Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Review - Captain Phillips (2013)

Starring Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi and Corey Johnson.
Directed by Paul Greengrass.

Captain Phillips recounts the true events of the 2009 Somali hijacking of the Maersk Alabama cargo ship in 2009. Abduwali Muse (Barkhad Abdi) leads a group of Somalians who rob the ship and then decide to take Captain Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks) hostage for an even bigger ransom.

The story is simple really; it is a robbery and kidnapping occurring in the middle of the ocean. Even though you kinda have an idea of how it will end, it had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. What makes Captain Phillips fascinating was how somewhat terrified you felt seeing the interactions and the events unfolding as the movie went on. Such a tense and unsettling atmosphere created by Paul Greengrass from start to finish, with a fantastic script. It felt all too real. Captain Phillips is one of the most nerve-wracking movie I've seen this year (next to Gravity of course).

The acting in this movie was so amazing. Our four Somali pirates, who are all unknown actors by the way, were so convincing and quite frightening, led by an impressive Barkhad Abdi. He and Tom are the driving forces of this film and does so impressively. I also like the fact that this movie opened up in Somali so as to give us a little background of our pirates and their intentions -- and not just rush into the hijacking. Tom Hanks delivers another impressive performance which should put him in contention for another Oscar award. Watching Tom Hanks' character nervously trying to resolve the situation with the pirates made me nervous the entire movie for his safety --- not to mention a very heartfelt and emotional ending that almost made me tear up.

Director Paul Greengrass is the master of creating a claustrophobic atmosphere, which complimented this true story perfectly. Tense, well-written and well-acted, Captain Phillips makes you well aware and never want to venture into the Indian Ocean.

Rating: 9/10


  1. Hanks really impressed me here and made me realize that yes, he is one of the best working today, no matter what questionable choices he may or may not make. Good review Shawna.

    1. Thanks Dan! Tom Hanks doing what he does best, impress us!