Movie Review: Captain Phillips

Director: Paul Greengrass

Writer: Billy Ray (screenplay) Richard Phillips (Book)

Cast: Tom Hanks, Barhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman


Rich Phillips (Hanks) is a 20 year veteran captain with a reputation for efficiency and hard work. His true strength is tested when a vessel he is working on is hijacked by a team of Somali pirates led by Muse (Abdi) a ruthless and dangerous young man. From the moment the pirates board the magnificent ship it is a non-stop stream of action and suspense. The story of the heroics of Rich Phillips is not just Hollywood magic it is an account of actual events.

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The threat of hijacking is a terrifying reality for many shippers, especially when travelling around Africa.  Somali pirates are well-known and their actions well documented.  Many of the young men on these modern-day pirate ships view the act as a job rather than a criminal act. Despite the lack if food and proper healthcare Somali pirates are equipped with an incredible amount of firearms.  This film provides a realistic glimpse into the world of high seas hijacking that is truly thrilling.  Though there is some violence it is minimal and not gratuitous, you can bring the children but be prepared for many questions afterward.  Don’t go to this movie expecting Tom Hanks to run on water or perform some impossible action stunts, the direction of the film remains true to the real story with the kind of action and heroism actual human beings are capable of without movie magic. Go see the film and witness one man’s terrifying account portrayed by one of cinemas brightest stars.