“Captain Phillips” is based on the book from real-life Captain Richard Phillips, telling the story of pirate hijacking of the Maersk Alabama and Phillips’ harrowing ordeal at sea, from director Paul Greengrass (“The Bourne Ultimatum,” “Flight 93”).
The film is a tense thriller that tells a story many of us may know–in passing at least–in a way that is immediate and compelling without feeling exploitive considering how recent the events are.
Greengrass has proven that he can deliver smart action films, and does so again here, but it is the top-notch performances put forth by Tom Hanks as Captain Phillips and acting newcomer Barkhad Abdi as Muse, the leader of the pirates, which propel this film to the next level. It’s become sort of a broken record with me of late, but I would not be surprised at all to see Hanks and Abdi’s names among those announced when it’s time for the Academy Award nominations.
The film is rated PG-13 for sustained intense sequences of menace, some violence with bloody images, and for substance use.