Captive State takes us to a Chicago far into the future when Earth is under the occupation of a mysterious, and dominant, alien race. But instead of a future that is sexy, fast, or technologically advanced with lots of smooth glass and polished steel, this Chicago is dreary, dirty, dilapidated, and under constant surveillance.
Where all resources are limited and select humans are forced to work underground creating vast subterranean living spaces for the new extra-terrestrial rulers, Captive State follows a group of secret human insurgents organizing a careful attack against their oppressors.
Captive State reminded me of the 2009 science-fiction film District 9. Both films use the premise of a long-established alien invasion as a metaphor on multiple political themes like a police state controlling the population, loss of privacy, terrorism, and one-sided political leaders. It's strange to categorize Captive State as a science-fiction film because it doesn't have much action, science-fiction violence, or even aliens. (The film is also scant on dialogue, visual effects, and deadly machinery.) Captive State is more about people and how the fight to survive. This primary focus makes the film more believable and relatable than most other science-fiction films.
Yes, some of the acting and dialogue fall flat. But as a whole, Captive State is a surprisingly complex, engaging story of human uprising.