Wide release 10/11/13
Viewed 10/24/13 at El Con with Sheila
RT Critic: 94 Audience: 93
Directed by Paul Greengrass
Fandango synopsis: 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.
Based on a real-life event that took place off the coast of Somalia in 2009.
This was a different genre of movie than I usually go for. For our monthly "movie date" the choices this week were Gravity and Captain Phillips. I'd seen the preview for both - many times - and I know they would both be anxiety-ridden nail-biters. I was reluctant to see either in this particular period of my life. I decided that Captain Phillips would be the better of two evils, and I'm, of course, very glad that I went to see it.
Yes, it was a nail-biter. Even though I knew....more or less....what was going to happen (and this helped) I found myself holding my breath a lot, especially near the end. It was really well done. Tom Hanks final scene was amazing, and Sheila and I talked a lot about the four Somalis - they did a wonderful, believable job. Barkhad Abdi, particularly, used facial expressions that made you realize that this character was a real human being, someone trying to dig himself into a better life, not exactly or entirely a monster.
I'm glad I saw it.