Based on a true story of the Somalian pirate hijacking to which we already know the ending very well, this thriller kept me glued to my seat from start to finish.
The movie starts off slow but I thought the juxtaposition between Rich Phillips and Muse, the pirate going from home to ship was really clever. Director Paul Greengrass, having previously helmed United 93, masterfully steers us from that point to the end, turning up the suspense at every beat.
Tom Hanks was a great choice for lead role and his performance is believable and noteworthy – I think this is probably his strongest since Castaway. Also, Barkhad Abdi, who played the conflicted yet determined pirate is also worth commending. Bringing no prior acting experience before this role, he played it with gut-wrenching conviction and credibility that at some points in the film, you actually catch yourself feeling empathetic towards him.
There were some recent controversy over how Captain Phillips was portrayed in the movie, with the real crew claiming that the movie’s captain was lot more heroic than he was in real life. This doesn’t bother me at all. With 6 nominations in this year’s Oscars, including Best Motion Picture of the Year, Captain Phillips is one of the strongest films of 2013. If you haven’t seen this movie, you definitely should.