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4.7 out of 5 stars
Captain Phillips [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Paul Greengrass brings his trademark shaky camera to this superbly taut thriller. A human story about resiliance, bravery and the strength of character.

A cargo ship embarks on a long journey across some dangerous waters. The crew are well trained in what to do in the event of a pirate attack but remain unprepared for the reality of the situation. Captain Phillips is a normal nice guy who is suddenly plunged into this dark and dangerous world. His apparent over caution gives way to someone who is there to protect his team. The crew stand firmly by him as they realise he is their only hope.

Tom Hanks imbues Phillips with some real humanity. The change he makes from a quiet, respectful leader to all out negotiator and saviour is a delight to watch. This is Hanks at his absolute best, a defining role in an already illustrious career.

His relationship with his captors is what grounds the film in reality. It is also a testament to the writers that they have not demonised the pirates. They are misguided and desperate, not evil. They are inexperienced and violent but not sadistic. This is business.

Greengrass injects energy into every tense scene. Especially the seige of the cargo ship. The camera moves around the ship with ease and brings the audience right into the centre of the action. Tension is cranked right up and not a moment is wasted. Greengrass has a canny ability to catch every flicker of emotion on the actors' faces and every detail within any given scene, giving more weight to the situation at hand.

The film never stops tugging at your emotions. It throws everything at you. Even in its final scenes the audience is left reeling at the emotional plight Phillips has been through.

A masterclass in tension.
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104 of 113 people found the following review helpful
on 24 January 2014
It is not often that I am gripped and on the edge of my seat with the content of a film but this proved that some films can still do this for me. As a son of an engineering officer I spent many times aboard ship, container ships particularly. This film showed the sheer realism of life aboard ship and the dangers, and for once we have a film set on board a ship that shows this realism correctly. The suspense will have you on the edge of your seat throughout the film, building gently and ultimately to a thrilling crescendo. The ending is handled skillfuly and the mixture of raw emotions is heartrending.
Tom Hanks proves yet again what a wonderful character actor he is.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Captain Rich Phillips (Tom Hanks) was taking his American cargo ship on a routine voyage off the coast of Africa, when a small band of armed Somali pirates boarded the ship. While most of the crew stayed hidden, the pirates took Captain Phillips hostage in a lifeboat.

This movie, based on a true story, is extremely intense and exciting, so frightening, I don't think I could have watched it on the big screen, but on DVD, it was riveting and enlightening. There isn't any real violence until the very end, but the drama is kept at a unbearable level by the non-stop yelling of the pirates.

Their leader is played by Barkhad Abdi in his first acting role. He is outstanding and deserves his nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Tom Hanks delivers a powerful performance, remaining calm and providing a balance to the pirates' hysteria.

The script manages to elicit sympathy for the pirates because of their miserable lives; they live in abject poverty, forced to hijack ships by their warlords or die. The movie is excellent and highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This American action thriller film is directed by Paul Greengrass and stars Tom Hanks and Barkhad Abdi. The film is based on a historical incident in which merchant mariner Captain Richard Phillips (Hanks)is taken hostage by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean as part of the Maersk Alabama hijacking in 2009, on which the pirates were led by Abduwali Muse (Abdi).

Going into this film, I was fully aware of the resolution - Richard Phillips survived the ordeal which I don't consider a spoiler as that is common knowledge. But I wasn't ready for the events surrounding the hijacking and subsequent hostage situation.

I admit that Tom Hanks drew me to this film, as he does with all his films, and I was on from the day he signed up to play Phillips and it's impossible to think of anyone else in the role. I can't describe the words for how gripping Hanks is once more on screen conveying every emotion possible in a way that goes just beyond acting. He isn't Tom Hanks on screen; he IS Richard Phillips.

Kudos also to Barkhad Abdi, a cinematic newbie who is chilling as the Somali pirate leader. It's hard to see the actors in this film other than the people they are portraying as they do so in a way that grips you. I straight away understood what Adbi wanted to convey in his portrayal, as with Hanks, and I was left clear as to their motivations and their ideals. There was no "villain" in my eyes, just two different cultures and countries butting heads in a dangerous situation.

From the tense hijacking sequence that makes inspirational use of the vast sea in which the 'Alabama' is crossing, going up against 2 small pirate skiffs and still losing, the film plays in two halves.

The first is the hijacking and tense negotiations on the ship, and the second is the close quarters hostage situation inside the lifeboat with Phillips and his captors as the US Navy embark a rescue mission.

