Captain Phillips
Crime, Drama, Thriller, Action, Adventure, Biography
IMDB rating:
Paul Greengrass
Tom Hanks as Captain Richard Phillips
Faysal Ahmed as Najee
Mahat M. Ali as Elmi
Mohamed Ali as Asad
Barkhad Abdi as Muse
Michael Chernus as Shane Murphy
David Warshofsky as Mike Perry
Yul Vazquez as Captain Frank Castellano
Chris Mulkey as John Cronan
Corey Johnson as Ken Quinn
Catherine Keener as Andrea Phillips
Max Martini as SEAL Commander
Storyline: 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.
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Real, and as true as can be. You really get both sides of this story.
Strong will, and great acting bring you a very entertaining story you will want to share. Great characters built from a great real life story, and it's a good one. You will be taken on the full ride here; from a little bit of terror to the suspense you can only feel dangling over a knife edge, while Tom Hanks, and Barkhad Abdi keep you entertained, and your eyes glued to both of them while they are on screen. This is about as good as movies get, you have all the right build up, and then you get right to the action, and are rewarded for every minute of your time. I as you can tell Enjoyed the resilient Captain Phillips, and would recommend it to everyone. There is some small amount of blood, but there is nothing that you would have to keep away from anyone, this one is good for anybody to watch. They will compare this to Castaway of course, but the ending, and the middle are completely different. ;)
Fine docu-drama but not much more
I'm a big fan of Paul Greengrass, but it seems that in Captain Phillips he was trying too hard not to take sides, having perhaps taken too much criticism for the partisanship of his brilliant films Bloody Sunday and Green Zone. It's not that I felt this new film desperately needed to make a political statement. It's just that it fails to make any statement at all. Or even to provide basic context for the events it depicts.

The production is certainly impeccable. The shipboard settings, the procedures, and Tom Hanks' character are so totally believable that it's easy to forget you're not watching a documentary. (*Mild spoilers*...) Hanks' initial efforts to safeguard his crew, and to calm the pirates, are clever and engrossing. But at some point, that impetus evaporates, and we're left with a very realistic, very tense situation in which the lead character no longer plays any part other than that of helpless victim. Things unwind like clockwork, with no particular twists or surprises. That may be how it happened, but it's not how to make a great action film.

I did appreciate Greengrass' effort to humanize the pirates. (If there's an Oscar going for this film, it belongs to Barkhad Abdi, for his nuanced performance as the pirate leader.) But the film stops short of any real exploration of the social or political pressures behind the incident it depicts. It fails to comment on the astounding spectacle of multiple billion-dollar navy ships and SEAL teams doing battle with four guys in a dinghy. It doesn't even address the obvious question of why a valuable merchant ship, registered in the most gun-happy country on Earth, and traveling through known pirate waters, doesn't have a weapons locker, or a security guard, or a single personal sidearm.

Tom Hanks is excellent as always, but this is not an Oscar-worthy *role*. Hanks plays on just two notes: first restrained and competent, then shifting quite abruptly to broken and terrified. This seems very realistic, and it's perfectly played. But it's just not that interesting. The script does little to analyze Phillips' eventual breakdown; it merely notes it as one more part of the scenario.

Bottom line, I enjoyed watching Captain Phillips, and I greatly admired the technique of both Greengrass and Hanks. But I didn't find the film particularly insightful, memorable or - considering the lack of character development or plot - exciting. It stands up well enough as a simple document of an actual event, but fails to tell me why that event might have been important enough to merit a big-budget movie treatment.
Paul Greengrass directs another tension driven film bringing Tom Hanks to the forefront...
Hours after the World Premiere of Paul Greengrass' newest psychological thriller "Captain Phillips," my heart is still palpating at a hundred beats per minute. Starring the magnificent Tom Hanks in his finest performance since "Cast Away," this edge-of-your-seat thrill ride lands as one of the best films of the New York Film Festival and the year.

An intricate and precisely executed thriller written by Billy Ray, everything about "Captain Phillips" works amazingly. It's this year's "Zero Dark Thirty" in tension and features not one, but two fierce performances from Tom Hanks and newcomer Barkhad Abdi. A loose dramatization and not a fact to fact retelling of a dark day for an American captain, the film takes us through the days Captain Richard Phillips' cargo ship was hijacked by Somali pirates in 2009. The film unravels itself with a narrative intensity bringing our hero from the day of his departure to the end of his journey. Writer Billy Ray's detailed and well-structured script provides Greengrass to do exactly what he does best in his directorial efforts. There are definite elements in "Captain Phillips" that remind me of the emotional and gut- wrenching effect that "United 93" had on so many of us nearly seven years ago. While you will have a near heart attack, you will be in tears by the end credits.

