A man named Brian Nichols, accused of rape, escapes from a courthouse in Atlanta, Georgia, after killing two people and leaving one comatose. He steals four cars around the city and kills a federal agent before holding hostage a woman for seven hours. Ashley Smith, Nichols' captive, talks him down using passages of the book The Purpose Driven Life.
I remembered elements of this case, particularly about the woman talking to her captor about The Purpose Driven Life, so I recognized the story in the film.
A movie filmed almost entirely in interiors, may risk feeling claustrophobic, but Captive is dynamic and focuses less on where the story takes place and emphasizes the plot and the performances.
If David Oyelowo's Nichols is at times introspective and at other times rather volatile, Kate Mara's Ashley is the perfect balance, a strange mixture of fear, vulnerability, and poise. Those emotions may be hard to convey, but both Oyelowo and Mara do so brilliantly.