The Captive (Blu-ray Review)

The Captive In this psychological thriller from Academy Award nominated director Atom Egoyan, Matthew (Ryan Reynolds) must live through a parent’s worst nightmare when his young daughter, Cassandra, vanishes without a trace. Years later, when detectives Nicole (Rosario Dawson) and Jeffery (Scott Speedman) discover recent images of Cassandra online. Matthew puts everything on the line to get his daughter back. 


The Captive


The Captive was a pleasant surprised from director Atom Egoyan, who directed the much-underrated The Devil’s Knot, a film that also focused on very dark material, which was reviewed HERE.  Egoyan has returned with The Captive – a story about a young girl who has been kidnapped and who’s father played by Reynolds is the focus of the investigation.

Right off the bat – you’re given all of the information that you need to see. The film is broken up into seamless flashbacks and it goes back and forth to our present. The young girl, Cass that was kidnapped was taken when she was 9 years old, and the story flashes forward to the present where she lives in captivity at just under 18 years of age. Cass has developed Stockholm syndrome lives a luxurious lifestyle in captivity under the extremely watchful eye of Mika played by Kevin Durand. Durand must have lost 30 pounds, because he is gaunt beyond belief. I almost didn’t recognize him until he started talking. He’s very skeletal looking.

Detectives Nicole (Dawson) and Jeffery (Speedman) team up to head the investigation after setting up a network, if you will, of cyber investigators, each with a certain specialty. Dawson has the psychological expertise and Speedman is the crass detective. The rest of the bunch has recognition abilities along with groovy hacking capabilities. What they don’t know is that Mika is hiding in plain sight. He is a man of position and wealth and no one thinks twice about what he’s been up to.

The Captive looked like it was going to be by the numbers but it was helped by the twist that Cass isn’t dead, is sympathetic to her kidnapper, and to the fact that in order to get her back they will all have to think outside the box. Reynolds and Mireille Enos do a great job as the struggling and broken parents of young Cass who just want her back home safely. The rest of the supporting cast, Durand, in particular do great in their roles, and even Scott Speedman who I had not seen in a while does well as the jaded detective. He’s a very crass individual.

Atom Egoyan has crafted a nice little thriller with more than enough twists that even the more jaded fans of the genre will appreciate. If you’re at all interested in his work then you should seek out Chloe, The Devil’s Knot, and The Captive. It will make for a very interesting trilogy of sorts. Egoyan is on a role and I look forward to his next feature.


The Captive


Encoding: AVC/MPEG-4

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Clarity/Detail: The Captive was shot in Canada and it’s a very cold and desolate film, which comes through in terms of visual aesthetic. Clarity and details are kept in tact. Contrast and sharpness levels are pristine. Softness was never an issue and there’s a very lovely layer of grain throughout the film.

Depth: The snowy landscapes make it look like one could get lost in the white of the snow and torrential rainfall.

Black Levels: Black levels were deep and inly and free from artifacts.

Color Reproduction: There isn’t that much color in the outdoor scenes but lots of the interior scenes has that lovely low-lit glow to them.

Flesh Tones: Flesh tones looked nice and natural.

Noise/Artifacts: I did not notice any noise or artifacts throughout the film. It’s a vey clean looking movie.


The Captive


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish

Dynamics: The Captive on Blu-ray has a near-reference audio track all things considered. There are a few action beats that benefit from this since it’s got more of a thriller element to it than straight drama.

Low Frequency Extension: There are several action beats that use the low-end LFE bass channel to accentuate the violence. It works without being disruptive.

Surround Sound Presentation: Rear channels handle the ambience relatively well in addition to certain scenes that take place in close quarters and convention halls. It’s not a really busy soundscape in the back, which is good, and nothing leaks into the front, which is great.

Dialogue Reproduction: The Captive on Blu-ray is driven by the dialogue and it is crystal clear.


The Captive



The Captive on Blu-ray comes packed with some cool special features that include and audio commentary with writer-director Atom Egoyan, deleted scenes, alternate ending, and a featurette. It’s a great package and worth the price of admission solely for the Egoyan commentary.

  • Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Atom Egoyan – Egoyan’s commentaries are very cool, educational, and remind me a bit of David Cronenberg’s. That’s all good!
  • Deleted Scenes (HD) – Here are a few deleted scenes trimmed for pace. They are presented in high definition.
  • Alternate Ending (HD) – This alternate ending focuses on Rosario Dawson’s character. My lips are sealed. It is also presented in high definition.
  • Captive Thoughts (HD) – This featurette sheds light on what went on during filming and features interviews with the cast and director Atom Egoyan. It’s short but sweet.


The Captive


Atom Egoyan is two for two so far, with his underrated Devil’s Knot, and now The Captive. The Captive will entertain and captivate. The cast and directing is stellar and the Blu-ray is above average in terms of presentation. The special features included are no slouch, so Blu-ray fans will definitely have bonus goodies to dig into. The Captive is recommended!




The Captive is released on Blu-ray March 3rd, 2015




The Captive


Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

1 Response to “The Captive (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Brian White

    I watched this one and I was intrigued throughout, but the ending just felt a little flat to me after the time I invested in it.