Captain Phillips

Published February 16, 2014

Captain Phillips

Film info

  • Title Captain Phillips
  • Director Paul Greengrass
  • Year 2013
  • Run time 2hrs 14m
  • Genres Action, Thriller, Drama
  • Tagline Out here survival is everything

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. Based on a true story, the film focuses on the Alabama’s commanding officer, Captain Richard Phillips (two-time Academy Award®-winner Tom Hanks, Best Actor, 1993, Philadelphia; Best Actor, 1994, Forrest Gump), and the Somali pirate captain, Muse (Barkhad Abdi), who takes him hostage. The two men are set on an unstoppable collision course when Muse and his crew target Phillips’ unarmed ship; in the ensuing standoff, both men will find themselves at the mercy of forces beyond their control.

Background info

Title: Captain Phillips Director: Paul Greengrass Year: 2013 Run time: 2hrs 14m

“The true story of Richard Phillips, the cargo-ship captain who surrendered himself to a group of Somali pirates so that his crew would be freed, is adapted by screenwriter Billy Ray in this Paul Greengrass-directed docudrama starring Tom Hanks.”

Live blog

1:30 - This film didn’t mess around, barely any idents and off he goes on his adventure. 4:47 - His name is Muse. 9:19 - Rows and rows of shipping containers are amazing. Like giant Jenga. 13:43 - Tom Hanks fits just right on the bridge. I think he actually is a ship captain. Maybe it’s the beard. 18:00 - Keys on the hip, not in pocket. That’s going to be important later. 20:27 - I love it when they say “this is NOT a drill.” Especially after they just had a drill. 26:52 - Their eyes met through binoculars. Not quite across a crowded room, but close. 34:19 - It must just be terrifying. 40:55 - “You know the ship, they don’t.” 55:36 - Can’t believe the fuss that guy’s making with the broken glass on his feet - Bruce Willis was fine with it. 1:04:09 - That lifeboat is amazing! Like Thunderbird 4! 1:09:12 - Ooh, just realised I listened to a Radio 4 documentary about khat. So knowledgeable. 1:13:19 - Drone! 1:17:22 - “A little air might do him some good.” 1:22:57 - Omg, that’s the loudest horn ever. 1:32:19 - Some huuuge ships getting involved. 1:49:12 - It’s just… awful and fascinating at the same time. 1:51:43 - Tension. 2:04:09 - Jonah Hill has ruined the whole “reading rights” thing.


With Tom Hanks on board, you’re pretty must guaranteed that we’re going to watch this, but it was also a story that we were interested in finding more about too. When the time came, Mr C actually seemed more keen to watch, I think I was worried it would be hard-going.

I was kinda right, although it wasn’t as tough as I expected it would be. There was a lot of tension, a lot of great acting through the pre-boarding crew disputes, to the time on the ship and then the whole situation with the lifeboat.

As soon as they were in the lifeboat, things ratcheted up to a whole new level of intense, and it wasn’t until the end, with the incredible Navy nurse lady that it felt like we could breathe again. An incredible film, and the only reason it doesn’t get the full five out of five is because I was left with a headache from all the shouting and the nerves!

Rating: 4/5

Rating: 4 / 5

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