USA, 2016 (MIFF 2016, International Panorama)

Director: Matt Ross


"One of the most inspiring, invigorating, and intelligent films I've ever seen… It's brilliant, it's uplifting, it's encouraging, it's warm, it's touching, it's funny, it's endearing." – First Showing

Devout father Ben Cash (an excellent Viggo Mortensen) and his six children live in self-imposed isolation deep within the forests of the Pacific Northwest. Calling an assemblage of yurts and treehouses home, he teaches them Marxism and hunting skills while substituting the celebration of Christmas for Noam Chomsky's birthday instead. It isn't until tragedy strikes that Ben is forced to pack his VW (named Steve) and leave his counterculture paradise to embark on a five-day sojourn to New Mexico, exposing his children to Western capitalist culture for the first time.

Under the emotive directorial microscope of actor-turned-director Matt Ross (who scored the Un Certain Regard directing award at Cannes), and with glittering performances from the six youths, and gorgeous cinematography courtesy of Stéphane Fontaine, Captain Fantastic is a heartfelt exposition of the mystifying challenges of fatherhood, fundamental familial values and finding one's sense of place in a world so often defined by societal constructs.

Audience Award winner at Karlovy Vary festival.

"Viggo Mortensen gets the role he may well have been born to play … [in this] experience that feels as luminous and enriching as practically every widescreen frame." – Variety

See also...


1967. Two CIA agents posing as documentary filmmakers infiltrate NASA to weed out a Russian spy, but what they uncover is a conspiracy that could shake the space program to its very core. ... Followin... More »


"A thrumming, heartsore, sometimes viciously funny character study, sensitive both to the singularities of [Christine] Chubbuck's psychological collapse and the indignities weathered by any woman in a... More »


"A wise and wistful movie, one that recognizes humans as complicated, changing, contradictory creatures, and time as a force that can heal, but also harden and close doors." – Hollywood Reporter... More »


"Surprising and compulsively watchable … a haunting examination of male obsession and domination, that also serves as a weird sort of love story." – The Guardian, ... When Frank (Michael Shannon), a... More »


"Ira Sachs is gradually becoming the quintessential auteur of today's New York … luminous characterizations and big-hearted filmmaking." – Vulture ... When shy but creative 13-year-olds Jake and Tony ... More »


"Slacker cinema for people who can't even be bothered to light a joint – in its own strange way a marvelous thing." – The Village Voice ... Droll tragicomedy and sublime inertia meet in this debut fea... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director