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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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Hanks is back to his best, Abdi's debut is as good as anyones
If you thought Pirates died out in the 1700′s and only reappeared in Jack Sparrow's adventures then your very wrong.

Piracy is very much still a huge problem, so much that in 2011 there were 151 reported attacks on ships off the shores of Somalia. There is an estimated 3000-5000 operating out of Somalia. In 2009 a group of these Somali pirates boarded and attempted to hijack the MV Maersk Alabama.

The film Captain Philips follows the events of the attempted hijacking of the container ship off the coast of Somalia. Tom hanks plays the captain of the ship Captain Richard Phillips. Hanks is back and back with a bang in this movie as he is simply flawless throughout. The film is filled with suspense and tells the story in such a realistic way, if you ever wanted to know what it feels like to be held hostage by terrifying Somali pirates armed with AK47′s then just watch this movie.

Surprisingly the stand out performance does not come from hanks even though he is magnificent. The stand out performance comes from Barkhad Abdi. Abdi plays the leader of the pirate group. His performance is worthy the Oscar nomination its received.

"Look at me, Look at me, I am the captain now"

One line from a performance that will stand out for a very long time.

Director Paul Greengrass as made a fantastic portrayal of this story that deserves to be told.
Captain Phillips is good stuff!
I've seen Captain Phillips twice now, once in the theater and once at home. I actually liked it better the second time I saw it, which rarely happens. When I first saw it, I thought it dragged on but I realize now that's only because the person I was seeing it with kept complaining about it the whole time. Second time around, it was a whole different story.

- Great directing. Paul Greengrass really got the best out of the actors and crew and you can't help but notice. I've only ever seen the Bourne films which I liked, but this has piqued my interest in seeing more of his films.

- Superb acting. The Somali actors (particularly Muse) really steal the show here, but Tom Hanks turns in a great performance. You can see the tension in each of the actors' eyes. I'll be surprised if the gent who plays Muse doesn't get a supporting actor nod.

- Good script. The tension built, the dialogue escalated, and the characters developed. You really felt the helplessness and desperation on both sides (CPT and the Pirates)by the end. Overall it was a very impressive story arc.

- Not sure what everyone was talking about when they said it was a shaky camera mess. I thought the cinematography was great. Plenty of sweeping wide shots, dramatic close ups, and of course shaky action shots. What else can you expect? I thought it was well done. There were a few awkward edit points that distracted from the movie, but other than that well done!

My only complaint about this movie is that there wasn't more back story with the Somali pirates. I would have liked to have seen more about the "Garaad," or the elders. Other than that I really, really liked this movie! Would highly recommend it!
Captain Philips is enthralling with Tom Hanks giving stupendous performance
Actual event films are fascinating and exciting to watch as they take you to the new world which will give a completely new dimension. Captain Philips has a perfect ingredients with veteran actor Tom Hanks and director of Bourne series, Paul Greengrass joining hands to give full- fledged thriller.

Based on actual events set in 2009, Captain Philips tells the story of survival of Richard Philips, captain of US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama which was the first American ship in 200 years to be hijacked by Somali pirates.

From the director of action-thriller Bourne Platinum, Supremacy and extraordinary United 93, Paul Greengrass gives you another touted real- time account of the hijacking. Right into the film and your eyes will be glued to the silver screen with solid screenplay. The fake call made by Philips to sway off the Pirates, the interaction between the head pirate and Philips and the negotiation between US Navy Seals to rescue the Captain are spellbinding. Hats off to Greengrass for handling such crucial subject with aplomb. Tom Hanks is classic as Captain Philips. He is incomparable and emotes so well in the scene when he was rescued and goes for the medical check-up and barely could speak. Barkhad Abdi was outstanding as the head pirate.

Captain Philips is enthralling with Tom Hanks giving stupendous performance. Excellent 4.5/5
Fantastic movie - Great acting!
This movie is one of the best movies I've seen across all genres.

The acting is fantastic (especially one of Tom Hank's very poignant final scenes) and the movie itself was captivating, exciting and based on a true story. It was great that the director was able to portray the pirates ("bad guys") in a way that made you hate them, feel sorry for them and hope for their survival all at the same time.

The story is portrayed really realistically and you're able to stay captivated throughout.

Definitely would recommend, I'd watch it again in a heartbeat.

a great performance from Hanks
Based on the true story of Captain Richard Phillips, who survived a somali pirate attack on his ship, and wrote a book about it. That book was snapped up by Paul Greengrass who made it into a movie. Greengrass who uses a very gritty style of filmmaking, as already seen in films like United 93 and The Bourne Ultimatum, is excellent at directing tense situations and realistic action sequences. He's employed Tom Hanks for this effort, who is probably one of the greatest living actors. His wall of Oscars at home reminds him constantly just how good he is. He is fantastic in this film as well.

There's been a lot of hoopla about the performance of Barkhad Abdi, but he stays pretty level the whole film. I didn't get any fluctuations in character from him. He's a bad guy, just a bad guy with some reasoning to being a bad guy. I wouldn't have nominated him for an Oscar. I don't think it's a dynamic performance, and I think there were better performances this year.