It is brutal, it is brilliant and words escape me for how real it is. From award winning direction yet again by Greengrass, who taps into the humanity of Hollywood perfectly, and the leading players, this is a brave and engrossing tale of survival and hope that will have you from the steady tense build up of events to the shocking, nail-biting and heart-wrenching finale...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
'Tom Hanks' remains among todays finest actors with many notable film role's to
his credit down the years including 'Forrest Gump' 'Cast-a-way' 'The Terminal'
and 'Saving Private Ryan' among them.
'Captain Richard Phillips' is in charge of cargo-ship 'The Alabama'
The route they have to travel takes them into the 'Somalia Basin' ships travelling
in those waters are well aware of the threat posed by 'Somalia Pirates'
The 'Alabama' travels alone through the notorious waters soon drawing the attention
of the 'Pirates'
The ship initially out-runs the pursuing hijackers, however they come again...........
this time they board.
The Captain has ordered lock-down, however the Pirates insist on searching the
vessel to locate the crew who have attempted to hide from the intruders.
The Captain does all he can to protect them
The film shifts up a gear when events take a turn when a trade-off leaves the Captain
in a hostage situation.
Things are going to become desperate for the hostage and hijackers alike.
Based on real events--the film is a tense affair, edge of your seat stuff indeed.
An outstanding performance from 'Tom Hanks'
Superb picture and sound quality throughout.
Features include :-
Commentary with director 'Paul Greengrass'
also:- Capturing 'Captain Phillips' - 58 minutes of in-depth behind the scenes featurettes
on the making of the acclaimed film
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 27 February 2014
One cannot begin to explain to someone who hasn't yet seen this movie just how gripping they will find it, and the exceptional movie experience that they are in for.
Tom Hanks is spell binding throughout but his performance after the end game is mesmeric.
After watching the film, read about what has since happened to the ship at the centre of the story following the portrayed events and rest easy that you don't have a life on the ocean waves.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 31 March 2014
I was expecting quite a lot from this film given previous glowing reviews - and it didn't disappoint. We were glued from the very first minute... and remained transfixed throughout. Utterly riveting, unbelievably intense and with a stellar cast (Hanks is just superb in the role of the captain), I cannot recommend this film highly enough. Edge of your seat stuff.

The only thing I would say is that it proclaims that Hanks empathises and gets to know the pirates during the time he is captive with them. This didn't really come across to me, there were moments where they showed a brief, human side, and one pirate in particular was more gentle, but I never really felt Hanks 'bonded' with the pirates much in any way. This doesn't detract one little bit from the excellent film, it's merely an observation... (as, if this is what happened in reality, it wasn't really written into the script as well as it should have). Still a fantastic film though.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 30 March 2014
"Captain Phillips" is yet another Oscar nominated film based on a true story. This captivating movie tells the tale of how an American cargo ship was captured by heavily armed pirates off the coast of Somalia in 2009 and how Captain Phillips from that vessel was subsequently taken hostage by the crazed, manic and vicious pirates. The film is very authentic , realistic and the acting throughout is excellent with Tom Hanks starring. Barkhad Abdi, who plays the English speaking leader of the pirates ,puts in a remarkable performance also, but all of the actors portraying the pirates play their roles very well. The suspense is maintained superbly throughout ,leading to a dramatic finale on the high seas involving the US navy. I can see why this film was so highly thought of at the 2014 Awards ceremonies and it is certainly one of the best movies I've seen this year to date.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 March 2014
Knowing that Captain Phillips survived his ordeal does not detract from the tension or ending. Hanks is good and puts across the calm calculating mind of Phillips, without making him out to be a super hero or Rambo type character. The confines of some of thye scenes is well directed and keeps up the tension, makes it completely believable by its simplicity. There is no attempt to turn this into a flag waving exercise, although the ending is traumatic for Phillips and does emphasise the winning american way of most american films, but without the gung ho attitude. I liked the acting by the little known actors playing the pirates, they kept up the roles very well indeed, even to the point of sympathy for their naivety, especially for that of the younger pirate. Recommend viewing with a nice wine and a cuddling partner on a wet Saturday evening.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 26 April 2014
This movie doesn't disappoint, Tom Hanks is amazing, excellent supporting cast in the way of Bharkhad Abdi and the other Somali's and the wider cast in general. It was tense, from the start, believable and incredibly moving too. Excellent production too.
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