Captain Fantastic

Viggo Mortensen and his family go native in this smart drama about unorthodox parenting

Film Review by Tom Charles | 08 Sep 2016
Film title: Captain Fantastic
Director: Matt Ross
Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Frank Langella, George MacKay
Release date: 9 Sep

In The Mosquito Coast, Allie Fox (Harrison Ford) sold his home and moved his family to Central America, where he aimed to build a utopia. Hubris and mania kept the utopia from his grasp. In Matt Ross’s Captain Fantastic, we see what might have been if Allie had been less fanatical and more Zen.

Ben (Mortensen) raises his six kids in the woods of Washington State. Despite an unorthodox approach to parenting, his children have soaked up everything he’s taught them. When a tragedy intrudes on their idyllic lives, they're forced to leave their home and travel across the country to fulfil a family duty, and are faced with a world that doesn’t know what to make of them.

Ross’s sophomore effort is helped no end by Stéphane Fontaine’s cinematography and Alex Somers’ score – but it’s the performances that linger longest. Mortensen is excellent, and George MacKay’s turn as Bo, Ben's intensely smart, capable, and yet completely un-worldly eldest child, will have you wishing that this road trip lasted a little longer.

Released by Entertainment One