I haven't been this impressed with the work of Tom Hanks in years. Putting every ounce of his charm to good use but digging deep into a character with such raw and emotional fervency. Hanks' dedication and abilities utilized are the same tools used in his first Oscar-winning performance in "Philadelphia" I assure you. It's a turn that could make him this year's Daniel Day-Lewis. As his wife, the beautiful Catherine Keener is regulated to one single scene, at the beginning of our film, where Hanks dominates the conversation. Still a cherry on top if you ask me but not something that many will notice nor remember..

Breakthrough performer Barkhad Abdi is simply sensational. With a snarky demeanor as he calls Capt. Phillips "Irish" - Abdi plays Muse, a Somali pirate that is layered with pride and disdain for the human condition. Billy Ray gives him such a complexity, hinting at a sensitive undertone but not masking the overtly violent rage that embodies his soul; it's a creative formula that equals an interesting dichotomy. Abdi administers these traits brilliantly.

As you expect any Paul Greengrass film to be, the technical executions are top-notch including the intimate Cinematography by Barry Ackroyd and the tight editing of Christopher Rouse, both sure-fire Oscar nominees for awards season.

One of the amazing things about "Captain Phillips" is the final twenty minutes or so. Pent-up emotion that has built for nearly two hours, our hero's last moments with the audience are both triumphant and incredibly vulnerable. This is when Tom Hanks shows his true power as one of the finest actors to grace our screens. I admire the man. He captures the real human condition, both in courage and in the face of defeat. How would you react in what you thought could be your final moments on Earth? Who would you think about? What about if you did make it? Would you be so overcome with emotion that you couldn't focus on the blanket of safety that surrounds you, or would you just crumble into the fetus position, wanting to return to your place of origin? "Captain Phillips" renewed my love of the movies. It's what breathes life into my daily routine. It fascinates us and which is why, no matter how terrible our lives are, or how the economy falls beneath our feet, cinema still lives. Free as a bird. I'm in awe of all of this. I feel privileged to share those moments. Not to be hyperbolic or put focus on the Oscar race, which is what I do for a living, but "Captain Phillips" showed me what Tom Hanks really means to cinema. Our lives are habitual and ordinary at times, yet someone, every now and again, has the ability to capture those little quirks of our own selves. I think Hanks is this generation's treasure that will be remembered for years to come. I'm in near tears as I write this now. Paul Greengrass brought me personally into a situation that I will likely never be in and examined my frail and defenseless spiritual nature. Connection. That's what cinema is about. Few films do this. Many never will.

To get off the somber note, "Captain Phillips" is filled with high- levels of tension. Bring your defibrillator and a bottle of Xanex to make it through the picture as your heart will be beating outside of your chest. In so many ways, it's the perfect film. Real life, authentic characters, and a cast and crew that show up to deliver some of their finest works. A dynamite lesson of the human psyche.

"Captain Phillips" opens in theaters October 11.
Starts well, but dragged on.
We watched the film, and after 30 minutes, started wondering why this was supposed to be so good. Well it all became a rather boring experience, and keeping our eyes open until the end , became a bit of an ordeal. Sometimes we viewers can be seduced into overpraising ordinary story telling, when the work fails to entertain, having been over hyped up by the media. Far too long, and be sure to have the guts to check out the less positive reviews, before deciding to watch this overlong, and dull production.
Tom Hanks at his best in a terrifyingly realistic true story.
Let me begin by saying that Captain Phillips, as an action film, turned out to be much more than I had initially anticipated. I was expecting half drama / half moderate action film with likely a good dash of political hopscotch. It's probably a good thing then, that I knew next to nothing about the actual story, because I love a good surprise. Captain Phillips is two hours of absolutely intense and absolutely uncompromising physical and psychological anxiety. At the end of it, I literally had to sit for a minute and just breathe, because this story gripped me by the throat like few films in recent memory have.

For those still unfamiliar with the story – this is a retelling of a historical event; the first US cargo ship in 200 years to be hijacked by pirates. During which, its captain Richard Phillips is taken hostage by the pirates, on his own lifeboat no less.

