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2 hr 13 min
Captain Phillips is a multi-layered examination of the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates. It is — through director Paul Greengrass’s distinctive lens — simultaneously a pulse-pounding thriller, and a complex portrait of the myriad effects of globalization. The film focuses on the relationship between the Alabama’s commanding officer, Captain Richard Phillips (two time Academy Award®-winner Tom Hanks), and the Somali pirate captain, Muse (Barkhad Abdi), who takes him hostage. Phillips and Muse are set on an unstoppable collision course when Muse and his crew target Phillips’ unarmed ship; in the ensuing standoff, 145 miles off the Somali coast, both men will find themselves at the mercy of forces beyond their control. Two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks teams with Oscar-nominated director Paul Greengrass and screenwriter Billy Ray to tell the true story of Richard Phillips, a U.S. cargo-ship captain who surrendered himself to Somali pirates so that his crew would be freed. Captain Richard Phillips (Hanks) and his crew are carrying freight around the Horn of Africa when four Somali pirates forcefully take over their ship, the MV Maersk Alabama. While Phillips’ team follow his orders to hide until they hear him give the safe word, the captain and a few essential crew members remain on the bridge as the heavily armed pirates make their way up to seize control of the ship. But the interlopers soon discover something that sends them into a furious rage: After effectively shutting down the ship, Phillips explains that the Maersk had malfunctioned when the crew pushed it too hard in an attempt to evade the attackers. In order to appease their leader, the ruthless Muse (Barkhad Abdi), Phillips offers them the $30,000 that’s been locked in the ship safe. But that isn’t enough, and Muse demands that Phillips help him search every corner of the ship to root out the terrified crew. When that plan fails, the pirates agree to take the cash from the safe and flee in the Maersk’s lifeboat. At the last minute, however, they kidnap Phillips in the hope of supplementing their take with a sizable ransom — a decision that leads to a tense standoff with the U.S. Navy, who would sooner see the lifeboat sunk with Phillips inside than allow it to reach Somalia. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
PG-13 | sustained intense sequences of menace, some violence with bloody images, and for substance use
Parents: Common Sense Media says Iffy for 13+.
Cast: Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Catherine Keener, Michael Chernus, Corey Johnson
Director: Paul Greengrass
Genres: Action/Adventure, Suspense/Thriller