In a dystopian future, about 10 years after their arrival on Earth, aliens have taken complete control of the government.

Set in Chicago, "Captive State" explores the lives of the humans being forced to live under the aliens' control.

Rafe (who has since been presumed dead) led an unsuccessful but meaningful uprising against the aliens with a group of people called the Phoenix.

However, things start to change for Rafe's younger brother, Gabriel, when William Mulligan (John Goodman), a Chicago police officer, looks for information on Rafe.

"Captive State" isn't the typical alien-invasion film, like "War of the Worlds."

Instead, it's focused on the human portion of those stories, much like in films like "District 9" and "Arrival."

However, it's unfortunate that "Captive State" lacks the confidence and flow those films possess, as there are often way too many plot lines occurring at once, making the film much more complicated than it needs to be.

There's a great idea in the screenplay, but the amount of characters and plot lines overstay their welcome.

The film attempts to act as social commentary, but the message can be misconstrued due to the abundance of unnecessary fluff thrown in the mix.


There isn't as much screen time with the actual aliens as hoped, but when we do see them, they're visually inventive, to say the least, much like in the critically acclaimed "Cloverfield." Similarly, as well, there's plenty of action and violence in the film.

Those scenes can be fun to watch, as well as being incredible tense.

"Captive State" seems to be successful in some of its aspects but not so successful in others.

It's entertaining, but it's not an easy film to get through, and by the end, you'll either be thoroughly satisfied or completely confused.

More than anything, though, the film is meant to be very dark as it portrays the possible end of human life.

It can be difficult to recommend these types of films for that very reason.

If you're looking for an easy, fun sci-fi thriller, this may not be it.

But if you're into thought-provoking movies, this might be your cup of tea.

Best scene: The bus attack

Most annoying plotline: Mulligan's affair

Rewatchability: 50%

Grade: C+