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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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On Board With Modern-Day Pirates!
"Captain Phillips" is the Hollywood retelling of the true-to-life 2009 harrowing story of an American container vessel Maersk Alabama (with Captain Richard Phillips at the helm) being held hostage by Somali pirates. The screenplay by Billy Ray was based on the novel "A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea" written by Captain Richard Phillips himself.

Playing the titular character, Tom Hanks is what this film is all about. He starts off simply, playing Capt. Phillips as a family man and seasoned seaman on a routine delivery. However when the pirates came, you see him transform into a cool-under-pressure leader and shrewd tactician, matching wits with these desperate aggressors. In the last five minutes, Hanks would give us an unexpected display of emotion which may well deliver him another Oscar for Best Actor.

The four Somali-American first-time actors playing the pirates are a very realistic bunch. They play with wild-eyed and feral intensity, really scary. Barkhad Abdi plays their skinny foolhardy leader Muse, engaging Phillips in a deadly chess game, toe-to-toe. Faysal Ahmed plays the hot-headed Najee, who was the loose cannon of the group. Barkhad Abdirahman plays the young recruit Bilal, getting himself a baptism of fire on his first time out.

When I saw the name director Paul Greengrass in the credits, I understood why the sense of tension and urgency were so well-conveyed. This was that familiar sense of excitement we felt in his previous films, like the last two Jason Bourne films or that suspenseful 9/11 drama "United 93". He really knows how to make military operations exciting on screen, as he did for the Army in "Green Zone" and the Navy SEALS in this film.

I have to admit I was on the verge of getting seasick with the shakiness of the camera, but luckily I held on despite the two-hour length of the film set at sea.

Overall, this is a different sort of adventure drama, with a topic not too commonly tackled in a mainstream film. We hear of these events on the news, but this film brings us right in the middle of one. We will feel the tension building as the pirates were approaching. We will feel the fear when the pirates were on board. We will feel the desperation and the frustration of being trapped in the middle of the open ocean with no help immediately forthcoming. If you are up for such a realistic experience, then this film is for you.
More like a drama than an action movie
There is one question in my mind that is never addressed in the movie: why did they go near pirate infested water with no weapons? If they had guns or shields they could have repelled the pirates. Since the issue is not addressed, I can only assume the captain is stupid, which makes this a movie about a stupid person.

I also don't find Tom Hank's performance realistic. He acted too calmly, and didn't even break a sweat. Strangely, near the end he had a nervous breakdown. It almost look fake considering how calm he had been up to that point.

Another thing that didn't make sense is why the pirates would leave the ship at all. When the ship's crew released the pirate captain, he could simply stay on the ship.
no where near as good as i was hoping
The first thing to say about this film is its at least 30 minutes too long. Why almost everyone now has to stretch films out to running times that do not warrant the story is beyond me. It is a simple and true tale of a man battling great odds, which i think could have been told in a better way. We never get to see how is family are coping with the situation, this would have given the film its much needed emotional kick. The thing the carries the film is Tom Hanks' obvious charisma, but even with that half way through it starts to become tedious, the lifeboat section seemed to go on and on, there was too much repetition and no movement forward just so that the film makers could get the film to over two hours. It also has a terrible ending with the Captain being shouted at by a nurse with one of the worst voices i have come across, she just does not shut up, this was supposed to be therapeutic but was very grating.
'Captain Phillips' is one hell of a fine film and reminds us why we all love Tom Hanks. Great picture.
Tom Hanks is back out on the water again with Paul Greengrass' 'Captain Phillips', the true story that was covered in the media a few years ago, where cargo ship captain Richard Phillips (Hanks) and his crew were attacked by Somali pirates off the coast of Africa during a delivery, and where Phillips was actually taken hostage in a tony life boat for a few days. As there have been several survival movies coming out as of recently, this one in particular can sit high with the rest of them, as Greengrass and Hanks do exceptional work and keep this two-hour long suspenseful film on the edge of your seat. I expect high box office returns for this outing as Hanks and the plot will drive people to theaters this weekend.

I was a little worried that 'Captain Phillips' would be an eye sore as Greengrass is known for his quick and jerky cuts from his 'Bourne' movies, but I can happily say, that those obnoxious angles and edits have been left out. The film opens up with the good captain saying goodbye to his family as he is about to embark on a little trip to haul tons of food, medicine, water, and other goods to Africa. However, his big cargo ship and crew of about 20 workers have to go through some unprotected waters to reach their destinations.

