“Captive,” based on a miraculous true story that drew the attention of the entire nation, is a thrilling drama about the spiritual collision of two broken lives. When Brian Nichols — on the run as the subject of a citywide manhunt and desperate to make contact with his newborn son — takes recovering meth addict Ashley Smith hostage in her own apartment, she turns for guidance to Rick Warren’s best-selling inspirational book, “The Purpose Driven Life.” While reading aloud, Ashley and her would-be killer each face crossroads where despair and death intersect with hope.
“Captive” is a first-rate thriller and suspense story. It is based on the true story of Ashley Smith, who was taken captive by convict escapee Brian Nichols, in Fulton County, Atlanta, in 2005. Nichols held up in Ashley’s apartment, and Ashley’s ability to remain calm and cooperative, despite her terror, is remarkable. The acting in this movie is absolutely top notch, featuring Kate Mara (Fantastic Four 2, House of Cards) as Ashley, and David Oyelowo (Selma) as Nichols.
The film opens with Ashley doting over her daughter Paige, but the viewer soon learns she lost Paige due to her meth addiction. Paige now lives with her Aunt Kim (Mimi Rogers). Ashley still struggles with drug addiction, and she attends a recovery group for support. It is there where she is given a copy of Rick Warren’s book, “The Purpose Driven Life.” She tosses it in the trash bin, but the woman who gave it to her sees this and manages to get the book to her again at her job as a waitress. Ashley has no clue that she will soon be reading the book as Nichols holds her captive.
Actor Kate Mara does a great job in portraying Ashley, who is trying to remain calm while dealing with Nichols being in her apartment, showering after he binds her hands and feet, and holding an ongoing conversation with him. Ashley manages to establish a bit of a rapport with him and finds some hope that she may eventually be able to free herself from captivity.
Although we see both Ashley and Nichols right after drug use, and brief clips of them sniffing, the scenes are not graphic and have definite resolutions, particularly with Ashley who makes an on-screen decision to quit using the drugs and pray to God. The filmmakers kept the violence from being too graphic. The film shows actual clips of the real Ashley Smith meeting Rick Warren, during the movie’s credits. This film is a story of redemption and forgiveness and hope for a better future. We are pleased to award “Captive” our Faith Based Seal with a Caution for onscreen drug use. “Captive” will grab your attention from the get-go and keep it until the end!