago law enforcement officer who believes a terrorist attack is on the horizon. To prove his theory, Mulligan enlists Gabriel (Sanders), the working-class son of his former partner, in the hope that Gabriel will lead him to the location of his revolutionary older brother Rafe (Majors).

When Captive State makes its inevitable streaming appearance, some will turn the film off during its first 30 minutes. It’s hard to blame them. Wyatt and his co-writer Erica Beeney have crafted a somewhat directionless first act, introducing a half-dozen dour characters and hinting endlessly at what may be happening behind the scenes. Then things snap suddenly into place. Captive State moves into its back-half with a prolonged espionage sequence, sidestepping its leads in favor of a group of secondary characters as they ready themselves for the assault on Soldier Field Stadium.

Here, Captive State is transformed from middling science-fiction into a Seventies espionage thriller, cross-cutting the actions of a small group of terrorists against the screaming masses of the Unity Day celebration. No detail escapes the filmmakers’ eye; we are treated to every element of the assault, from the collection of materials to the sudden pivots required when things go wrong. The result is a prolonged heist scene so sharp  and so meticulously paced  that any complaints about the film’s opening are soon forgotten. As humanity hunts its own, the film begins to peel back its layers, leading to a deeply satisfying – if not somewhat predictable – final few twists and turns.

At its best, Captive State blends imaginative science-fiction with the caliber of detail-oriented espionage you might find in an Alan J. Pakula film. The surprise here is not that the film achieves these heights; it’s that it confidently maintains them for most of the film’s second half. Here’s hoping Captive State finds the audience it deserves one way or the other.

Showtimes

Thu., March 21

11:20am, 2:45, 6:00, 9:05

Fri., March 22

3:55

Sat., March 23

7:50

Sun., March 24

12:40, 11:25

Mon., March 25

4:20, 7:25

Tue., March 26

4:20, 7:25

Wed., March 27

4:20, 7:25

Barton Creek Square (AMC)

2901 South Capital of Texas Hwy, 512/306-1991, www.amctheatres.com

Matinee discounts available before 4pm daily. Bring Your Baby matinees the first Tuesday of every month.

Thu., March 21

CC/DVS 10:10am, 1:00, 4:00, 6:40, 7:40

Fri., March 22

CC/DVS 3:30, 6:20, 9:00

Sat., March 23

CC/DVS 10:30am, 1:20, 10:40

Sun., March 24

CC/DVS 3:30, 6:20, 9:00

Mon., March 25

CC/DVS 12:10, 2:50, 5:30, 8:20

Tue., March 26

CC/DVS 12:10, 2:50, 5:30, 8:20, 11:00

Wed., March 27

CC/DVS 12:10, 2:50, 5:30, 8:20

Cinemark 20 and XD

N. I-35 & FM 1825, 512/989-8535

Cost for 3-D and XD shows is regular ticket price plus a premium.

Thu., March 21

digital 11:20am, 2:10, 5:05

Fri., March 22

digital 10:20am, 1:15, 4:05, 6:50, 9:40

Sat., March 23

digital 10:20am, 1:15, 4:05, 6:50, 9:40

Sun., March 24

digital 10:20am, 1:15, 4:05, 6:50, 9:40

Mon., March 25

digital 1:15, 4:05, 6:50, 9:40

Tue., March 26

digital 1:15, 4:05, 6:50, 9:40

Wed., March 27

digital 1:15, 9:40

Cinemark Cedar Park

1335 E. Whitestone, Cedar Park, 800/326-3264

Call theatre for complete list of movies and showtimes.

Thu., March 21

digital 11:00am, 2:00, 4:45

Fri., March 22

digital 11:00am, 4:45, 10:30

Sat., March 23

digital 11:00am, 4:45, 10:30

Sun., March 24

digital 7:30, 10:30

Mon., March 25

digital 2:00

Tue., March 26

digital 4:45, 10:20

Wed., March 27

digital 10:30

Thu., March 21

digital 10:40am, 1:35, 4:25

Fri., March 22

digital 10:40am, 1:35, 4:20, 7:15, 10:05

Sat., March 23

digital 10:40am, 1:35, 4:20, 7:15, 10:05

Sun., March 24

digital 10:40am, 1:35, 4:20, 7:15, 10:05

Mon., March 25

digital 10:40am, 1:35, 4:20, 7:15, 10:05

Tue., March 26

digital 10:40am, 1:35, 4:20, 7:15, 10:05

Wed., March 27

digital 10:40am, 1:35, 4:20, 7:15, 10:05

Cinemark Round Rock

4401 N. I-35, Round Rock, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium. Call theatre for complete March 26-28 showtimes.

