When Keller Dover's daughter and her friend go missing, he takes matters into his own hands as the police pursue multiple leads and the pressure mounts. But just how far will this desperate father go to protect his family?
Acting under the cover of a Hollywood producer scouting a location for a science fiction film, a CIA agent launches a dangerous operation to rescue six Americans in Tehran during the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran in 1980.
A young man who survives a disaster at sea is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor: a fearsome Bengal tiger.
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. It is - through director Paul Greengrass's distinctive lens - simultaneously a pulse-pounding thriller, and a complex portrait of the myriad effects of globalization. The film focuses on the relationship between the Alabama's commanding officer, Captain Richard Phillips (two time Academy Award®-winner Tom Hanks), and the Somali pirate captain, Muse (Barkhad Abdi), who takes him hostage. Phillips and Muse are set on an unstoppable collision course when Muse and his crew target Phillips' unarmed ship; in the ensuing standoff, 145 miles off the Somali coast, both men will find themselves at the mercy of forces beyond their control. Written by
Sony Pictures Entertainment
Just after the Navy SEAL leader identifies himself as the new negotiator, the pirate has been holding his pistol to Phillips' forehead so hard that it has left quite a mark. Seconds later when Phillips is shoved back into his seat, the mark is not there. See more »
Based on an event that garnered worldwide attention in 2009, "Captain Phillips" tells the tale of two total strangers, both hailing from opposites corners of the earth, who are brought together by circumstance and fate.
One of those individuals is Richard Phillips, the captain of an unarmed cargo ship sailing through international waters off the coast of Africa en route to Mombasa, and the other is Abduwali Muse, the leader of a band of Somali pirates who are determined to board the ship and hold its captain and crew hostage for ransom.
Billy Ray has based his screenplay on the book "A Captain's Duty" by Steven Talty and Phillips himself. The movie, directed with his usual taut precision by Paul Greengrass, relates the story in step-by-step detail, exploring the relationship between these two wildly disparate but equally desperate captains, as a thrilling real-life drama plays itself out on the high seas. While Phillips' self-sacrificing heroism - and that of the Navy Seals who successfully took out three of the four pirates - takes center stage in the drama, Ray is still able to give Abduwali his due, making it clear that the young man has been driven to this action as much out of desperation as out of greed or criminal intent, since illegal fishing and the dumping of toxic waste on the part of foreigners in that area have pretty much depleted the Somali fishing grounds, leaving men like Abduwali without any viable means of supporting themselves and their families. Sadly, piracy becomes the next obvious step in the struggle for survival. It would have been easy to have turned Abduwali and his cohorts into one-dimensional villains, but, to their credit, Ray and Greengrass have chosen not to do so.
This complexity of character is attributable in no small measure to the outstanding performances by veteran Tom Hanks and newcomer Barkhad Abdi, who earned an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his work here. Together, they create a human dynamic that carries the film far beyond the heart-stopping, race-against-the-clock surface aspects of the drama. Not that the visceral is in any way slighted, for in true Greengrass fashion, the film moves along at a breakneck pace, rarely slowing down to give the audience a chance to catch its breath along the way.
By far, the most effective scene in the movie comes right near the end, after Phillips has been rescued and is taken to the ship's trauma center to ascertain his physical and mental condition. Unlike the vast majority of movies and TV shows in which characters who are subjected to horrifying circumstances seem to bounce back from them almost immediately, "Captain Phillips" shows us the true human response to a life-shattering, traumatic event (thanks in no small measure to Hanks' magnificent acting).
It is just this type of insightful verisimilitude that informs each and every moment of "Captain Phillips."
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