Movie Review: Captain Philips

Captain Philips movie review: What we think.

Joe Dennis


              Captain Phillips

Director or Distributor



Although the beginning is a bit shaky, Captain Phillips builds upon the drama to the point where a tear may be shed at what can be noted as one of Tom Hanks’s best performances.

The amount of effort Hanks puts into this film trying to portray Richard Phillips is astounding and spot on. Along with Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, who shows off an amazing first-time feature film performance, portrays the pirate captain Muse, whose character is open to interpretation. He’s not setting a tone of good or evil, but more like a situation that got out of hand from the get-go.

This film is a true thriller at heart, with a maritime setting that portrays the struggle Phillips and the crew had to go through when trying to fight off the pirates from boarding the Maersk Alabama. Unfortunately their efforts are fruitless as the pirates hijack the ship. What then plays out is a good amount of dialogue and suspense that’ll leave anyone at the edge of their seat.

A good amount of the film’s second half takes place aboard a small lifeboat where Phillips is held at gunpoint by about three of the pirates, with Muse navigating the boat away from the Maersk Alabama. Now from this point in the film, given that the plot is based on a mostly well-known event that actually occurred, the ending may seem predictable. Yet the amount of run-time Captain Phillips pays to character development will hold the audience’s attention; not only on Phillip’s but on the four pirates Muse, Bilal, Najee and Elmi.

Not too many films will portray the antagonist of the story as less villainous and more human, due to the fact that the lines of morality can get blurred from time to time. Captain Phillips thankfully keeps in mind that what these four pirates are doing is illegal, they are in way over their heads, and that their actions will result in major consequences for them. The movie keeps a “Breaking Bad” air of morality in the sense that anyone’s interpretation is welcome without meeting much resistance from the movie or even the filmmakers for that matter.

There were a few questions at the end circulating around Andrea Phillip’s development and depiction in the film. The main question was whether her portrayal was needed, and the fact of the matter is that Catherine Keener’s part took a backseat to any and all of the major or minor roles that came up later in the movie. Overall, Captain Phillips is a solid, suspenseful maritime docudrama that’s worth seeing in theaters.


We think it deserves: 4/5 Stars

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Movie Review: Captain Philips

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