I got the sense that, somewhere in between the lines it was the director's intention to perhaps create an opening for a different story to be told: that of the Somali pirates, and why they do what they do. We are told that they are fishermen, and sheer poverty has driven them to these desperate acts. However, I don't know for sure if I'm supposed to feel any sympathy for these men, if I was supposed to 'understand' their motives – if this was Paul Greengrass' intention, it didn't work. Because no matter which way you swing it, these pirates are the bad guys and that's as clear as day. No degree of poverty or despair should be held as an excuse for such gruesome acts. Then again, if this was at all the point, I'm glad it wasn't hammered down in any way. It was merely a thought, and one conveyed subtly enough for anyone to make up their own mind about this issue.

What is clear here, is that these men (only four of them, surprisingly) committed a terrible crime. Not even so much the piracy itself, but the kidnapping and abuse of one individual. This individual is played by Tom Hanks, and he delivers one of his most eloquent and restrained performances to date. Here is a man, a captain of a large cargo ship, who is usually very much in control of his life and a clearheaded leader of his crew – but who, in the heat of reality, is just as human as any of us and simply does the best he can, even when (in spite of overwhelming protocol) one simply doesn't know what to do. Because protocol doesn't apply to the emotions that take control of both the captain and his captors, when they face a situation none of them anticipated. This is immediately one if my favourite performances by Tom Hanks, whose strength here lies mostly in the quiet moments in between all the chaos surrounding him. You can tell that he never stops thinking, never stops analyzing his situation, no matter what the pirates do to intimidate him. He conveys it all in the eyes – all the fear and anxiety, while constantly staying calm and collected, trying to talk to his captors, never losing his head. Even when fighting for his life, there is an assertive calmness that comes across so strongly that you can do nothing but admire this man. Hanks' performance is so convincing, it almost doesn't look like acting anymore... and that's a huge compliment.

The same goes for the other actors, especially the men playing the Somali pirates. Before being cast for this film, none of them had any acting experience, which makes their performances all the more impressive. Then, it also makes one wonder how much of a compliment it actually is when a director literally picks you off the street because apparently he thinks that you're perfectly fit for the part of a menacing pirate, but that's food for another discussion, another time... In any case, he was right about them. These men ARE absolutely convincing and authentic. Especially the leader of the gang, played by Barkhad Abdi, is right on the money. He needs nothing more than the look in his eyes to convince you that you're right to feel absolutely terrified of him.

From a technical standpoint, Captain Phillips is very well made. My only grievance is Greengrass' typical trademark: the shaky handy-cam. Here and there it's almost enough to make you seasick, and I really wish he would ease up on this gimmick, because although it adds to the feeling of suspense and chaos, that doesn't weigh up to the headache it causes. Steady-cam was invented for a reason, mister director. Use it. Still, the other qualities of the film are easily strong enough to make up for this one point of critique. The pacing is excellent, it grips you like a pitbull and never lets go until the credits roll in. Colouring and lighting effects are perfectly used for an incredibly realistic feel and claustrophobic atmosphere. Everything feels very real and absolutely no sentimental plot devices are exploited here. Top-notch screen writing.

I can do nothing other than strongly recommend this film. It is very intense and at times very violent, and definitely one of the best films in its genre. And if this doesn't convince you, see it for one of Tom Hanks' best performances of his career.
As thrilling as his Bourne movies but more significant and poignant in its portrayal of everyday heroism, Paul Greengrass delivers one of the most compelling films of the year
Even before he checked into the second and third instalment of 'The Bourne Trilogy', British filmmaker Paul Greengrass had already proved himself the master of cinema verite with his dramatization of the events of September 11 on board the ill-fated 'United 93'. And in 'Captain Philips', based on the remarkable true story of four Somali pirates who hijacked the American freighter Maersk Alabama and held its captain on board a lifeboat for five days, Greengrass repeats that same feat by taking a story for which the outcome is already known and turning it into a gripping, harrowing, and deeply emotional thriller.

In adapting the ship's captain Rich Philips' own memoir of his ordeal, Greengrass and his screenwriter Billy Ray respectfully retain their titular character's perspective of the situation; but beyond that - and also what makes it even more compelling - is how their movie goes beyond his amazing display of everyday heroism to explore the poverty, desperation and cynicism that drove four Somali fishermen to become high sea pirates.

