Ben (Viggo Mortensen) and Leslie Cash (Trin Miller) have raised their six kids as far away from the corrupting influence of modern society as they can. They live in a cabin in the remote wilderness of the Pacific Northwest, where they hunt and grow their own food. They read Dostoyevsky and Hawking by campfire light, and speak seven different languages. When it’s too dark to read, they pull out their hand-made musical instruments and have a hoedown. It looks like a pretty fantastic life.
It’s Swiss Family Robinson meets Walden, but all is not well in the woods. “Captain Fantastic” opens with a tragic death, that sends the rest of the family on a road trip (in their dilapidated school bus, overhauled to be a camper/trailer/schoolroom) that will require them to admit their own weaknesses, and the limitations of their philosopher-king-deerslayer lifestyle.