Directed by Paul Greengrass of the Bourne Ultimatum, Captain Phillips is the true story of the 2009 hijacking of the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama by Somali pirates. Captain Richard Phillips, played by Oscar winner Tom Hanks, is forced into crisis mode when four armed militants board his unarmed ship. The film soon becomes a stand-off between two men: Phillips and the pirates’ fierce leader, Muse (expertly played by newcomer Barkhad Abdi). Phillips must make a series of life-or-death decisions to save himself, his crew and his ship.
The New Daily says: This shaky, unsettling film showcases Tom Hanks at his very best. An intelligent thriller, Captain Phillips delves into the myriad effects of globalisation and consumerism. The majestic ship, emblematic of American wealth and power, is a stark contrast to the rawness of the starved, determined hijackers. As the film progresses, both groups are revealed to be at the mercy of forces out of their control. Breakout star Barkhad Abdi also gives an electrifying performance, proving him to be one to watch.
Entertainment Weekly says: “Greengrass keeps you off balance — he’s a jittery poet of reality. Captain Phillips becomes a gripping life-or-death chess game: Who will survive? Who will outwit whom?”
Rotten Tomatoes says: 94% – “Smart, powerfully acted, and incredibly intense, Captain Phillips offers filmgoers a Hollywood biopic done right – and offers Tom Hanks a showcase for yet another brilliant performance.”
Crikey says: “Visceral and unsettling, a victim of its own sea sickness.”
David and Margaret say: Margaret: “I actually think it’s amazingly tense. I’m giving it four stars.” David: “I’m giving it three.”
The Guardian says: “Tom Hanks gives the performance of a lifetime. Make sure you allow time for a stiff drink afterwards – you’re going to need it.”
Actor and writer @RainnWilson: “Captain Phillips would have known what to do up in that space station.”
Author @JoyceCarolOates: “”Captain Phillips” exemplary action/suspense film begging the question: why? No inwardness, no reflection, no purpose in reconstruction.”
Film critic @lukebuckmaster: “After catching up with Captain Phillips, I’m uncertain whether I’d prefer to spend time with Somali pirates or Wilson the volleyball.”
Kids? No. The themes of the film alone are only suitable for 16 and up. Especially if your children are prone to seasickness.
Watch it: With friends, older siblings, or a particularly brave date.