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.

Director:

Paul Greengrass

Writers:

Billy Ray (screenplay), Richard Phillips (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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Popularity
1,596 ( 458)
Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 148 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Hanks ... Captain Richard Phillips
Catherine Keener ... Andrea Phillips
Barkhad Abdi ... Muse
Barkhad Abdirahman ... Bilal
Faysal Ahmed ... Najee
Mahat M. Ali ... Elmi
Michael Chernus ... Shane Murphy
David Warshofsky ... Mike Perry
Corey Johnson ... Ken Quinn
Chris Mulkey ... John Cronan
Yul Vazquez ... Captain Frank Castellano
Max Martini ... SEAL Commander
Omar Berdouni ... Nemo
Mohamed Ali Mohamed Ali ... Asad
Issak Farah Samatar Issak Farah Samatar ... Hufan
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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

Taglines:

Out here survival is everything See more »


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:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite receiving nominations for Best Director at the Golden Globes, BAFTAs, Directors Guild and Critics Choice awards, Paul Greengrass failed to receive an Academy Award nomination. Critics, audiences, major film groups and publications considered this a major snub at the time. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the movie when Captain Phillips and his wife are driving to the airport, a Dodge Caravan is seen on the left side of the screen. The grille of the van is clearly a 2011 model. 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

Referenced in TallBoyz: Fare Is Fair (2019) 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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User Reviews

 
A superb and fascinating thriller with a top-drawer acting by Tom Hanks
21 November 2013 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

This is a powerful and intensely watchable film , a masterful exercise in building tension . Director Paul Greengrass has established himself as a huge talent . This is 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 . The first encounter with the young Somalis who chase and board the gigantic Maersk Alabama is on the shores of their homeland, delving , briefly but significantly , into the poverty that drives fishermen to risk life and limb in pursuit of deep sea big game . As the crew of an American cargo ship is hijacked by Somali pirates who proceed to engage in escalating negotiations with authorities to get a lot of money . Amongst the men on board are the ship's captain who along with the rest of the seamen are taken hostage in a cynical game of life and death.

It's a grade A picture , a gem , absorbing , riveting , highly moving , incredibly tense . This is a psychological drama in which a group of violent pirates demand for a ransom of millions of dollars , it unfolds a battle of wits between the crew of the shipping company and the Somali pirates . This is a smart and sensitive thriller filled with noisy action , thrills , emotion and very entertaining though overlong . Thrilling as well as exciting confrontation of wits between captain Phillips , seamen and pirates , who gradually come to up more and more . This drama about the capture on the high seas of an American ship is doubtless the most exciting one that has ever come down the pike about . This nail-biter is a tightly-knit drama centered on the relentless sea maneuvers of a freighter pursued by a band of pirates and the captain's subsequent kidnapping . The picture makes up for it with an evolving atmosphere of anxiety and fear .

Everything in Paul Greengrass's impressive film looks so real that you might think it's a high resolution videotape of a pirate hijacking . Interesting screenplay , being based upon the book "A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS, and Dangerous Days at Sea" . And the hijacking of the Maersk Alabama and hostage-taking of Captain Phillips were also central to the Elmore Leonard novel Djibouti (2010). The timing of the release coincides with the theatrical release of a Danish movie titled "Kapringen" or ¨A Hijacking¨ (2012) by Tobias Lindholm dealing with similar events . Top-notch performance by Tom Hanks as a clever as well astute captain along with a remaining support cast formed by unknown African players . Tom Hanks says 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. In ¨Captain Phillips¨ there is the urgent hand-held camera-work, a directorial trademark refined and perfected by cameraman Barry Ackroyd , which lends an air of pseudo-documentary authenticity to carefully staged reconstructions, putting us right there in the huddle of the action . Furthermore , a tense as well as enjoyable musical score by Henry Jackman .

The motion picture was compellingly directed by Paul Greengrass who proved his action aesthetics and nail-biting filmmaking as well as he formerly made in ¨Green zone¨, ¨The Bourne ultimatum¨ , ¨United 93¨, ¨Bourne supremacy¨ , ¨Bloody Sunday¨, among others . Rating : Above average , a magnificent film . Essential and indispensable seeing . The picture will appeal to Tom Hanks fans .


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Somali

Release Date:

11 October 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Maersk Alabama See more »

Filming Locations:

Malta See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$25,718,314, 13 October 2013

Gross USA:

$107,100,855

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$218,791,811
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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