Captain Phillips (2013)

Captain Phillips (2013)
  • Time: 134 min
  • Genre: Action | Adventure | Biography
  • Director: Paul Greengrass
  • Cast: Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Catherine Keener


‘Captain Phillips’ is a multi-layered examination of the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates. It is – through director Paul Greengrass’s distinctive lens – simultaneously a pulse-pounding thriller, and a complex portrait of the myriad effects of globalization. The film focuses on the relationship between the Alabama’s commanding officer, Captain Richard Phillips (two time Academy award®-winner Tom Hanks), and the Somali pirate captain, Muse (Barkhad Abdi), who takes him hostage. Phillips and Muse are set on an unstoppable collision course when Muse and his crew target Phillips’ unarmed ship; in the ensuing standoff, 145 miles off the Somali coast, both men will find themselves at the mercy of forces beyond their control.


  • “Captain Phillips” is a compelling and remarkable movie making from the opening frame to the very last. The movie is a gripping, dramatic and harrowing true life story about modern-day piracy and understated heroism on the high seas. The drama keeps you literally on the edge of your seat.

    Tom Hanks gives one of the best performances of his entire career and deserves an Oscar for his role in this. He was the perfect choice to bring the emotion needed to carry this traumatic experience to life and make you totally believe. The whole cast were phenomenal, the pirates were perfectly cast and delivered impeccable, intense performances The action scenes won’t be beaten this year. My only criticism was the annoying shaky cam in the early scenes. Overall, this is the most impressive and well-executed movies of 2013. Awesome!

  • Captain Phillips is one of the greatest movies I have ever seen. It has incredible acting. It will always be amazing to me. It is one of the most emotional and intense movies I have ever seen. And I actually found myself shedding a few tears by the end. I knew all of this happened in real life but I did not know it was going to be the way it is. I’m not saying this is a bad thing but I’m basically trying to say that it is very packed and takes up a great 2 hours to 2 and a half hours of your time but it is worth it. I highly recommend you go see it while it is still in theaters or buy it when it comes out on home media.

  • Captain Phillips is a movie based on a true story, and on the book Richard Phillips himself wrote after the events that occurred in 2009: his cargo ship was attacked by Somali pirates, and after that he was taken hostage in a lifeboat, while the pirates awaited ransom and the US Navy tried to save Mr Phillips. Apparently, this movie is an Oscar contender, and many hail it as the best this year. I’m definitely not these people: Captain Phillips is a good movie, but it should have been better to be worthy of an Oscar. On the other hand, since the Oscars are often given to every Tom, Dick and Harry with no apparent reason, we might have a winner here – which, compared to some other movies this year, may truly be one of the most worthy of the award.

    There’s not much to say about the story that I haven’t already said. The movie starts by depicting Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks) as a family man, traveling to the airport with his wife Andrea (Catherine Keener) whom he loves very much, talking about their grown-up children and how it’s never easy to part. It would have been nice to see Phillips’ family again later in the movie – that would have added even more emotion to the story. Also, this is a lovely sequence, and I think people in a long-distance relationship will appreciate it the most. Mr Phillips reaches the Sultanate of Oman in the next scene, and gets aboard the MV Maersk Alabama – a cargo ship – with his crew. They know they will have to travel close to the coast of Somalia to get to their destination, so they are ready in case of pirate attacks. Unfortunately, after a first failed attempt, four Somali pirates, led by Muse (Barkhad Abdi), manage to get on board and take part of the crew hostage – and so a battle of wits begins.

    First of all, it’s nice to get a true story that’s really interesting and worth watching, once in a while. Too often do directors seem to think that, if they put “based on a true story” somewhere before the opening credits, the movie that follows will be able to grip the audience and make it automatically feel for the characters. The director Paul Greengrass is really working hard to make you feel the tension, the fear and everything else the characters are feeling – as if you were there with them. For example, the scenes in which the pirates try, and eventually manage, to get aboard the ship are able to make you so nervous you need to take a pill to calm down. Therefore, it’s really baffling how such a movie, with such a story, can get so boring so often. Apart from the fact that it’s unnecessary long – over 2 hours! – some scenes are obviously lengthened for no apparent reason (except to make the movie longer?). Generally, it’s very difficult to stay focused for so long, and it’s even more difficult when you have nothing to keep you interested. And since even Escape Plan managed to be constantly entertaining and interesting, Captain Phillips’ boringness can’t be justified.

    While, like I said, I don’t think Captain Phillips deserves an Oscar as a movie, Tom Hanks just might get a well-deserved one for best actor. I’ve never liked him in particular, but here he proves to be a great actor, as he carries the whole movie and is impressively spontaneous and believable in his main role. Barkhad Abdi, who plays Muse, the pirate gang leader, is amazing in his first-ever role as the main antagonist. Perhaps the best characteristic of this movie is that it doesn’t separate people in ‘Americans and good’ and ‘Somali and bad’. It acknowledges there’s so much more: the people who choose to be pirates don’t really have much of a choice, in their anarchistic, warlord-controlled country. While we want captain Phillips to get home safely, it’s cruel to leave those pirates to their fate – we know that if they go back to Somalia they will keep on living a tough life and perhaps will even be punished by the warlords that gave them the order to attack the ship. And yet, they have broken the law and nobody can really help them. In real life, Mr Phillips developed Stockholm syndrome after getting home: this shows clearly what a complicated subject we’re dealing with. In conclusion, aside from the flaws I pointed out and because of its good sides, this is a good movie you should definitely see.

    Rating: 7/10

  • “Captain Phillips” is a film of relentless tension and believable action, crowned by a masterful performance by Tom Hanks as the title character. Hanks’ performance is by far the best male performance I’ve seen this year and very much Oscar worthy. Also, the acting from the Somali pirates is top notch. Their emaciated look makes them so authentic. The action leading up to this moment is fast paced, interesting and mesmerizing. I was never bored for a second even though the movie was over two hours. This movie was totally riveting, from start to finish! The Navy is portrayed as professionals, and the camera work stays close to all actors and keeps the adrenaline pumping. Really, this is such a well made film, everything seemed so real. I also heard that it was very true to the actual story which is great. I highly recommend you go see it!

  • Captain Phillips 8.5/10- Based on the real-life hijacking of the Maesrk Alabama, Captain Phillips is a brilliantly directed film by Paul Greengrass with riveting performances by Tom Hanks and the newcomer Barkhad Abdi who plays Muse, the leader of the armed pirates.

    The movie is great largely because of the always great actor, Tom Hanks. Tom Hanks, who plays Captain Phillips, might have had the best performance of his career since “Forrest Gump.” Barkhad Abdi makes every single person in the theater believe that he actually is an actual Somali pirate. Paul Greengrass does not just show captain Phillips as the good guy and Muse as the bad guy. He gives Muse heart, he shows how the pirates are still people too and it works like a charm. The design of the ship and the life boat was extremely realistic . Captain Phillips is one of the most intense movies of the year and it keeps you at the edge of your seat the entire movie guaranteed. I dare someone to fall asleep in Captain Phillips.

    For full review and more,–captain-phillips.html

  • “They’re not here to fish.”

    An interpretation that fits Tom Hanks as a glove. He brings along his bag of tricks to show a whole range of emotions in this movie. An autobiographical movie based on the book by Captain Richard Philips : A Captain’s Duty : Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea. A raw and emotional report about the hijacking of a cargo ship off the Somali coast by pirates and the subsequent hostage of Philips .

    Tom Hanks shows different facets of the Captain. He’s an ordinary family man on his way to do a routine job, a dutiful captain who strictly adhere to the rules and can rely on many years of experience, a devious man with cunning and strategic ingenuity trying to shake of the pirates and afterwards to keep them on a leash, a scared person who fears for his life and still looks for a way out of this dangerous situation and as apotheosis a broken person who realizes that he escaped a life-threatening situation. In those last minutes Hanks shows what a brilliant actor he is. Every emotional stage he plays is as if he has experienced it for real. The severe dutiful glance, the fear in his eyes and combative look. Each is believable put down and you feel involved .

    The interpretation of the Somali pirates was terrifyingly real. Especially Barkhad Abdi was brilliant as Muse. A Somali who’s forced to get money for his tribe and puts together a group to engage in hijacking a ship and ask for ransom. He was a character that showed a mix of thoughtfulness and determination to achieve this. He’s also a leader who was able to calm down his team which walked around half-drugged all the time. With their wide open eyes and ferociously waving their machine guns .
    Despite the limited locations that could be used in this film, it’s a very tense movie and you see the situation escalate to a dangerous and violent claustrophobic journey in a lifeboat .

    I had no idea that those measures were taken by the U.S. military in such a situation. At one point I had the idea that this had to be a very special Captain and thus the great resources were deployed. Three military vessels were deployed and a platoon Navy SEALS been rounded up to do the job. Extremely professionally filmed and unnerving exciting moments. I didn’t know what the outcome of the film would be, but there isn’t much choice: either survive this trip to hell or don’t. It’s that simple .

    I hope that cargo ships are now allowed to arm themselves as they float in these waters, so that they can stop such an attack by a primitive motor boat. And otherwise just send an undercover team and pretend to be a reporting team that wants to interview them, after which they can be arrested. This actually worked at the airport in Brussels.

  • Sometimes movies almost write themselves. Many of us who remember following the news of the 2009 hijacking of the commercial ship Maersk Alabama and the kidnapping of its captain may also remember thinking how the saga played out much like a movie. Then, 2013 gave us “Captain Phillips” (PG-13, 2:14). Of course, there’s much more to the story than those news reports were able to tell us at the time. A quick internet search would give you the history of this event, but I’ll still restrict myself to just setting up the plot, as I’d do in any other review, in case you want to see the story unfold as if for the first time.

    Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks) is the Maersk Alabama’s wise and experienced captain, guiding his cargo ship down the coast of eastern Africa when the vessel is attacked by Somali pirates. Phillips knows that these are dangerous waters and even has his crew drill and prepare for a potential piracy situation, but no one on the ship imagines that it will actually happen to them. When it does, both captain and crew show bravery, resourcefulness and smarts that stymie the pirates’ plan to hold the ship for ransom. This leads the pirates to use the ship’s enclosed life boat to get away, but with Captain Phillips as their hostage. This sets up a race against time with the U.S. Navy working to save Captain Phillips before the pirates can get him back to Somalia and ransom him to secure the payoff that they feel is their due.

    Everything about this film is superb. Tom Hanks gives one of the best performances of his impressive career. Every fear, every calculation, every bit of pain is etched across his face, while his righteous defiance undergirds it all. The pirates are played by four Americans (and real-life friends) of Somali descent (impressively led by Barkhad Abdi) and are all first-time actors. Still, they imbue their characters with an authenticity that makes us fear them and a humanity that stops short of making us sympathize with them, but helps us understand them. Paul Greengrass (who also directed the 2nd and 3rd movies in the “Bourne” franchise and the underrated “United 93”) again shows that he’s a master of tension and pacing. He makes this story fascinating to watch, even if you remember what happened during those four dramatic days. “A”

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