Logo for The Captive on DStv

Ryan Reynolds, Scott Speedman, Rosario Dawson

High School sweethearts Matthew and Tina Lane have an 8 year-old daughter, Cass. They’re a perfectly happy family: dad, an independent landscaper; mom, a hotel housekeeper and Cass, a talented young ice skater.


While driving Cass home from a skating practice, Matthew stops at a diner to pick up a pie. Confident that his young daughter is safe in the back seat and promising to return with chocolate ice cream, Matthew slips out of his vehicle and into the diner. When he returns, Cass is gone…


At the Child Exploitation Unit, Detective Nicole Dunlop is sympathetic to Tina’s pain and horror, but her colleague Jeffrey Cornwall is sceptical of Matthew’s story and accuses him of being involved in the abduction.


Nine years later, Cass is still missing. Matthew and Tina no longer live together, but remained linked by their grief. Still blaming himself for leaving Cass in the car and not trusting the police, Matthew continues his private search for his daughter. Tormented by loss, Tina has formed a bond with Nicole - they meet every year on Cass’s birthday.  


Over the years, Nicole and Jeffrey’s professional relationship has become intimate. At work, she is the highly-respected head of the Child Exploitation Unit; he is the edgy cop who hooks predators and searches for missing children online. Away from the office, they find comfort from the violent world they spend their days in, in each other’s arms.


Suddenly, the police identify Cass, now a young woman, from pictures online. Desperate, Jeffrey makes a dangerous play which results in Nicole’s disappearance. Cass, now being groomed by her abductor into his companion, manipulates him into letting her meet with her father after almost a decade. She sets in motion a series of events which she hopes will lead to her release – but where is Nicole?


Ryan Reynolds came to the set of The Captive after a one-year hiatus from film work. “I did all kinds of stuff during the year away,” he said. “I read a lot of books. I spent a lot of time with my family. As an actor, you draw from your real life experience and if your real life experience is 3 or 4 or 5 years of never being home and always being on film sets, you sort of start to lose that well-spring that you need to draw from. I just spent so much time on film sets that was my reality. Waking up in a strange hotel room and shuffling to a van and heading to work every day and spending 16 hours on a film set, and then shuffling from that van back to a strange hotel and going to sleep for the night. That’s not really living. I needed a little time to travel and be a part of the world again. I needed to enjoy the work again and that’s the place that I am now. My first day back from my break was my first day on this film”.


Despite The Captive not being an easy film to watch, Rosario Dawson says that audiences have nothing to fear from it. “The journey of The Captive is from the perspective of caring people. It’s as if we were taking you by the hand and saying, ‘Come, this happens. We must look at it.’ I hope it makes people start to notice all the ways in which we glorify sexuality and children every day. But, I also think the film shows a way out of this trap. How we must really see each other and communicate with each other and protect our kids. This is the beauty of what art and film and performance can do – tell stories which reach into people’s minds and hearts and move them to a deeper understanding. Maybe even to action. That would be amazing”.