Father and child sit together smiling while looking at a smart phone.

Want more recommendations for your family?

Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration

Parents' Guide to

Captive State

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Dark, disconnected, but smart alien invasion movie.

Movie PG-13 2019 109 minutes
Captive State Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 7 parent reviews

age 16+


Use of G. D. (Lord’s name invane) is not mentioned any other reviews.

This title has:

Too much swearing
1 person found this helpful.
age 18+
This had a cuss work (f***) in it which was not mentioned

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (7 ):
Kids say (2 ):

Although it's complex and satisfying -- and not overly reliant on visual effects -- this alien invasion movie still feels somewhat dispassionate. Perhaps that's because it concentrates less on characters and more on its own big ideas. Co-written and directed by Rupert Wyatt, whose Rise of the Planet of the Apes was likewise clever, but also exciting and moving, Captive State opens awkwardly, with characters trading explanatory dialogue designed to fill viewers in on the miserable state of everything. Characters are mainly defined by what they believe in, not who they actually are, and, despite the great cast, it's difficult to get past any of it.

Happily, though, things do pick up. Eventually characters stop talking so much, and the film begins to focus on the process of things, the weblike underground network that develops and transports all the necessary moving parts, all with the utmost discretion. The characters still feel a little disconnected, but at least their actions are interesting. And, to be sure, the final piece of the puzzle is definitely worth the trouble. Wyatt doesn't bother with too many alien effects (although the creatures do feel a tad familiar), instead focusing on a grayish, blasted-out dystopian look. Vera Farmiga is especially good in her role as a mysterious courtesan, tucked away in a private little haven filled with books and knowledge.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate