The Salvation Army - - Movie Review: CaptiveThe Evader: As the target of a police manhunt, Brian (David Oyelowo) trusts no one, especially not Ashley (Kate Mara, opposite)

Movie Review: Captive

In the new thriller Captive, a woman’s life—and soul—hang in the balance.

September 18, 2015 by Barbara Ashley

Ashley Smith’s life is in tatters in Captive, in theatres now.

“I lost everything,” she tells the other members of her recovery group. “My husband’s dead and they said I was an unfit mother. Took away my little girl.”

“Have you heard of this book? It helped me,” says one of the group members, handing her a copy of Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life. Ashley (Kate Mara, House of Cards, Fantastic Four) disdainfully deposits it in the nearest trash can but later, as she punches in at her low-end job, she finds that the book was retrieved and returned to her.

Intrigued, she begins to delve through its pages.

In the meantime, convict Brian Nichols (David Oyelowo, Selma) finds out that he has a newborn son he never knew existed.

“I heard I had a son. I had to break out,” he says. In a spectacular escape, he shoots a judge and becomes the target of a citywide manhunt.

On the run, Brian takes Ashley hostage in her own apartment. Threatened with death and the possibility that she will never talk to her daughter again, a desperate Ashley prays to God to help her in her darkest moment.

In despair, she pulls out her copy of The Purpose Driven Life and starts to read.

“What is that? What are you doing?” Brian says to her.

“It’s just a book,” Ashley replies.

“Read it to me,” Brian says.

And so begins a spiritual journey for both of them. But as the police dragnet closes in, Ashley and her would-be killer each face a crossroads where despair and death intersect hope.

Higher Ground
“The greatest tragedy is not death but a life without purpose,” Rick Warren writes in The Purpose Driven Life, arguing that God expects us to make the most of what we have been given.

In Captive, Brian tells Ashley, “I haven’t been given anything.” Ashley replies, “You have a son.”

We have all been put into situations at one time or another where we have been held captive. By greed, selfishness, fear, lust, power—a list as endless as the people trapped by them. These chains hold us back from what’s really important in life, as they did for Brian.

How we break free of those chains is what will define us for eternity.

The starting place for Christians must be with God and His eternal purposes for each life. Once we realize that, we can break free to a better life—and no longer be held hostage.


The Anti-Self-Help Book

“It’s not about you.” So begins The Purpose Driven Life (2002), Rick Warren’s phenomenally successful devotional book.

The Salvation Army - - Movie Review: Captive

The book’s 40 short chapters are designed to be read on consecutive days. Each chapter contains a personal application section with a point to ponder, a verse to remember and a question to consider over the course of that day. Rick Warren describes his book as an “anti-self-help book” and goes on to explain how the quest for personal fulfilment, satisfaction and meaning can only be found in understanding and doing what God created us to do.

The Purpose Driven Life has sold 32 million copies and is the bestselling hardback book in American history, according to Publisher’s Weekly. It’s also the second most-translated book in the world after the Bible.

(Photos: © Paramount Pictures)

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