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Captive State

also known as “A Rebelião,” “Captive State - Cercados,” “Duboka država,” “Elrabolt világ,” “Istila Altinda,” “La rebelión,” “Nación cautiva,” “Obsedeno stanje,” «Земля в осаде»
MPAA Rating: PG-13-Rating (MPAA) for sci-fi violence and action, some sexual content, brief language and drug material.

Reviewed by: Alexander Malsan

Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
• Teens • Young-Adults • Adults
Sci-Fi Alien-Invasion
1 hr. 49 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
March 15, 2019 (wide—2,200+ theaters)
DVD: June 11, 2019
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Relevant Issues
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Government that habitually lies to its people

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Enslavement under an oppressive government under the guise of peaceful unity

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Culpability of collaborators

Aliens (extraterrestrials)

What does the Bible say about intelligent life on other planets? Answer

Are we alone in the universe? Answer

Does Scripture refer to life in space? Answer

Questions and answers about the origin of LIFE

Copyright, Focus Features Copyright, Focus Features Copyright, Focus Features
Featuring: John GoodmanChicago Police Officer Mulligan
Ashton SandersGabriel
Vera FarmigaJane Doe
Machine Gun KellyJurgis
Madeline BrewerRula
Alan RuckRittenhouse
KiKi Layne (Kiki Layne)Carrie
Kevin J. O'ConnorKermode
D.B. SweeneyLevitt
James Ransone … Ellison
Kevin Dunn … Police Chief Igoe
Jonathan Majors … Rafe
See all »
Director: Rupert Wyatt—“Rise of the Planet of the Apes” (2011), “The Gambler” (2014)
Producer: DreamWorks
Amblin Partners
See all »
Distributor: Distributor: Focus Features. Trademark logo.
Focus Features

The year is 2026. It’s been 9 years since the first invasion of the aliens that the humans call “Roaches.” The Roaches have invaded various cities across the United States and other countries. Within these cities there are sections that are walled off and governor Roaches that live underground (built for them by humans). After 9 years, many have become compliant to the Roaches’ rule on Earth.

Of course, there are always those that will resist. Those that defy that the Roaches’ rule and are caught are sent off-planet, but those that are caught are few and far between. The resistance has grown larger and larger, led by a mysterious man named Kaef. Like many others, his brother Gabe thinks that Kaef was long ago killed by humans loyal to the Roaches.

Both sides (the Roaches and the Resistance) are at their breaking points. It’s only a matter of time before one side gives. Will this be the end of all human kind? Or will the humans rise again and take back Earthy from the evil reign of the Roaches?

I think some time back on the USA Network, there was a show called “Colony.” It starred everyone’s favorite bad-body castaway from the TV show “Lost,” Josh Holloway, and revolved around a family surviving in a post-apocalyptic United States in which aliens had invaded certain parts of the U.S. had established “colonies” in certain major cities (like Chicago, L. A., etc.) and established human Govenor’s to act in the aliens’ best interests. When the human’s didn’t, the aliens would intervene from time to time in punishing the humans as needed (I remember an episode where they came down to Earth for a diplomatic visit).

I mention all this because “Captive State,” essentially, reminded me of this television series, scene for scene, which is not a good thing to say about where Hollywood is heading. It speaks, again, to the fact that Hollywood is running out of ideas—to the point that there now stealing from television networks, which is kind of sad.

Additionally, the pacing of this film is rather slow, and the plot itself, particularly some of the plans made by the Resistance members, didn’t make much sense, at times. To the film’s credit, the lead performances are fairly good, and the use of effects is also.

Content of concern

Violence: The violence is very heavy and graphic. Two people, at the beginning of the film, are killed by aliens; their bodies explode and blood goes everywhere in a car. Machines with animal-like teeth suck on the outside of a glass box trying to get to Gabe. The aliens are incredibly frightening creatures (and I don’t get scared that easily!). A huge explosion occurs (off-screen) killing a large number of people (the deaths occur off-screen). We witness a couple surgical procedures in which people have trackers removed from them; blood is seen. A person takes a needle out of a chest wound. A Roach’s mask is ripped off, and he suffocates to death. Cars are set on fire. People are slammed against walls multiple times. A person is graphically shot in the head. A man is seen hanging by his feet in chains, beaten. Another person is graphically shot in the head. We witness deceased bodies (suicide is implied).

Profanity/Vulagrity: Seriously, is the f-bomb really needed in such a sci-fi film? F**k (2), H*ll (2), s**t (6), b*lls**t (1), G*d-d*mn (1), wh*ring (1), b*stard (1), and pr*stitute (3)

Sex/Nudity: Two people are shown having clothed sex as seen on a security camera feed. We see a woman in her bra and panties. A woman wears a see-through outfit. We see Gabe’s girlfriend showering from her backside and then wrapped in a towel, and later in a bathrobe. We witness people in drag clothing.


In the beginning, Gabe remains undecided about whether to join the Resistance and someone tells him that eventually he will have to join a side, either he will join the humans who are working for the Roaches or he will have to join the Resistance. He will not be able to remain neutral anymore.

I am reminded about the Holy Scriptures which state that humans cannot stay neutral, when it comes to their decision on God. They will either choose God and live for Him, or they will choose Satan as master—resulting in eternal damnation and separation from God. Scripture (and Jesus himself) states:

“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” —Matthew 12:30

“I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” —Revelation 3:15-16

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. —1 John 1:7

Final Thoughts

As I stated earlier, “Captive State” seems too familiar, too formulaic and too offensive for me to offer a positive recommendation. There’s enough violence, language and sexual content/nudity to make most movie-goers uncomfortable. In short, do something better with your time. Read a book, go on a picnic. Do anything but see “Captive State.”

  • Violence: Very Heavy
  • Vulgar/Crude language: Heavy
  • Profane language: Moderate
  • Nudity: Moderate
  • Sex: Moderate
  • Occult: None

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

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Secular Movie Critics
…An audacious and suspenseful thriller about resistance fighters waging an underdog campaign against occupying extraterrestrials. …rigorously intelligent, cunningly inventive, and impressively suspenseful…
Joe Leydon, Variety
…Visually murky, choppily edited and lacking both narrative clarity and well-defined characterizations, Captive State is a deeply frustrating viewing experience. …
Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter
…Though “Captive State” has plenty of action, it’s not a blood-and-guts sci-fi thriller. It aims for a more cerebral, social-commentary approach. …
Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times
…fails… A weak dystopian warning without a clear message…
Matthew Rozsa, Salon
…Engrossing… As some kind of political statement—assuming they intended “Captive State” to be one—the film is a little weaker, but there is, at the very least, light food for thought. …
Mark Meszoros, News Herald
…messy, lugubrious sci-fi thriller…
Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times
…too muddled to register with the intended force. “Captive State” is many things at once—or at least it’s trying to be—and every match it lights along the way is quickly snuffed out. …
Michael Nordine, IndieWire
…looks stellar in its oppressive dreariness, but the exploration of it is as messy as some of the stockyards.
John Petkovic, The Plain Dealer
…imperfectly constructed, at times frustratingly so, but it’s trying, doggedly, to do something different and given the bland efficiency of so many wide-releasing sci-fi movies, that’s hard to fault. …
Benjamin Lee, The Guardian [UK]
…it is missing one key element: a soul…
Mike Scott, New Orleans Times-Picayune
…Pay good money for this and YOU’LL be the one in a “Captive State”…
Roger Moore, Movie Nation
…An unsatisfying potluck of quasi-relevant, frustration-inducing ideas…
Carlos Aguilar, The Wrap