The superbly versatile British actor David Oyelowo deepens his range after his Oscar-snubbed Martin Luther King in Selma.

But in Captive**, you wonder why he bothers playing true-life killer Brian Nicholls who killed three people at a Georgia courthouse before holding a drug-addicted mother captive all night.

Oyelowo does bring a dignity and intelligent desperation to Brian, so that we almost feel sympathy for him  in his fight against the system, but the film isn’t nearly good enough to go deeper and examine this tension further.

Kate Mara gets to do the greasy hair recovering meth-sniffer thing, but even that merely serves as a ticking clock plot device so that she has to make it to her little daughter fashion show in the morning before shopping Brian to the SWAT teams.