Ever wonder where the term “Stockholm Syndrome” came from? Director Robert Budreau, along with an all-star cast, explains the wild but true story behind the term with semi-fictionalized film Stockholm.

In 1973, a disguised bank robber (Ethan Hawke) walks into Stockholm’s city bank with a gun and starts taking hostages. Oddly enough, he demands not money but Gunnar Sorensson (Mark Strong), a fellow bank robber who is serving a prison sentence. The flummoxed police surprisingly comply with the request, which means they soon have two criminals on their hands instead of just one.

It’s a tense, days-long standoff in which the three bank employees held hostage must eat, drink, and converse with their captors, unwittingly forging a human connection. For Bianca Lind (Noomi Rapace), things are taken one step further, when she falls for the man who is endangering her life. She ends up going to extreme lengths to help him make it out of the bank unharmed by the increasingly reckless police.

Rapace and Hawke have undeniable chemistry. Their gentle, empathy-driven connection makes the situation nearly relatable, and audiences may well find themselves rooting for the “bad” guys. It also helps, of course, that Lind’s husband is portrayed as an insensitive dope.

When Lind is initially taken hostage, she desperately babbles a fish recipe to her husband, who has come with the help of the police, so that he can carry out the dinner she had been planning for the family. In the end, he can’t be bothered and heats up some old meatloaf. Even more egregious, is when Lind gets a chance to call home and asks to speak to their children. Her husband refuses to wake them up. This might make even the most patient wife and mother throw her hands up and assist in an armed robbery.

Overall, the film is enjoyable, never boring, and pulls at a secret place inside each of us that wants the underdog to win, despite the circumstances. Strong feels underutilized, but Hawke and Rapace are at their absolute best. It’s worth a watch just for the fire between these two pros.

Check out Stockholm in theaters Friday, March 22, 2019.