Captain Phillips (2013)


run time: 134 mins
rated: PG
considered: Biography, Crime, Drama
starring: Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman, Faysal Ahmed, Mahat M. Ali, Michael Chernus, Catherine Keener

movie summary: The true story of Captain Richard Phillips and the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates of the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama, the first American cargo ship to be hijacked in two hundred years. (

my thoughts: Tom Hanks is superb in one of his best movie roles as Captain Rich Phillips, the man behind the wheel of the cargo ship MV Maersk Alabama. His job is to move a boat load of box cars through the Indian Ocean down the coast of Africa.

These waters are full of Somalians who take to pirating and kidnapping to earn a living. Captain Phillips and his crew of 20 men practice a pirate drill one day, only to have it turn into a real life situation. The crew and ship are able to fight off two boats on the first day, but one boat filled with four determined pirates return the following day. These pirates led by Muse (Barkhad Abdi) coordinate a plan and breach the ships defense systems to take Captain Phillips and three of his men hostage.

The pirates don’t want the money in the ship’s safe, instead they want all the cargo and hostages, which will earn them millions of dollars back on shore. Phillips is able to convince the pirates that he has a very small crew while everyone else on the ship hides. Muse demands to search the ship, which leads to him being kidnapped. Phillips organizes an exchange for Muse and cash so the pirates will leave the ship. The exchange goes bad and Phillips ends up being kidnapped at gun point and thrown into a rescue boat.

The four pirates and Captain Phillips flee in a bright orange rescue boat on course for Somalia. Over the next few days, tension builds inside the tiny rescue ship as the hi-jacking plan has gone astray. The crew of MV Maersk Alabama pursue their Captain with the help of several US Navy ships.

Time and distance are running out to rescue Captain Phillips, so the US Navy calls in the Seals to pull off the job before it’s too late. The rescue plan begins to break down as the pirates start to fight amongst themselves putting Captain Phillips in even more danger. The life of the Captain hangs in the balance while the Seals wait for the perfect moment to end everything with the least amount of damage.

Captain Phillips is one of the must see movies of the fall season, it is well worth the price of admission. This movie is a little two hours long but the storyline, action sequences, and acting come together to draw you deeper into the movie. Time flies as the tension mounts and the build up to the ending leaves you on the edge of your seat. My eyes were watery in regards to the ending, so if anyone gets emotional at the movies, bring a tissue.

my star rating: 9 out 10

2 thoughts on “Captain Phillips (2013)

  1. Good review man. It was a very solid movie because not only did it grip me the whole way through despite knowing what happened, but didn’t pull on my heartstrings in a manipulative, obvious manner either.

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