The film itself is perhaps a little long, a complaint I've been having recently with a few Oscar hopefuls. This one maybe only needed 5 minutes trimmed from it, just to fix some pacing issues in the beginning. Once things get going, the film moves at a breakneck pace. But the first 30 minutes or so is a little slow. I would almost say that the second hour and forty minutes more than makes up for it, almost.

This really is a great performance from Hanks, who performs like he is Richard Phillips. He's always been able to fully embody the role, and become the person. You don't see Hanks, you see Captain Phillips. For Hanks, there is no script. There are only conversations and answers. Everything feels natural. He was absolutely robbed of an Oscar nomination this year.

Deserving of the praise it is getting, Captain Phillips is a definite must see movie before Oscar night.
A real Nail-biting, edge of your seat, suspense thriller. This one will really get your heart pumping fast and your hands on your head while you hysterically let out those "No, no, no! Look out!" And oh no's.

At least for the first hour it is. By the time it reaches the 60min mark, you realize that as the title implies, the film is actually about the captain. Which is quite sad considering that he's not a very interesting man. The film becomes very slow and drab from this point on. Then the navy starts playing a big role after an hour and 20min. But this is not a Michael Bay film so its still uninteresting.

And then the pirate captain states: "I've khom too far, Irish. I khan' give up now!" Feeling sad and sorry for him, he suddenly becomes a more interesting character. You start hoping to learn more about him and his back story. Forget it! You know how you felt during the final 45min of the last Lord of the Rings movie? "Please let it end, please!" That's Captain Phillips.

As much as I highly recommend the first one hour, you can do without watching it at all and still live.
Voices of the voiceless
"Of the crooked timber, no straight thing can ever be made." - Immanuel Kant

Paul Greengrass directed "United 93" in 2006. The film was marketed as an "apolitical" and "objective" account of the September 11th attacks, but was devoid of all historical context, and so functioned more as a Pentagon propaganda piece. Here was a film about a handful of state assisted Saudi Arabians attacking at least 3 high profile US buildings which totally ignored the United States' relationship with Saudi Arabia, totally ignored how these attacks were used as a pretext to launch two illegal wars, totally ignored US ties to Al Qaeda, the group purportedly behind the attacks (on the very day of 9/11, the US were collaborating with Al Qaeda within the Macedonia civil war), and totally ignored both the motivations behind the attacks and what certain Saudi's stood to gain from another Western crusade. To this date, the 9/11 Commission, the White House, FBI, CIA and British government have failed to provide proof (not garnered from water-boarding) that Al Qaeda carried out 9/11 or that Al Qaeda chieftain Osama Bin Laden masterminded the attacks, let alone that these groups or individuals constitute the governments of Iraq and Afghanistan, the two countries upon whom wars of retaliation were subsequently waged. Osama Bin Laden was killed in 2011 (again no evidence was presented to the public). In 2001, before the US invasion of Afghanistan, the Bush administration turned down offers by Afghanistan's Taliban groups to turn Bin Laden peacefully over to US authorities.

Like "United 93", "Captain Phillips" revolves around a vessel being hijacked. Here the Maersk Alabama, a Danish/American container ship, is boarded by four armed Somali pirates. The pirates battle with the Alabama's crew, before escaping with the ship's captain (Tom Hanks) aboard a lifeboat. The United States Navy then arrives. They surround this lifeboat with a small fleet and proceed to assassinate three pirates. The fourth survives, and is subsequently jailed in America. Captain Phillips survives.

Whilst Greengrass obviously sympathises with both his Somalis and the crew of the Alabama, you simply can't frame a film as a thriller, or depend heavily on the US Navy loaning you a flotilla of aircraft carriers and destroyers, and not expect it to be anything other than compromised. This is ultimately a film in which the Somalis are manic bad guys (high on drugs, no less), in which the Alabama's crew are good guys "delivering aid to Africa" (most of their cargo wasn't relief aid), in which all context is ignored and in which the US Navy does "murderous but wholly necessary things". The film is matter-of-fact to a fault. This is all there is to reality, it says. Accept it.

But as everyone knows, to the point of being smugly annoying, that is not "all there is". The Somali pirates are largely a result of Western companies dumping nuclear and toxic waste off Somalia's coast, coupled to severe illegal over-fishing by foreign super trawlers (300 million dollars worth of seafood stolen from Somalia each year). The United Nations would itself release numerous reports blaming toxic waste for mutations, deaths, diseases and illnesses within Somalia. Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the UN envoy for Somalia, would say: "There is uranium, lead, cadmium, mercury, industrial, radioactive, hospital and chemical waste killing Somalis and completely destroying the ocean." Why can companies do this? Because Somalia's government has all but collapsed, thanks to Western Empires deliberately destabilizing and developmentally arresting the nation, funding warlords, dictators (Siad Barre et al) and instigating proxy wars with border nations. This has been going on, uninterrupted, since the late 1950s; any local government body not beholden to Western corporate interests, and which attempts to nationalise resources, will be destroyed.

