Down 332 this week

Captain Phillips (2013)

PG-13  |   |  Biography, Drama, Thriller  |  11 October 2013 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 301,982 users   Metascore: 83/100
Reviews: 511 user | 482 critic | 48 from Metacritic.com

The true story of Captain Richard Phillips and the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates of the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama, the first American cargo ship to be hijacked in two hundred years.



(screenplay), (based upon the book "A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS, and Dangerous Days at Sea" by), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 128 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Cast Away (2000)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A FedEx executive must transform himself physically and emotionally to survive a crash landing on a deserted island.

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt, Paul Sanchez
Gravity (2013)
Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A medical engineer and an astronaut work together to survive after a catastrophe destroys their shuttle and leaves them adrift in orbit.

Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Stars: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A true story about Frank Abagnale Jr., who, before his 19th birthday, successfully conned millions of dollars' worth of checks as a Pan Am pilot, doctor, and legal prosecutor.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A con man, Irving Rosenfeld, along with his seductive partner Sydney Prosser, is forced to work for a wild FBI agent, Richie DiMaso, who pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and mafia.

Director: David O. Russell
Stars: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper
The Terminal (2004)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An eastern immigrant finds himself stranded in JFK airport, and must take up temporary residence there.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Tom Hanks, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chi McBride
Lone Survivor (2013)
Action | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Marcus Luttrell and his team set out on a mission to capture or kill notorious Taliban leader Ahmad Shah, in late June 2005. Marcus and his team are left to fight for their lives in one of the most valiant efforts of modern warfare.

Director: Peter Berg
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Author P.L. Travers reflects on her childhood after reluctantly meeting with Walt Disney, who seeks to adapt her Mary Poppins books for the big screen.

Director: John Lee Hancock
Stars: Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Annie Rose Buckley
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A murder inside the Louvre and clues in Da Vinci paintings lead to the discovery of a religious mystery protected by a secret society for two thousand years -- which could shake the foundations of Christianity.

Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Jean Reno
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

In 1985 Dallas, electrician and hustler Ron Woodroof works around the system to help AIDS patients get the medication they need after he is diagnosed with the disease.

Director: Jean-Marc Vallée
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto
Flight I (2012)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An airline pilot saves almost all his passengers on his malfunctioning airliner which eventually crashed, but an investigation into the accident reveals something troubling.

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Denzel Washington, Nadine Velazquez, Don Cheadle
Apollo 13 (1995)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

NASA must devise a strategy to return Apollo 13 to Earth safely after the spacecraft undergoes massive internal damage putting the lives of the three astronauts on board in jeopardy.

Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery.

Director: Steve McQueen
Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Kenneth Williams, Michael Fassbender


Cast overview, first billed only:
SEAL Commander
Mohamed Ali ...
Issak Farah Samatar ...


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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

captain | pirate | somali | ship | hostage | See All (161) »


Out here survival is everything

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sustained intense sequences of menace, some violence with bloody images, and for substance use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

| |  »




Release Date:

11 October 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Captain's Duty  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$25,718,314 (USA) (11 October 2013)


$107,100,855 (USA) (28 February 2014)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the movie, the nurse who helped Captain Phillips helped the real Captain Phillips in real life. See more »


The story takes place in April 2009. When the Navy Seals are arriving at the base in the black SUVs the Virginia state vehicle inspection sticker on the windshield shows a date of 5/13. (May 2013). See more »


[first lines]
Andrea Phillips: Okay. You all right?
Captain Richard Phillips: Yeah.
Andrea Phillips: You'd think these trips would get easier, but it's just the opposite.
Captain Richard Phillips: Well, I feel the same way, Ange.
Andrea Phillips: I know this is what we do. This is our life. But it just seems like the world is moving so fast, and right now things are changing so much.
Captain Richard Phillips: They sure are.
Andrea Phillips: I'll tell you something. It's not gonna be easy for our kids. They'll be going into a different world than the one you and I came into.
See more »


Wonderful Tonight
Written and Performed by Eric Clapton
Courtesy of Polydor Records Ltd.
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Exhausting, Thrilling and Powerful.
10 October 2013 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Paul Greengrass has proved his talents with two fantastic Bourne films, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum, and two impressive real-life dramas, Bloody Sunday and United 93. Green Zone, while being a little like Bourne in Baghdad, was also a worthy thriller. Captain Phillips sees Greengrass deliver another true story to the big screen, proving that he is indeed the current king of cinematic re-enactments.

Tom Hanks gives one of his finest performances in a long time. His Captain Phillips is a professional, serious man that keeps his emotions in check while sternly ensuring his crew understands his expectations. As the situation escalates, his emotions begin to creep through. Leading towards a final release that is both heartbreaking and relieving. Hanks' character isn't explored too deeply, but we are nevertheless with him every step of the way.

In a fantastic casting choice, Tom Hanks is more than matched by Barkhad Abdi, who truly shines as the lead pirate. We're given more access than expected to this character – to all four pirates for that matter. Abdi manages to evoke empathy from a character that could have easily succumbed to stereotypical villainy. His performance provides a complex level of emotion to the proceedings. He knows that the situation has easily ran away from him, yet he naively decides to re-assure himself – and Captain Phillips – every chance he gets.

This is no-nonsense filmmaking of the highest order. Paul Greengrass' kinetic camera rises above the sometimes dizzying approach from some of his last films. The hand-held factor works beautifully here, ensuring the you-are-there level of realism is cranked to a ten at every second. As the events escalate, we are always kept aware of what is happening. While skipper jargon and navy terms are exclaimed every which way, care is placed on making sure we still know exactly what is going on. Billy Ray (Breach, State of Play, The Hunger Games) constructs a taut and clear screenplay that compliments Greengrass' filmmaking style.

To call this tense is an understatement. Henry Jackman's score pushes every sequence to an almost unbearable level of tension, Barry Ackroyd's cinematography beautifully captures the sweat and intensity of every moment, and Christopher Rouse's masterful editing brings it all home.

Exhausting and thrilling, Captain Phillips is all the more powerful with the knowledge that you're witnessing a true story. Paul Greengrass and co. have crafted an experiential film that you won't be forgetting in a hurry.

  • thereelword.net

89 of 132 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Disappointing: America's supremacy ZakariaRmidi
Tom Hanks acting leonwatson79
Very Touching moment by Navy Medic imdbmovie
Up to how many kidnappers are we ok to kill, to save one innocent life? LetoMoon
Has Hanks done a bad movie? no54
Seriously, U.S. Merchant Marines should at least to the extent be armed. paulioetc17
Discuss Captain Phillips (2013) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: