Canadian director Atom Egoyan’s story has a small girl taken from her father’s car while he is shopping. Years later, he is still searching for her and discovers the nasty secret of the abduction. The film works up to a head of steam that makes its slow start more acceptable. But it remains one of Egoyan’s less successful efforts, filmed in Northern Ontario and Niagara Falls with a cast including Scott Speedman, Rosario Dawson and Mireille Enos who clearly have some difficulty with the moderate screenplay.
The Captive‘s subject is the systematic abuse of children, a subject which needs to be handled carefully. Its best part is the way the child’s parents are driven apart by the tragedy. Otherwise its uneven nature tends to destroy the tension.