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Captain Phillips (2013)

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

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(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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1,655 ( 281)
Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 144 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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SEAL Commander
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Nemo
Mohamed Ali ...
Issak Farah Samatar ...

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Storyline

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

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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 »

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Details

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Release Date:

11 October 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Captain's Duty  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$107,100,855 (USA) (28 February 2014)
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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene filmed in Combat Information Center, where a Sailor writes "Seat 15" backwards on the status board was improvised. Cinematographer, Barry Ackroyd noticed the Chief Petty Officer practicing writing backwards when not filming and asked him to repeat it for film. The act of writing backwards in the Navy has gone away in recent years since the onset of technology has put all available information on electronic status boards. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[first lines]
Andrea Phillips: Okay.
[Andrea and Richard get in car and start driving]
Andrea Phillips: 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... right now things are changing so much.
Captain Richard Phillips: They sure are. 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.
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Connections

Featured in Film '72: Episode dated 26 February 2014 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Wonderful Tonight
Written and Performed by Eric Clapton
Courtesy of Polydor Records Ltd.
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Challenging Fortitude
18 October 2013 | by (Los Banos, Laguna, Philippines) – See all my reviews

Captain Phillips is a biopic based on 2009's Maersk Alabama hijacking incident, which was an intriguing story and ordeal of the people involved. This film adaptation mostly plays as a straightforward thriller with only brief backstories. In spite of whatever comment regards to the accuracy this film is getting, it didn't hurt how much of an exhilarating piece of cinema this is. Merits obviously goes to director Paul Greengrass and star Tom Hanks. It's quite predictable what you'll get if you put those talents together, but the result is somehow surprising like you've never see it coming.

There's nothing much interesting happening at the first act when the film was exploring the personal life of Richard Phillips, but that seems to be the point: the dreariness of the intro immediately presumes that he really is just an ordinary guy. Though, there isn't actually enough detail about his personal life in those scenes aside of his job and his family, same with the Somali pirate leader, Muse. Everything becomes more alive when the actual plot starts going. Lives turn upside down, tension rises every minute passes, and the humanity of both Phillips and Muse are becoming more and more visible. It's a down to earth matter of life and death where both sides aren't too perfect enough to succeed or survive, and their actions could end up causing even worse situations.

Even before the release, everybody has already been betting that Tom Hanks will get a nod for this(probably because of the accent or he's just Tom Hanks). Other than mimicking the real Phillips' accent, Hanks really gives his character a palpable sense of fear and pressure. But there is one scene in his performance that will definitely give the viewers a total impact, which it might've made the camera linger. That whole scene could be a trick for some to love this movie even more, but even without it, Hanks is still spellbinding as Captain Phillips. Another amazing performance is first time actor, Barkhad Abdi. Abdi manages to be threatening, sympathetic, and strangely charismatic at the same time as Muse, thus it makes the character more effective.

Now for Greengrass, his aesthetics are all there. Shaky camera bringing momentum in every action scene, action scenes filled with nerve wracking suspense, and sidelines taking place in control rooms. But this is his challenging side, such as United 93, when there aren't any much explosions nor fighting set pieces practically involved. The title might give one an assumption that the film is about a captain who fights off pirates. But it turns out, they're just hopeless victims who do not have a single gun to defend themselves from their armed enemies. The kind of thrill here is anxiety. You will always get the sense that there is something wrong going to happen in every step these pirates take, leading the hostages really need to depend on the government and the Navy SEALs. What's smart about this is it's all mind games. They're troubled by complicated decisions, yet have awareness of naivety. At the second half, the excitement is now relied by figuring out which of them is going to be fooled by whose tricks. By the end of the film, you will then realize how limitlessly enticing it was while realistic at the same time.

Captain Phillips is almost just a very great thriller, then it eventually becomes more powerful. Despite of calling his achievement heroism, it was more like a test of courage. The movie is wise to make sure Phillips is no glossy superhero, but a regular human being who gets to face a situation that may lead anyone to trauma, just to sacrifice the risks of his crew. Simply, that may tend to inspire which is why it's so focused to his point of view. Otherwise, the filmmaking did an astonishing job, although you already know what these people can bring. But surprisingly, it still defies our expectations. It's amazing how Tom Hanks' talent can still surprise many, and how Paul Greengrass' obvious style feels unique and fresh (in this movie, at least). Rating the film can be somewhat difficult. It's so engrossing and excellent, it's hard to notice any terrible flaws about it. Later on, it doesn't matter. Captain Phillips is a satisfying ride that ultimately does its best.


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