Tom Hanks can do no wrong for me. I can’t remember the last Hanks movie I didn’t enjoy so I was excited to see Captain Phillips hit the radar.
This movie is based on the real life story of Captain Rich Phillips, whose ship was hijacked by Somali pirates in 2009. So is this movie able to keep us engaged, even though the real scenario was just in the news not-so-long ago?
The gist is that Captain Phillips (Hanks) heads out to sea with a crew of apathetic crewmen but things take a turn as they spot Somali pirates (led by newcomer Barkhad Abdi) who plan on hijacking the ship.
This movie is fantastic on several key levels. Let me begin with the story. Even though we’ve heard in the news snippets of what happened, to see it play out on the screen is incredible. The pacing is nonstop and you’re on the edge of your seat from the beginning. It smartly also gives the Somali pirates some depth and backstory so that they’re not really the villains of this story, but people forced into dire circumstances. Head pirate Muse (Barkhad Abdi) is stellar in his first performance, really playing into the gray area of doing horrible things but only doing it to survive.
And Tom Hanks here gives a performance that will sit among the best he’s ever done. It wasn’t until the final moments of the movie that his performance really caught me off-guard, bringing a tear to my eye but not from happiness or sadness, but just from the conviction of his performance and utter dedication to his art.
When paired together, we’re given a tight nonstop story of action and suspense, with incredible acting to make you believe that you’re really watching it unfold.
What didn’t work?
Absolutely nothing. I enjoyed every minute and would absolutely encourage you to catch this in theaters.
Captain Phillips is the whole package. Interesting story, nonstop suspense, and incredible acting. It will appeal to most (if not all) audiences and is absolutely not one you should miss.