Starring: Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi
Directed by: Paul Greengrass
Written By: Billy Ray
Rating: PG-13 (US) Running Time: 2 hr 14 min
Well I will say the experience of spending over two hours mostly at sea left me feeling a little nauseous, but that still won’t stop me recommending Captain Phillips. The film does a fantastic job of creating a realistic world for its characters to exist in. A great sense of scale and realism that you don’t usually get from a movie. Because of this the film manages to create a palpable sense of danger and tension, despite the fact it’s based on a very recent true life event.
In its depiction of the Somali pirates, Captain Phillips perfectly balances the need to offer the viewer an explanation to justify their actions, while not turning them into victims we should feel sorry for. The performance by Barkhad Abdi as the lead pirate Muse, it quite frankly astonishing considering it’s his first time in front of the camera. Tom Hanks as Captain Phillips though is the real star of this show, and his performance will quite likely see some love during the 2013/2014 awards season.
The movie is over two hours long and most of that time it’s at sea. That constant motion coupled with the mostly hand held camera did actually make me feel a little ill. If you’re prone to sea sickness, you might find this a little hard to watch. Whether you have heard about this story before or not shouldn’t matter. If you have somehow never heard of Captain Phillips and the 2009 highjacking this movie is based on, then you’re probably going to enjoy this the most.
Best viewing format:
It’s a well made film, but the tight confined spaces, and hand held camera work made this a little difficult to watch on the big screen. A good HD showing at home might be your best option if you’re willing to wait for it.
Best moment for me: << spoiler >>
If you don’t know anything about the actual events this movie is based on – do not read on!
My favorite moment in this movie came at the end, when Captain Phillips is being looked over by a medical team. Tom Hanks performance during that scene is amazing!