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Captain Phillips (2013)

PG-13  |   |  Biography, Drama, Thriller  |  11 October 2013 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 296,815 users   Metascore: 83/100
Reviews: 506 user | 481 critic | 48 from

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 »
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Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 21 wins & 123 nominations. See more awards »



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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 (159) »


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?


During an interview on NPR's "Fresh Air", Tom Hanks said the first time he met the actors playing the Somali pirates was when they started filming the pirates taking over the bridge. Paul Greengrass mentioned he did this intentionally to build up tension between the actors on board the ship and the actors playing the Somaili pirates. See more »


When a Somali pirate's shoots his pistol in the lifeboat, he does so with the hammer down. This is impossible, as it is an M1911, a single-action pistol. It can only be fired from a cocked hammer. 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

Taut, thrilling and surprising empathetic
10 October 2013 | by (Northern Ireland) – See all my reviews

What a stunning film - the imminent threat of deadly violence tempered with the tragic circumstances that drive people to such desperate actions made for a very human story.

If Hanks is nominated for an Oscar for this, then Barkhad Abdi deserves a nomination too, because their scenes together were electric - never once did Abdi appear the junior party, every bit Hank's equal as two cunning foes trying to outfox one another.

The best lines in the film were perhaps when Phillips beseeched of Muse: "Surely there's something other than fishing and kidnapping people you could do?"

To which Muse replied, sombrely: "In America, maybe".

It's a must see, the best film I've seen this year.

192 of 262 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

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Very Touching moment by Navy Medic imdbmovie
Disappointing: America's supremacy ZakariaRmidi
Tom Hanks acting leonwatson79
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
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