‘Captain Phillips’ Review: An Exhilarating and Emotional Ride

Captain Phillips Review
Captain Phillips Review

Captain Phillips is based on a true story, one that I didn’t know anything about when the actual events took place in 2009. The movie tells the story about a container ship, the Maersk Alabama, which gets hijacked by a crew of Somali pirates. Again, I didn’t know the story or the outcome, so this movie presented me with quite a nerve-racking experience.

I knew the gist of the story having seen the preview, so the minute the events began to take place with the pirates making their attempt to board the ship, that’s when I was completely hooked and never looked back. The tension of every scene is so highly charged that it makes for an exhilarating and highly emotional movie.

Tom Hanks does a brilliant job in the role of Captain Phillips, and it all comes to an emotional end in what’s probably one of the most powerful scenes I’ve seen in a long time that literally made the movie as real as can be. When stories are told, usually we get just the action and the victory dance at the end. Yes, it still ends in victory, but it’s so heartrending and full of emotion that it makes the audience truly feel what Captain Phillips had gone through. The final scene is so powerful and emotional, and Tom Hanks completely sold it. It’s such a magnificent movie that is perfectly told from start to finish.

Seriously, that last scene with Hanks sold the movie completely. I don’t even know where to continue on with my review.

Ok, continuing…

Watching through the Blu-ray features is a must for everyone as the director, Paul Greengrass, really gives some great inside information to the creation process of the movie. There are a lot of interesting facts to discover in the features and it really makes the audience appreciate a lot of the decisions Greengrass made.

One aspect of Greengrass’ directorial decision making that stood out the most was his decision to keep Hanks and the actors who portrayed the ship crew away from the Somali pirate actors. So the first time they actually met was during the scene when the pirates (actors) charged into the bridge with guns, yelling wildly at the crew. The goal was to create a more intense altercation between these men and it worked. The additional bonus features that are available on Blu-ray are also quite interesting. This is especially true with extensive commentary from the man this movie is based on, Richard Phillips.

This is a movie that is very well told with a great cast of actors that helped bring this story to life. From beginning to end, the audience will be hooked.

Grade: A+


  1. Great review. I agree with you totally. That last scene caught me off guard with how emotional it was. Wonderful performance by Tom Hanks!

  2. Yeah I felt Tom Hanks should have won the Oscar for that last scene alone. Such an incredible performance.

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