Phillips is a no non-sense guy and is always on top of his staff in doing their jobs. He knows the score and has been around the block a few times. He knows that he is going into these dangerous waters and even sets ups drills in case his ship is attacked by Somali pirates, who we have come to know in the news as desperate poor civilians in an anarchist country whose only means of making money is to kidnap and hold ransom foreign boats and captains for large sums of money, so that thy can pay off their evil bosses and possibly eat the next day. As Phillips and his crew are just out to sea, a large group of Somalis are standing beach-front and being recruited and heavily armed to take two small boats and attack the incoming large ships in hopes of a big financial score.

These Somalis must only weigh 115 pounds at the most and can't be over the age of 25. It seems that one of the groups that is recruited is led by a guy named Muse (Bakhad Abdi), who doesn't want to hurt anyone, but just survive. As Captain Phillips is running a drill for an attack, he notices two small boats racing toward his large boat and a real attack is underway. Phillips does everything he can to prevent these pirates from boarding their ship, but due to the ship's largeness, it can't turn or move fast, and the pirates soon dodge the large fire hoses and are aboard a ship of over 20 crew who have no weapons.

Phillips instructs his crew to hide in the engine room and keep out of sight as Muse calls Phillips 'Irish' from now on and demands money. After a bit of stalling and taking the pirates around the ship, Phillips gives in and gives Muse the $30k that is on the ship in cash. However some of the other pirates who have a super hot temper believe that if they kidnap Phillips, they will get an even bigger payday. As the navy and military have been alerted and are on their way, the pirates and crew have a standoff, but the pirates have the upper-hand here and take Phillips away in a dingy lifeboat, which they hope to make it to Somalia in under two days.

Soon, the military, helicopters, Navy Seals, and several warships are tailing the little enclosed lifeboat, as tensions keep building on both sides. Muse often reminds Phillips that he is just a simple fisherman looking to survive and is not out to hurt anyone, but the same cannot be said for the other three pirates in the lifeboat who are constantly beating Phillips. In the big climax of the film, we again come to realize why Tom Hanks is one of the best actors in the business. We all know how it turned out in real life, Phillips was rescued, but what Hanks gave as a performance, is nothing short of perfection in the final ten minutes.

His shock and terror of what had happened to him is simply stunning. He is speechless, silent, and only mumbling incoherent questions as the nurse asks him who he is and does he know where he's at. You have to see these final minutes of this film, for they will truly stay with you for a while, and the hour and a half before it only builds that tension and release. Greengrass did a great job with this film as his camera took us to a claustrophobic setting where we the audience are trying to breathe and stay calm as our hero Phillips is. And the pirates all do a decent job, if not a clichéd job here and there, but it gets the job done. Note that the pirate in charge of driving the small life boat is constantly terrified.

Henry Jackman's musical score amps up the suspense and keeps things moving. 'Captain Phillips' is one hell of a fine film and reminds us why we all love Tom Hanks. Great picture.
Interesting movie
We don't know so much about these activities oversea. It was interesting watch story about different point of view. Very interesting "play" with camera, it involves about story. You feel on shoes of every character on screen. It was a good thriller. It's incredible things happened on our world these days.
A truly boring story
What's the point? Shooting a personal monument to Captain Phillips? The story is really not worth a movie. Actually Somali pirates are not a very interesting antagonist group in terms of action, but the movie does depict that well. A bit too well when comes the final part and the U.S. of A. unleashes hell to handle the situation.

Maybe one can appreciate that it is not a dumb Hollywood actioneer with cliché bad guys kicking everything around until the empire strikes back. But what difference does it make in the end when the Navy firepower comes into play? True story may be gripping. I'd say they are when it is more about character than about action. Here in Captain Phillips - as in United 93 - it is about action and true to life action is somewhat weak. Honesty never was a prerequisite for a good movie, but I guess Paul Greengrass's talent has been wasted on the false perception that his ability to shoot action sequences was rooted in an efficient 'honest-documentary-style' approach. On the other hand I guess Greengrass himself is attracted to real-life characters which unfortunately lead to weaker all-around action than with a movie-calibrated hero.

