Toronto-based Egoyan premiered The Captive at the French Riviera fest and the psychological drama starring Canadian Ryan Reynolds garnered thumbs down from a wide range of international film critics. Starring Reynolds and Mireille Enos as parents of a young girl who is abducted, The Captive jumps back and forth across many years, weaving together the couple's story with that of their daughter, her kidnappers and a pair of detectives searching for the girl.
"As a straight procedural, this might have worked if Egoyan did not try the audience's patience and insult their intelligence with how utterly implausible his drama is. But line by line, scene by scene, it is offensively preposterous and crass," read a review from The Guardian.
Hailing 1997's award-winning The Sweet Hereafter as perhaps Egoyan's best film, the Hollywood Reporter described The Captive as potentially his worst. "The director renders an already bogus story more preposterous by lathering it in portentous solemnity; misguided loyalty to competition alumni is the only explanation for the film's presence in the Cannes lineup," the industry publication noted. "The plotting here is so hopelessly tangled, clichéd, and bereft of psychological complexity that it's difficult to care what happens to any of these people."
The film is "hamstrung at every moment by its inability to reconcile its creaky B-thriller trappings with its artier inclinations," added Variety.
And Ryan Reynolds' losing streak continues.