Thu., March 21

digital 11:30am, 2:20, 5:10, 7:50, 10:50

Fri., March 22

digital 11:15am, 2:10, 5:05, 10:40

Sat., March 23

digital 11:15am, 10:40

Sun., March 24

digital 11:15am, 2:10, 5:05, 10:40

Mon., March 25

digital 2:10, 5:05, 10:40

Tue., March 26

digital 2:10, 5:05, 10:40

Wed., March 27

digital 2:10, 5:05, 10:40

Cinemark Southpark Meadows

9900 S. I-35, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Thu., March 21

digital 10:20am, 1:15, 3:50

Fri., March 22

digital 10:40am, 1:15, 3:50, 6:30, 9:10

Sat., March 23

digital 10:40am, 10:35

Sun., March 24

digital 10:40am, 1:15, 3:50, 6:30, 9:10

Mon., March 25

digital 10:40am, 1:15, 3:50, 6:30, 9:10

Tue., March 26

digital 10:40am, 1:15, 3:50, 6:30, 9:10

Wed., March 27

digital 10:40am, 1:15, 3:50, 6:30, 9:10

City Lights Theatre

420 Wolf Ranch Parkway, Georgetown, 512/868-9922

Thu., March 21

12:50, 3:50, 6:50, 9:45

Fri., March 22

9:50am, 12:50, 3:50, 6:45, 9:45

Sat., March 23

9:50am, 12:50, 3:50, 6:45, 9:45

Sun., March 24

9:50am, 12:50, 3:50, 6:45, 9:45

Mon., March 25

9:50am, 12:50, 3:50, 9:45

Tue., March 26

9:50am, 12:50, 3:50, 6:45, 9:45

Wed., March 27

9:50am, 12:50, 3:50, 6:45, 9:45

EVO Entertainment

3200 Kyle Crossing, Kyle, 512/523-9009, www.evo-entertainment.com

Thu., March 21

12:25, 3:00, 5:35, 8:10, 10:45

Fri., March 22

11:20am, 1:55, 4:30, 7:05

Sat., March 23

11:20am, 1:55, 11:00

Mon., March 25

1:25, 4:00, 6:35, 9:10

Tue., March 26

1:25, 4:00, 6:35, 9:10

Wed., March 27

1:25, 4:00, 6:35, 9:10

Gateway Theatre

9700 Stonelake, 512/416-5700

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Thu., March 21

CC/DVS 12:55, 3:50, 7:10, 10:00

Fri., March 22

CC/DVS 12:20

Sat., March 23

CC/DVS 12:20

Sun., March 24

CC/DVS 12:20

Mon., March 25

CC/DVS 12:55, 3:50, 7:10, 10:00

Tue., March 26

CC/DVS 12:55, 3:50, 7:10, 10:00

Wed., March 27

CC/DVS 12:55, 3:50, 7:10, 10:00

Hometown Cinemas

120 MLK Jr. Industrial Blvd. W, Lockhart, 512/398-4100, www.hometowncinemas.com

Thu., March 21

11:30am, 2:10, 4:45, 7:20

Fri., March 22

2:20, 7:30

Sat., March 23

2:20, 7:30

Sun., March 24

2:20, 7:30

Mon., March 25

2:20, 7:30

Tue., March 26

2:20, 7:30

Wed., March 27

2:20, 7:30

iPic Theaters Austin

3225 Amy Donovan Plaza, 512/568-3400, www.ipic.com

Thu., March 21

11:45am, 2:45, 6:15, 10:50

Fri., March 22

1:00, 4:15, 7:45, 10:40

Sat., March 23

1:00, 4:15, 7:45, 10:40

Sun., March 24

1:00, 4:15, 7:45, 10:40

Mon., March 25

1:00, 4:15, 7:45, 10:40

Tue., March 26

1:00, 4:15, 7:45, 10:50

Wed., March 27

1:00, 4:15, 7:45, 10:40

AMC Lakeline 9

11200 Lakeline Mall Dr., Cedar Park, 512/335-4793

Discounts daily before 6pm.