And so the opening offers not just one but two perspectives - the first sees the middle-aged Philips packing in his Vermont home and driving to the airport with his wife (Catherine Keener); and the second, set on the beach in the pirate city of Eyl, Somalia, has leader Muse (Barkhad Abdi) recruiting his crew for their next mission which would be Philips' cargo ship. Greengrass demonstrates his commitment to tell both sides of the story throughout the entire movie, refusing at any one point to demonise Philips' captors; instead, he depicts them as ordinary men driven by political and economic circumstances to end up at odds with Philips.

There has always been a kineticism to Greengrass' storytelling, and this is no different. With assured economy, Greengrass brings his audience right into the heart of the crisis, as Philips is quickly confronted with the threat of two rapidly approaching skiffs bearing hostiles. What follows unfolds with immediacy and urgency, with Philips forced to adopt evasive manoeuvres in order to thwart Muse and his crew's attempts to board his ship but eventually being forced to do what is necessary to preserve as many of his crew's lives as possible. It's hardly any secret that Philips will end up on a suffocating lifeboat as their hostage, but you have to hand it to Greengrass for staging the action with such fluency and white-knuckle thrill that you'll still be caught by surprise by that turn of events.

Collaborating once again with cinematographer Barry Ackroyd, Greengrass hews to a familiar visual style that combines hand-held photography, quick edits and a propulsive soundtrack. Unlike lesser filmmakers which botch the use of shaky-cam, Greengrass' previous experience in shooting documentary features has honed his ability to shoot long unbroken sequences on handhelds, and that trademark style here works wonders in capturing the verisimilitude of the characters' predicaments. From the open sea to the interior of the cargo ship and finally to the claustrophobic confines of the lifeboat, Greengrass' shooting technique pulls you deeper and closer to Philips' life-and-death circumstance.

But this is as much a Greengrass movie as it is one of Tom Hanks. The Academy Award winner of such classics like 'Forrest Gump' and 'Apollo 13' has seen his career languishing in recent years, but as the seaman thrust into an impossible situation, Hanks registers one of his career- best performances. Putting his Everyman persona to excellent use, Hanks invites you to identify with and believe in his extraordinary struggle of courage and mettle. It's a masterful performance, one full of nuances that evolves ever so subtly as his character is forced to react with the changing circumstances and hits a peak when finally he is called upon to re-enact the captain's succumbing to post-traumatic stress. Hanks is on excellent form here, portraying Philips' fear, bravery, and anxiety in a perfectly calibrated minimalist act.

Much has also been said of Mogadishu émigré Barkhad Abdi's spellbinding debut, and it is indeed extraordinary. Despite possessing zero acting experience, Abdi proves a perfect foil for Hanks, especially as Greengrass turns his focus in the latter half of the movie on the edgy relationship between Philips and Muse. Ray's sharply written screenplay slowly but surely allows both characters - and us - to realise that they are mere pawns in a larger geopolitical context not within their control, and while Abdi is never less than forceful in his display of skinny bravado, Hanks complements that with his earnestness and empathy - a scene towards the end where he sits in despair recognising the inevitable fate awaiting his captors after failing to convince them to surrender is simply humbling to watch.

Yes, there's no doubt Philips is a heroic figure, and Greengrass diminishes none of his amazing courage even as he adds to that portrayal the humanity of Philips' captors. It is a richly textured story, told as a blow-by-blow procedural of how Philips ended up in that calamity, how he managed to save his entire crew under extreme duress and how eventually after five days he emerged against all odds with his life intact. That Greengrass can direct a taut and captivating thriller is something we already know from the 'Bourne' films, but 'Philips' easily qualifies as one of his best, because it possesses an emotional intensity that goes to the heart of the human spirit, a pure and elemental struggle against adversity for survival. Together, Greengrass and his excellent leading man Hanks make you feel up close and personally engaged through and through with Philips through his ordeal, and it is an experience you won't quite soon forget.
Captain Phillips (U/A) English ---------- my Rating : ★★★½
Captain Phillips (U/A) English New movie Reviews and lots more Hot news .... LIKE THIS PAGE : English Hindi TAMIL TELUGU Facebook : Movie Review by Yunus Irshad

Captain Phillips (U/A) English ---------- my Rating : ★★★½

STRENGTHS :- * Tom Hanks performance * Story inspired by True events * Direction was awesome * Camera was great between the ships

WEAKNESSES :- * Screenplay slows in the second half .... * Editing must have done more work in cropping the movie ....

