Captain Phillips - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Captain Phillips Reviews

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November 9, 2017
Very good movie. Thought provoking and great acting from everyone. Hanks is a great actor.
½ November 7, 2017
Intense, thrilling and convincingly acted are just a few elements that made Captain Phillips powerful. Director Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum and United 93) brings this heroic story to life with Academy Award-winner Tom Hanks, as Captain Phillips. Hanks is at the top of his game in this film and reaches a new peak in his career. The plot is based on a real-life story of Captain Richard Phillips, whose cargo ship is hijacked by Somali pirates in 2009, but Greengrass digs deeper into the story's roots and gives us a non-stop thriller. This electrifying script is written by screenwriter Billy Ray (The Hunger Games and State of Play), who's known for writing intense movies. The script is also adapted from Phillips' own memoir.

The movie starts out with Phillips leaving his family on his way to his job as captain of the Alabama. Phillips doesn't take nonsense from his crew and proceeds to run routine drills for safety measures. The pirates are briefly seen taking orders from the warlords and then start out on their mission. They find the Alabama and follow in skiffs. That's when the tension kicks in. The Alabama is unarmed and has only hoses to stop the pirates. Once the pirates make it onboard the scene intensifies with the Somali leader, Muse, who shoves a gun in Hanks' face. Muse is played by Barkhad Abdi, who's never acted before and he crushes his scenes. Muse calls the captain "Irish" and wants millions but the ship only has $30,000 onboard.

The movie sets into a gripping cat-and-mouse game between the crew and pirates, and does not stop there. Greengrass gives Muse and the captain time, onboard the lifeboat, to share beliefs and fears with each other. Their formula grows here and Greengrass executes this brilliantly. Hanks, who has been superb throughout his career, gives us an emotional post-traumatic stress scene at the end, which amplifies the movie. I'm sensing another Oscar nomination for Hanks this January. Captain Phillips is a grand thriller and raises the bar for movies in 2013.
November 1, 2017
Captin Phillips: A dramtic and thrilling thriller one that boasts another stellar preformance by Tom Hanks.
½ October 15, 2017
Terrific acting by Hanks and Abdi
October 6, 2017
good movie. very well made. suspenseful and intense. tom hanks gives an unbelievable performance. i'm glad i ended up watching it after originally having no interest in seeing it. (1 viewing)
October 5, 2017
Brilliant! Enjoyed it. Captain underpants gets captured by captain birdseye
September 28, 2017
Speechless.
Incredible. Moving - that last scene hit me. I actually want to just watch it again. Edge-of-your-seat stuff from beginning to end.
½ September 26, 2017
Very intense I would not recommend it for kids but expect that it's a excellent film, with good acting no slip ups and it makes you feel like your in the boats
½ September 15, 2017
Un thriller de mucha tensión, que termina con una escena de las más emotivas que haya visto. Así definiría yo Captain Phillips, donde Tom Hanks nos entrega una actuación para rememorar. Buena película y dinámica. Lástima el plagio de la banda sonora al trabajo de Hans Zimmer. Muy recomendable.
September 10, 2017
Decent movie considering a lot of it is untrue and highly contravesal as to what happened. A little slow at part but pretty good
September 5, 2017
My Top 5 films of all time. I'm mad that Hanks didn't get a Best Actor nomination.
September 4, 2017
Really good, cried at the end, Tom hanks is an amazing actor
September 3, 2017
After a poor start the tension does build but I still found some of the scenes either unbelievable or predictable. Needed more subplot. AAN GGN
½ September 2, 2017
Good suspenseful drama movie.
August 28, 2017
Everything seemed very realistic. A lot of movies deliver extreme action and violence, then the affected characters just walk away like nothing happened. Not this movie. You can really feel the emotion and mental stress that real people would be in, in that situation. Really great acting, and not just from Tom Hanks. The Somali pirates were just perfect. And overall, I have to say, Captain Phillips is a pretty good movie. And Tom Hanks! My absolute favorite actor. Ever. Of all time..................
August 23, 2017
Tense but slightly ruined by the "I'm the captain now" memes.
August 17, 2017
SCOTT: (Dr. Scott Allison, Professor of Psychology, University of Richmond) Greg, after Castaway you d think Tom Hanks would have had enough of movies involving mishaps in tropical waters.

GREG: (Greg Smith, Founder of Agile Writers of Richmond, VA) In all seriousness, Hanks delivers the goods in Captain Phillips.

SCOTT: Lets recap. Tom Hanks plays the role of Richard Phillips, the captain of an American tanker ship carrying goods off the coast of Africa. His ship is boarded by several Somali pirates, led by their captain named Muse (Barkhad Abdi).

