Julie’s Review Room: Captain Phillips

Courtesy Columbia Pictures

(Courtesy Columbia Pictures)

New in theaters this week, we have “Captain Phillips,” which is based on the actual 2009 hijacking of an American container ship by Somali pirates.

“Captain Phillips” is directed by Paul Greengrass who is famous for the Jason Bourne movies and “United 93.” Tom Hanks plays the real-life title character, Captain Richard Phillips, who hid his crew, dealt with the pirates and was eventually forced onto a lifeboat with them. The crew’s struggle to protect their ship while completely unarmed is gut wrenching to watch. The worst though is witnessing Hanks’ stoic captain as his calm exterior dissolves and he’s left broken and terrified.

The biggest complaint I have about this film is how LONG it takes the Navy to act on Captain Phillips behalf and how things don’t improve much once the Navy Seals show up. If you compare these guys to the realistic Seals of last year’s “Zero Dark Thirty,” they look like unrealistic GI Joe dolls. Also, the Somali pirates come off as surprisingly one-dimensional. We don’t see much but screaming and gun shaking from these guys.

“Captain Phillips” is saved by Tom Hanks depiction of a man who goes from complete control to total desperation. He is phenomenal and the main reason I’m giving “Captain Phillips” a B+. Rita Wilson should start looking for a new Oscar dress because her husband will probably be nominated again this year.


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