FINAL VERDICT :- * Overall... u will be the fan of tom hanks after watching this... The true story of Captain Richard Phillips and the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates of the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama, the first American cargo ship to be hijacked in two hundred years.
One of the most intense films I've seen in a while.
It's got to be difficult to take a true story and make it into an intense thriller. Before watching this film I looked up the story of the actual Richard Phillips and therefore knew that he made it out okay. Yet somehow at the near end of this movie I was biting my nails at how intense this was. Captain Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks) is the captain of the cargo ship Maersk Alabama. When traveling around Somalia his ship is taken over by Somali pirates. But when the cargo crew manage to subdue a weapon from Abduwali Muse (Barkhad Abdi) the leader Muse escapes with the rest of the pirates in a lifeboat and holds Captain Phillips hostage. The rest of the movie is the US Navy negotiating with Muse about Captain Phillips's return home. This part is incredibly intense. It was still intense after I read about the real story too so Paul Greengrass did a good job. Hanks's performance was stellar as always so if you like intense films don't miss this.
Don't believe the hype
Why critics are so gaga over this movie, I have no idea. But once again, it is my job to be the voice of reason. There is no doubt the true story of the real Captain Phillips is quite compelling, but due to a misguided directorial effort from Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum) "Captain Phillips" the movie simply comes off as a bit hollow and shockingly boring.

Based on the true story of Captain Richard Phillips (played by Tom Hanks) who in 2009 was the Captain of an American cargo ship, which was hijacked by Somali pirates, I realize it makes me sound crazy or heartless that I was somewhat bored with a movie containing a premise which can only be described as: surefire Oscar bait, but… I'll get right to the point. The biggest problem with "Captain Phillips" is that not for one second did I believe Captain Phillips was in any danger of dying…and the man had multiple guns pointed to his head throughout! And before you say it, this criticism had nothing to do with the fact that I already knew the real life ending, because I knew the "real life" ending of "Argo" as well, but due to some excellent direction (thank you Ben Affleck) I questioned the survival of those characters until the very end. This goes back to the suspect direction that takes this "can't miss" premise about a hostage situation and injects very little suspense or peril.

The only thing saving this venture is the interactions between Captain Phillips and Muse (played by amateur actor, Barkhad Abdi) the Somali pirate leader. During these interactions the plight of the pirates does become more layered, therefore extending the premise of this film beyond the trailer. But other than that, Greengrass gives us little more than what's shown in the trailers. In fact, what he adds (a few million dollar tracking shots and a plethora of the Greengrass hand-held shots) only detracts from the film, as these camera movements become far too distracting when characters are simply standing still and attempting to have a conversation. I mean, while this could be considered to be somewhat of an "action film", for much of "Captain Phillips" it seemed as if Greengrass thought he was directing the next installment in the Bourne series, instead of a maritime drama, which (judging by the script) was meant to focus on personal interactions rather than hand to hand combat.

This next paragraph may contain a spoiler: The Acting: Everybody on screen gives fine performances. But, the thing I would like to touch on is Tom Hanks' performance in the final few minutes of this movie. In the final few minutes, due to the situation Captain Phillips is placed in, Hanks must act as though he is under great emotional duress. I never associated the term "overacting" with the great Tom Hanks, but the performance he puts forth in the final ten minutes, will surely garner scattered snickers from audiences.

Final Thought: "Captain Phillips" is a clear example of one of those films where meaningful things are happening on screen and (as an audience member) you understand that you should be feeling something, but, due to the director's inability to form an emotional connection with his audience, feel nothing but disconnection from the action. If you want to see a good movie about Somali piracy, check out "Asad", the Oscar nominated short from a year ago. But unless you're talking about a DVD rental, don't waste eleven dollars on "Captain Phillips".

Written by Markus Robinson, Edited by Nicole I. Ashland
Good All-round entertainment
Captain Phillips is based on true events and director Paul Greengrass who has his roots in docu filmmaking has already plenty of experience in making military themed films. It's filmed in his trademark shaky-cam style: this gives it a more dynamic feel and more immersion for the audience but for some people it might get a bit annoying. Performances are all-round excellent with Tom Hanks as the venerable Captain and some unknown actors as the Somalians. A good choice as well known actors might have been distracting and less believable. It's also obvious the US military lent their cooperation to this movie as it clearly demonstrates how the American army works as an efficient machine. Some actors in this film are also real-life army personnel. In this film it's not a problem as it doesn't feel like a military promotion as some other films like Annapolis or Act of Valor. Captain Phillips will keep you entertained for a good 2 hours so it's certainly worth the watch. For me it can win some Oscars but Gravity still remains my favorite.
See Also
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