I hope Greengrass finds a hero with substance who also happens to be caught in a vortex of action. In a nutshell: some Jason Bourne with a memory and a conscience.
An intense adventure
Paul Greengrass, known for "The Bourne Ultimatum" and for "United 93" brings us a really intense thriller about the true story of Captain Richard Phillips and the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates of the US- flagged MV Maersk Alabama. With a really intense atmosphere and a powerful story, "Captain Phillips" it's definitely a must-see for everyone. Another excellent movie that after grabbing your attention, will leave you speechless until the credits role.

With "Captain Phillips", Paul Greengrass manages to provide the same intensity level of "United 93" adding a much more powerful story. Tom Hanks and Barkhad Abdi have done terrific jobs by interpreting really difficult characters. It's impossible not to feel moved with Tom Hanks performance as Captain Richard Phillips. The other three actors that portrayed the pirates that hijacked the ship, have also made really remarkable performances, giving a sense of realism to the movie I was not expecting to see.

This adaptation of the book "A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS, and Dangerous Days at Sea" by Captain Richard Phillips himself will therefore bring you some really strong emotions and feelings.

So if you want to watch a movie with a powerful and remarkable story with brilliant performances and intense action sequences and experience this realistic adventure that will get your attention right from the beginning, "Captain Phillips" it's my suggestion for you. "Captain Phillips" it's definitely one of the best films of the year!
Dramatization of real Somali pirates hijacking the first American ship in 200 years.
This is based on real events just a few years ago. Tom Hanks is Captain Richard Phillips, who travels to the middle east to take a fully-loaded cargo ship to an African port. They must pass through international waters off the Somali coast, they are aware of the inherent danger, they are prepared, they have drills, they feel they can ward off any pirate hijacking attempt.

But as they get going radar picks up a couple of boats headed in their direction. They can't be sure, but they suspect a hijacking attempt, they secure the ship, they contact international authorities.

The main pirate is played by Barkhad Abdi as Muse. He has three others, and they are determined to get this ship. Their goal is to capture it and the crew and then hold it for ransom. They allude to the insurance man coming with bags of money, millions of dollars.

The movie is extremely well made, the actors are very authentic in their roles. Hanks of course turns in his usual award-worthy performance, it remains to be seen if he in fact will win any.

Quite a good, exciting, gripping movie.

SPOILERS: As we know from the news Muse was captured as the four pirates tried using the rather slow cargo ship's escape pod to get to Somalia, with Cpt Phillips as a hostage. American military ships, helicopters, and Navy Seals showed up, Muse ended up in captivity, the other 3 pirates were killed by sharpshooters, through the escape pod's windows, and Cpt Phillips was rescued relatively unharmed, just bruised and in shock from his near brush with death. Muse was brought to the USA, tried, convicted, and now is in prison. After about a year Cpt Phillips returned to the sea.
A HUGE letdown
How in the world is that rated so highly? This is nothing more than manufactured Hollywood BS! The tension that everybody raved about rarely happens. There are brief moments of tension, but nothing is sustained. It all felt phony. Even when Phillips is captured, there isn't much suspense. It's all done in routine fashion. After it was over my initial reaction was "That's it?!" I felt severely cheated. For a movie that's over two hours long, nothing really garnered my interest. I'm a big fan of Hanks, but his performance isn't anything special. As a matter of fact, he overacted. His final scene is embarrassingly overacted. As much as I like Hanks, this isn't one of his best performances. Barkhad Abdi is solid in his role.

This movie left me feeling cold. Many will probably scratch their heads reading this review. I just think it's more Hollywood drivel that didn't live up to the hype

Piracy and powerlessness
Allow me to start with what you likely have already read — this film is well-crafted and tense procedural about a true story. The fact that I still found it tense and exciting, even when I already knew the ending (including the oft-mentioned Captain Phillips ending scene) is a high compliment.

So why tell this story? I took it as a meditation on powerlessness, a film that didn't deal with heroes or villains, only victims. There's a shipping crew that is easily sought out by pirates, and there are the pirates that ultimately fail. In either case, it's not as if either side feels in control of their destiny. They're just playing to some largely unseen authority. After the crew deflects the first attempted piracy in the film, one character says that as a union member, he didn't sign up for this kind of danger. The reaction? He chose to work on a ship that went around the horn of Africa. "What did you expect?" he's asked. Later, when one of the pirates steps on broken glass and injures he foot, he's asked the very same question by his leaders. Even the two competing captains — the pirate and the title character — ultimately are swayed (or saved) by the power of the state. What did they expect? To be the one in control?
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