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April 15, 2024

Captain Phillips: Movie Review

By Bernie and Sand Pilarski

Bernie said:

I've got one word for you about Captain Phillips: you've got to see this movie.

This story is based on Captain Richard Phillips' own account of the highjacking of an American container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates. Sometimes I like to provide satirical synopses of movies and the worse the movie the more satirical the synopsis. However, this movie (and probably you the reader) are spared any attempt on my part to poke good-natured fun at the story because one, it really is a serious subject, and two, it's pretty hard to make fun of something this good. If the director would have cast Tom Cruise in the lead role instead of Tom Hanks, I might have had a field day with it, but he didn't. Or if the director had told the story and gummed it all up with hokey drama like it was The Poseidon Adventure, I could have really gotten into some creative synopery. Or is that synopsorizing?

But the truth of the matter is that this is a real and consequential story, told well, and powerfully executed. Even though you pretty much know the end of the story (Captain Phillips obviously survives and lives to write about his ordeal), each turn of events seems to drive that possibility further and further away, and you begin to doubt that there will be a happy ending. And once again to the credit of the director, the ending isn't exactly happy, but it is very real. Tom Hanks does a great job in the lead role. His performance will have to be one of the top contenders for Best Actor at Oscar time, and it may well be one of the best performances of his career. I like Tom Hanks; he's a class act. Barkhad Abdi, who plays the leader of the Somali pirate band, does a great job. In fact given that he has had virtually no acting experience, he does a fabulous job. He even looks remarkably like hijacker Abduwali Muse.

Captain Phillips is an awesome movie. It is well-written, well-directed, and well-acted. There is little doubt in my mind that it will nominated for several Oscars, and it provides a lot of bang for your price-of-admission bucks.

Sand said:

Pretty much what he said, and then some. I will, however add one more aspect: location. Last week, after seeing Gravity, I decided I was right off the Mars landing missions and determined to stay on Earth. After seeing Captain Phillips, I've decided that the ocean is a vast and unpredictable place, too, and when it takes three days or more to get help out on the ocean ... I'm not going on any ocean cruises, either.

Great movie, do enjoy it.

Article © Bernie and Sand Pilarski. All rights reserved.
Published on 2013-10-14
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