GREG: Despite his best efforts, Phillips can t keep the pirates off his ship. His crew hide below decks. The Somalis search for them but to no avail. The crew take Muse captive in exchange for Phillips. But Phillips makes a critical error and gets into the lifeboat with the Somali pirates. Now it s a race against time as the pirates make way for the Somali coast while the Navy and their SEALS prepare to intercept.

SCOTT: Captain Phillips is based on a true story, and as such we pretty much know the ending of Phillips ordeal before the movie even begins. As such, this film faces the challenge of taking a predictable situation and somehow making it interesting to viewers. This isn t easy, yet Captain Phillips succeeds on many levels. The movie works because of strong performances from the entire cast along with some tight, taut directing from Paul Greengrass.

GREG: It is pretty hair-raising to watch. Scott, by some measures Phillips is a hero, but by another not so much. In our analysis of hero stories we usually look for transformation - either in the main character or in those around him. In Captain Phillips there is no such transformation. Everyone ends up pretty much the way they started. However, if we apply the Great Eight Characteristics of a hero as outlined in your book Heroes: What They Are and Why We Need Them, Tom Hank s Captain Phillips does pretty well.

SCOTT: Yes, he does, Greg. Phillips is smart, as shown by the way he manipulates the pirates after they board his ship. He s strong, obviously, to be able to survive such an ordeal. He s selfless in his concerns for his crew over his own well-being. He s also reliable, caring, and inspiring. That s most of the Great Eight right there. One of the best qualities of this movie is it s attention to detail and it s willingness to show scenes that most movies leave on the cutting room floor. For example, one of the most powerful scenes in the movie occurs, ironically, once all the dust has settled and Phillips has been rescued. Most movies end at that point and we assume a nice joyful recovery for our hero. But this movie dares to show us how Phillips is most definitely NOT okay after his harrowing experience. He s a psychological mess as the navy personnel clean him up. This took guts to show and made me admire the makers of Captain Phillips even more.

GREG: Another thing that I thought was well-done is the presentation of the pirates themselves. They weren t an organized group. There was dissention among them. One was a youngster - very inexperienced. Another didn t have faith in Muse, constantly contradicting him at every turn. The scenes of the pirates inside the enclosed life boat offered a look into the desperation of the Somali people. These men had no choice but to come home with something they could ransom - or face death.

SCOTT: I agree, Greg. The portrayal of the pirates was handled very well. Yes, they are committing a terrible crime, but we also see the grim conditions in Somalia that can give rise to such desperate behavior. I also applaud the fact that the pirates have very distinctly different personalities. I m reminded of Rambo movies from yesteryear where the bad guys are portrayed as a monolithic pestulence. Here we have real people making both good and bad choices that have life and death consequences. It s riveting and powerful. Captain Phillips is a highly effective movie that is deftly made and saturated in suspense. I give it 4 Reels out of 5. The hero story is done well, too. Phillips is faced with many, but not all, of the classic people, tests, and trials of the hero journey. Tom Hanks once again shows why he s the greatest American actor of his generation. He steals the show yet manages to share the stage generously with a great ensemble of actors. I award his character 4 Heroes out of 5. Movie: Hero:

GREG: I think we re in agreement here, Scott. It is a powerful story and enjoyable to watch. We walk away with a sense of what the Somali pirates are up against in their daily lives and the lengths they must go to just to survive. We also get a look at what it takes to be a captain of a modern cargo vessel. But I have to wonder if Phillips is truly heroic. He makes some bad decisions: like being outside the commonly travelled waters and getting into the lifeboat. But once he finds himself in a bad situation, he puts the safety of his crew first above all else. I give Captain Phillips 4 Reels out of 5 and 4 Heroes out of 5. Movie: Hero:
½ August 15, 2017
Captain Phillips is raw with a clear focus and has strong foundations. The ending is emotional and stunning. Two captains come together with completely different backgrounds with similar reasons, a livelihood. With mind games this unique relationship grows with tension flowing throughout. Captain Phillips is simple yet clever. It feels pure yet effortless, as a series of events unfold which are truly believable making it thrilling but moving at the same time. Tom Hanks is flawless, whilst Barkhad Abdi provides an unnerving edge. This movies has everything a thriller should need, an is a precisely excellent piece of cinema.
August 8, 2017
Hanks is fantastic (as ever), the action is intense and the cinematography superbly apt for the situation.
July 30, 2017
Alright, too long and s bit slow. I can't work out weather I like Tom hanks or not
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