“Incredible Acting and a Fascinating Story” 9/10
This film tells the incredible true story of Captain Richard Phillips who captained a cargo ship that was hijacked by Somali pirates in 2009. Told from the perspective of Captain Phillips (Tom Hanks) himself, the story recounts his ordeal aboard the ship and the ways in which he bravely deals with the pirate leader, Muse (Barkhad Abdi).
Set nearly entirely aboard the ship that Captain Phillips took charge of, there is a dramatic tension running throughout the film, even before the story really kicks off. What really makes this film so good is knowing that the story is true and you can’t help but be captured by the bravery and courage demonstrated, and the realisation that these events are still so current, so memorable from news stories not too many years ago. It is no surprise that this film was highly nominated for Academy awards: Tom Hanks gives an outstanding performance as Captain Phillips, a heroic and likeable character that offers a surprising flip side to the way in which the Somali pirates are viewed and offering real compassion and understanding in a way that is truly admirable. However I felt that the limelight was stolen by newcomer Barkhad Abdi with an impressively convincing and complex performance as the hijacker’s leader, again offering the chance for the viewer to change their preconceptions with a persuasive character.
I highly recommend Captain Phillips, it’s gripping, thrilling and really changes your perspective on the situation throughout through some incredible acting. A must-see.