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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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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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on 28 June 2014
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.
22 comments| 34 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
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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on 8 January 2014
Tom Hanks gives an excellent performance as the captain of a container boat who has to go through the famous area off the coast of Somalia riddled with pirates.
This is an incredible ride of a film from the pirates managing to get on board to them capturing the Captain and trying to escape.
The actors are extremely believable and deserve the plaudits for their parts in this film. The story does not appear 'hollywoodised' in that everything isnt blown out of all realms of plausibility and flows along in a manner that keeps you on the edge of the seat wondering how everything is going to unfold.
As an aside, it was nice to see a small part from the Somalians point of view and does not attempt to demonise them.

Finally a film that isn't a rehash/remake as so many seem to be recently.
Kudos to all involved. Highly recommended.
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on 11 February 2014
Oh! Wow!, This ones a masterpiece, I cant say enough good about this incredible roller coaster of a Film. Im not in the least bothered about it being either from an actual event or just a story of modern day pirates. What matters to me, is it well written, does it have a beginning, a Middle and an end game that satisfy's. The Answer is yes, it ticks just about every box. Im not going into details, thats for buyers to find out themselves, suffice to say, the picture quality is stunning as is the sound track, and the hardware used in this film surpasses anything like Under Seige. (no disrespect).... Its brilliant screenplay and writing, which could have easily been overdone. For buyers expecting the usual Gung Ho USA trigger happy marines, or blowing up things, I found it really refreshing to see that the US is capable of using Guile, cunning, and a moderated theme through out, the ending was suitably very emotional, and one cannot fail to be moved, by What Captain Philips has to endure to the very last. hats of to Tom hanks, and all the cast and producer/ Director who made this such a believable movie. Also The hardware is almost all real, from the container ship to the pirates clapped out skiffs, to the US navy frigates or destroyers, what ever they use these days. It was hard to find Any CGI in this film, or anything that looked fake. Recommended, for those who liked, "Under Seige," "The Sum of all Fears" or "Crimson Tide" type of film, although There isnt a direct connection, because this film deals with a civilian Ship under siege from a handful of, Off their heads Pirates, no super power head to head, or other deviation from the main story. recommended without question:)
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on 6 August 2014
This is the true story of a container ship attacked by Somali pirates. I wasn't sure about it at first as the filming seemed almost documentary-style, kind of flat but with an over-busily moving camera. Once the attack starts up, everything changes and it's completely gripping stuff, even more so because it all really happened. A lot of tension and build up keeps you on the edge of your seat, whether you know the outcome of the story or not. Tom Hanks is an absolute marvel. If I'm ever stuck at sea on a ship being attacked by pirates I want him with me - or the real-life Captain Phillips, who's interviewed on the 'Making of' extra feature on the DVD and is a cool cookie.Tom Hanks captures this man's character and mannerisms wonderfully. Definitely, definitely worth watching but needs ten-fifteen minutes or so to really get going. The wait is worth it.
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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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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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VINE VOICEon 16 October 2013
Paul Greengrass directs a tense, thrilling masterpiece in this true story which sees Tom Hanks as Captain Richard Phillips of the cargo ship Alabama who gets kidnapped by Somali pirates after they seize his ship and has to fight to stay alive. Tom Hanks gives one of his best performances as he tries to outwit the pirates. The largely unknown cast that make up the rest of the film are all also excellent from the pirates themselves to the rest of the Alabama crew and the marines that get called in to rescue Phillips. This is a film that will have you on the edge of your seat.
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'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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