Verdict: Proceed with Caution

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 2.94 (18 ratings)

Genre: Drama

Director: Brillante Mendoza

Writers: Brillante Mendoza, Boots Agbayani Pastor, Arlyn dela Cruz

Cast: Isabelle Huppert, Ronnie Lazaro, Angel Aquino, Rustica Carpio, Raymond Bagatsing, Sid Lucero, Mercedes Cabral, Che Ramos, Madeleine Nicolas, Mon Confiado, Neil Ryan Sese, Coco Martin, Baron Geisler, Maria Isabel Lopez, Joel Torre, Kristoffer King, Bernard Palanca, Perry Dizon, Evelyn Vargas, Arlyn dela Cruz, Tado, Anita Linda

Synopsis: The film takes place in 2001. The Abu Sayyaf attacks a resort in Palawan, and all the guests are taken hostage. Among them is Therese (Isabelle Huppert), a French social worker. She and the other hostages are forced to trek through the treacherous jungles of Mindanao, spending time with her captors and dodging bullets from the occasional firefight. One by one, she watches as her local companions are either killed or ransomed off. She holds out hope and rescue, but with each passing day, the odds of being saved seem smaller and smaller. (Click the City)

Running Time: 120 mins.



5.0     Lito Zulueta (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

“The result is the most realistic cinematic treatment yet of Muslim terrorism.” (Read full review)

4.5     Mario Bautista (Showbiz Portal)

“Huppert gives a strong performance as the feisty hostage who is not afraid to be defiant and fight back. She serves as some kind of hook viewers can relate and sympathize with.” (Read full review)

4.0      Jessica Zafra (InterAksyon)

“With Captive Mendoza takes a purely visceral approach and leaves the intellectual work to the audience. If it does not give us a deeper understanding of the troubles in Mindanao, it reminds us that they exist.” (Read full review)

4.0      Ihcahieh

Captive is dragging and long, but it comes as an advantage for the audience to emulate the tortured psyche of a person in captivity.” (Read full review)

3.5      Juaniyo Arcellana (Philippine Star)

Captive, though not likely to break any box office records or reap critical hosannas, shows he’s (Mendoza) very much in touch with his homeland, the issues and brewing social cauldron underneath. The director knows what it’s like to live under the volcano.” (Read full review)

3.5      Rianne Hill Soriano (Business World)

“It is evident that the filmmaker intends to render the narrative with a certain objectivity — this style serving as a commentary on the questionable aspects of coping with the country’s hostage situations which lead to the prolonged agony of the victims.” (Read full review)

3.5      Apa Agbayani (Katipunan)

Captive proves to be a film driven by visceral portrayals of human cruelty and frailty, yet is bogged down by its own ambition.” (Read full review)

3.0     Nicol Latayan (Tit for Tat)

“While it’s hard to nitpick about Mendoza’s visual output, it sadly didn’t leave the same amount of impact that the director intended his viewers to feel once the credits rolled.” (Read full review)

3.0     Stephanie Mayo (Film and Events Check)

“The true-to-life story has potential to be more thrilling, emotional, and dramatic, and verbally eloquent, yet Mendoza chose to be subtle, generic, and impressionistic, leaving you visually satisfied but emotionally shortchanged.” (Read full review)

3.0     Rob San Miguel (The Chair)

“The best thing about Captive is that it introduced Isabelle Huppert to Filipino moviegoers.” (Read full review)

2.5      Oggs Cruz (Twitch)

“The problem lies in the fact that this black and white approach in portraying the conflict is ultimately dangerous, as it disenfranchises an entire ideology that deserves more than the token shades of fair humanity that Mendoza gives its champions.” (Read full review)

2.5      Philbert Dy (Click the City)

Captive feels like a whole lot of sound and fury that amounts to very little in the end.” (Read full review)

2.5      Mark Angelo Ching (

“While Captive may be the most accessible film Brillante Mendoza has made, it is also the hardest to watch.” (Read full review)

2.0      Cathy Pena (Make Me Blush)

“With a gaunt narrative flesh and tepid storytelling, your sensibility expects the ultimate denouement characteristic of other Brillante Mendoza flicks. It wasn’t there.” (Read full review)

2.0      Carl Joseph Papa (Whatever Carl)

“The movie felt quite scattered, and some events/sequences feel like they don’t add up to a bigger picture.” (Read full review)

1.5        Richard Bolisay (Lilok Pelikula)

“When you watch Captive, you are never drawn to it: it paints a repulsive picture and you accept it as it is. You sit there and allow it to rape you.” (Read full review)

1.5       Skilty Labastilla (Young Critics Circle)

“This is the first Mendoza film I actively disliked. The film is overwrought, nauseating, and utterly unimaginative. I’ve seen a fair share of cinéma vérité films employing the shaky cam technique but I wish I took Bonamine before watching this. It’s sad because Odyssey Flores is one of the most talented cinematographers in the country but he certainly overdid the shakiness-for-urgency tactic here. When Mendoza employed the same technique in Tirador, it was more exhilarating than dizzying.

I think Mendoza got overexcited with the material. This is his first ‘action’ film, with lots of deafening gunfire and explosion and I think he felt he needed to prove that he can cut it as an action director. He went overboard. He needed to trust that urgency can be portrayed by a combination of excellent physical acting, good editing, and camera work that need not make audiences experience motion sickness.”

1.5       Fred Hawson (Fred Said: Movies)

“The subject matter is heavy enough, the senses need not have been assaulted any much more by the excessively shaky camera and the very loud explosions!” (Read full review)

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