Thu., March 21

CC/DVS 1:40, 4:45, 7:30

Fri., March 22

CC/DVS 2:15, 10:45

Sat., March 23

CC/DVS 2:15, 10:45

Sun., March 24

CC/DVS 2:15

Mon., March 25

CC/DVS 3:50, 6:50

Tue., March 26

CC/DVS 3:50, 6:50

Wed., March 27

CC/DVS 3:50, 6:50

Metropolitan

901 Little Texas, 512/447-0101

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Thu., March 21

CC/DVS 2:05, 4:55, 7:45, 10:35

Fri., March 22

CC/DVS 11:50am, 1:30

Sat., March 23

CC/DVS 11:50am, 1:30

Sun., March 24

CC/DVS 11:50am, 1:30

Mon., March 25

CC/DVS 1:20, 4:10, 10:00

Tue., March 26

CC/DVS 1:20, 4:10, 7:20, 10:15

Wed., March 27

CC/DVS 1:20, 4:10, 7:05, 10:00

Moviehouse & Eatery

8300 N. FM 620, Bldg. B, 512/501-3520, www.themoviehouse.com/trails/

Thu., March 21

12:15, 4:25, 7:30, 10:35

Fri., March 22

11:00am, 5:00

Sat., March 23

11:00am, 5:00

Sun., March 24

11:00am, 5:00

Mon., March 25

11:15am, 4:50

Tue., March 26

11:15am, 4:50

Wed., March 27

11:15am, 4:50

Moviehouse & Eatery - Lantana Place

7415 Southwest Parkway, Building 7, 512/572-0770, www.themoviehouse.com/lantana/

Thu., March 21

10:45am, 1:50, 4:55, 8:00, 11:00

Fri., March 22

2:20, 8:10

Sat., March 23

2:20, 8:10

Sun., March 24

2:20, 8:10

Mon., March 25

2:20, 8:10

Tue., March 26

2:20, 8:10

Wed., March 27

2:20, 8:10

Schulman Theatres Lost Pines 8

1600 Chestnut St, Bastrop, 512/321-0123, www.schulmantheatres.com

Thu., March 21

10:05am, 1:10, 4:15

Fri., March 22

10:10am, 10:20

Sat., March 23

10:10am, 10:20

Sun., March 24

10:10am, 10:20

Mon., March 25

10:10am, 10:20

Tue., March 26

10:10am, 10:20

Wed., March 27

10:10am, 10:20

ShowBiz Cinemas 8 Marble Falls

2600 Hwy 281 North, Marble Falls

Call theatre for August 22-23 showtimes.

Thu., March 21

11:00am, 1:30, 4:20, 7:10, 9:50

Fri., March 22

1:30, 6:50

Sat., March 23

1:30, 6:50

Mon., March 25

1:30

Tue., March 26

1:30, 6:50

Sky Cinemas

13201 US-290, 512/457-0700, www.skycinemas.com

Thu., March 21

11:15am, 1:45, 4:20, 7:00, 9:35

Fri., March 22

11:40am, 2:50, 5:00, 7:35

Sat., March 23

11:40am, 2:50, 5:00, 7:35

Sun., March 24

11:40am, 2:50, 5:00, 7:35

Mon., March 25

12:25, 2:50, 5:10, 7:20

Tue., March 26

12:25, 2:50, 5:10, 7:20

Wed., March 27

12:25, 2:50, 5:10, 7:20

Starplex 12 San Marcos

1250 Wonder World Drive, San Marcos, 512/805-8000

Thu., March 21

11:25am, 2:10, 4:50, 7:35, 10:25

Fri., March 22

12:30, 3:30, 6:35, 9:15

Sat., March 23

12:30, 3:30, 6:35, 9:15

Sun., March 24

12:30, 3:30, 6:35, 9:15

Mon., March 25

12:15, 3:15, 6:30, 9:45

Tue., March 26

12:15, 3:15, 6:30, 9:45

Wed., March 27

12:15, 3:15, 6:30, 9:45

Westgate 11

4477 S. Lamar, 512/899-2717

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Thu., March 21

CC/DVS 11:30am, 2:05, 4:40, 7:45, 10:20

Fri., March 22

CC/DVS 4:15

Sat., March 23

CC/DVS 4:15

Sun., March 24

CC/DVS 5:00

Mon., March 25

CC/DVS 11:15am, 7:15

Tue., March 26

CC/DVS 11:15am

Wed., March 27

CC/DVS 11:15am, 7:15

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Captive State, Rupert Wyatt, John Goodman, Ashton Sanders, Jonathan Majors, Vera Farmiga, Machine Gun Kelly

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