In the early 2000s, Somalia began to fight back. To oppose US-backed warlords, right-wing religious factions began to unite, some under the name The Union of Islamic Courts. The UIC united almost all of Somalia and provided stability, but was nevertheless swiftly demonized by the West – their unwitting creators - as "Islamist terrorists". Because the CIA solves everything with bullets and blood, the US and UK then pushed its Ethiopian puppets into invading Somalia. Tens of thousands died and the UIC was pushed back. Tired of all this crap, and forged in a cocktail of anarchy, the militant group Al Shabaab was formed, partially to fight off Western and Ethiopian gangs. Today, they are US public enemy number 1.

Whilst Greengrass undoubtedly intends his film to be a work of social critique, possibly like some of his earlier pictures ("The Green Zone"), "Captain's" narrow scope hampers things. You can not tackle such a loaded event in such a constrictive manner and expect it not to set up, intentionally or otherwise, many false assumptions. One senses Greengrass attempting something approaching satire – the idea of a film in which a zillion dollar US fleet is absurdly pitted against four lowly pirates who literally struggle to "climb to the top of a (socioeconomic?) ladder" is genius – but satire is completely beyond him. Juxtaposed scenes in which Hanks and our pirates talk about "fighting for promotions" feel, for example, reductive rather than enlightening.

Beyond politics, the film is tense, well shot, but also repetitive and overlong. The casting of Hanks brings dubious (and possibly ironic) connotations, Hanks the poster boy for a post-John Wayne Americana ("Apollo 13", "Private Ryan", "Band of Brothers"), genteel but packing heat. Philosopher Jacques Ellul once predicted that future propaganda would increasingly portray itself as being "apolitical", "naturalistic" and cloak itself in "realism". Greengrass' military-men are emblematic of this shift: grim, stoic and fixated on "just doing their jobs", everything forever outside their purview and moral radar. Greengrass' camera adopts the same stance.

6/10 – Wastes a good premise.
Great movie with lots of great scenes.
There are multiple scenes in this film that make you feel good and some that make you feel bad. The hostage scenes look real, and have great affects. The boats also make a great part to the movie. Captain Phillips is a great actor and perfect for the movie. Altogether, this is a very realistic and dramatic movie that I cannot fault. 10/10 Recommend!
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.
True Story or Not, it's a Hollywood Movie.
While it would be difficult to give a movie based on the incredible bravery of a real life individual a completely bad review, it is only fair to consider this on its own merits as a movie. In which respect, it's perhaps only slightly above average.

I don't know how accurate a portrayal of the events is given here. Of course, the fear and tension of being in such a situation can never be fully conveyed through a medium in which peril and danger are commonplace. We all know that the titular character returned home, the prolific news coverage has ensured that we are fully aware of this event and rightfully so. From a filmatic perspective this leads to a movie where we the audience know the ending and this in itself takes even further away the sense of uncertainty and fear that must surely have been overwhelming in the real events.

Now most film-goers should be fully aware of the Hollywood-isation of these kinds of movies. It's easy to spot in places, perhaps less so in others. Tom Hanks role as lead seems more like a blend of high profile star and, given his status as an actor, mark of respect. This leads to a case where the Captain Phillips in this movie seems more like a Tom Hanks character than a representation of a real person. Very little is shown of him prior to the main event giving only minimal indication of the person he is, while this may be a case of respecting privacy, it further leads to the feeling that this is a Tom Hanks drama rather than a portrayal of a real event.

Having seen the trailer several times prior to release, I was under the impression that we may be given at least a reasonable amount of depth to the Pirates themselves. The sympathetic villains who themselves were victims of a bad circumstance driven to acts of atrocity by the trappings of a criminal empire of which they were little more than pawns. While this may have been hinted at, it was given little more than a minor recognition.

So what we have is a story (true, fictional or somewhere in between) of a good, upstanding, hard-working American as he survives the ordeal of capture by a group of greedy, immoral, ruthless Somalians, ultimately saved by the decisive actions of the defenders of the free world. However much truth there is to this story, it is also the perfect plot for any Hollywood movie, especially the sort with Tom Hanks as the lead.

In no way do I wish to devalue the undoubtedly horrific experience of the real-life Captain Phillips, nor do I wish to encourage forgiveness for those that imposed such suffering upon him. But we all know Hollywood takes liberties and we all know that this is a movie expressly made to entertain and earn money. My criticisms lie fully with that in mind. It's certainly not a bad film, Tom Hanks is, as always, on top form. Forgetting the previously known resolution, it is still tense and exciting. Even at over two hours long, it is a well- paced movie, never drawn out and never feeling over long. By all criteria I can think to offer fair judgment, it's an above average movie. Nevertheless while the real story is compelling enough to warrant viewing, this offers little more than another opportunity for America to demonstrate its greatness to the viewing masses.
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