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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Model seems arrogant and shallow -- but also self-knowing -- in her interviews; kidnapper is inexorably sadistic and brutal.
Violence & Scariness
Unrelenting violence and/or threat of violence. Repeated images of bloody wounds and body parts (in one especially gruesome scene, a victim is force-fed bloody, blendered body parts, including an eyeball shown in close-up, until she passes out). Violent acts include acid funneled through a tube (which causes the victim to explode), pouring acid onto a victim so her face burns, dragging and tying up an unconscious woman, a victim screaming and throwing furniture, a victim strapped to a chair and forced to watch another victim showered by acid, threatening displays of "Hanging Man" tarot card and a bloody doll, confinement in a glass box filling with sand, shooting victim's dog in front of her, flashback of a young boy stabbing his mother repeatedly in the stomach, pulling teeth with pliers (very bloody mouth), stabbing, shooting with shotgun (in a couple of scenes), smashing with bat, and spraying poisonous cleaner in face.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Model images show sexy poses (cleavage and breast, no nipple); kidnapped model wears revealing and (in one blurry profile image) no clothing; flashback shows substance-addled mother lying on bed telling her young son that "It makes Mommy feel so good" when "Mommy touches you" sex scene late in the film shows male on top, thrusting (not explicit, but disturbing, as the scene is observed by kidnapper on surveillance monitor); creepy discussion of being "inside her" suggestion of an incestuous relationship between two brothers; suggestions of sex in kidnapper's scrapbooks.
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Plenty of nasty language to enhance the ugly imagery, including "f--k," "damn," "s--t," "a--hole," "bastard," and "piece of crap."
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Products & Purchases
The model is herself a brand in the movie; Palm Pilot is mentioned.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Jennifer has a drugged drink at a club (the image warps to approximate her perspective); kidnapper drinks wine several times; Jennifer is drugged (by needle) and passes out while in captivity; kidnapper's mother appears in flashback, extremely high and discussing her sexual abuse of her son; cigarette butts appear in ashtray.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this bloody, torturous (literally and figuratively) horror movie is in no way for kids. Brutal, grisly images -- focused on the kidnapping, captivity, and torture of a model by a killer who resents her "beauty" (and has flashbacks to a sexually abusive mother) -- are nonstop. Expect to see shooting, stabbing, smothering by sand, bondage, hitting, and teeth pulling by pliers. The model is forced to wear skimpy clothing, swallow blended human entrails, and take needles of knockout drugs in her arm. There's one brief but suggestive sex scene; and, in addition to doping his victim, the killer drinks several times while observing her. Language includes repeated uses of "f--k" and more. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The plot takes the shape of one abuse after another, punctuated by inane dialogue. (The killer says by intercom: "Why do bad things happen to good people, you ask? That's the mystery"; Jennifer in a TV interview the killer plays on a taunting loop: "It's not just me. It's a scientific fact: Beauty rules. It always has, and it always will.") When Jennifer discovers a second captive, Gary (Daniel Gillies), she's heartened -- but viewers are troubled: His sudden appearance is ridiculously convenient, and his pretty-boy slickness is surely more corny than reassuring. The film tries to have it multiple ways, both condemning the killer's self-importance and disapproving of Jennifer's superficial performance -- as well as the system of high-fashion imagery that encourages him to desire and hate her at the same time. The fact that Captivity also flashes back to an atrocious scene showing the killer with his sexually abusive, drugged-out mother doesn't quite excuse him, but does -- predictably and quite painfully -- find a way to blame a woman for what's wrong with him.
Even before its release, CAPTIVITY was notorious. Shot in Moscow in 2005, it was touted as the first United States-Russian co-production. And its early ads -- which featured images of a young woman's abuse -- drew public outcry and were withdrawn by distributor After Dark Films. Sadly, the movie that has finally reached theaters hardly seems worth the uproar.
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Our Editors Recommend
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