Captive State ★★

Captive State could very well be set in an alternate timeline of Arrival, one where the communication tactics of Louise Banks (Amy Adams) failed and the aliens stayed put to govern over humans. While this has happened worldwide, Rupert Wyatt’s grounded new sci-fi thriller specifically hones in on Chicago, where top government officials work with the alien forces in hopes of eventually getting off the “dying rock” that is Earth. Meanwhile, nearly-eradicated factions of the resistance aim to hold on to a semblance of hope that humanity will prevail as they fight back. With the kind of world-building that seems better suited for the pilot of a TV series, Wyatt peppers intriguing details throughout but gets too tripped up in a deluge of timely messages that he loses sight of his characters in this jumbled, peculiarly-structured narrative.

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