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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.

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
1,735 ( 243)
Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 144 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


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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Somali

Release Date:

11 October 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Captain's Duty See more »

Filming Locations:

Malta See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$26,000,000, 13 October 2013, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$107,100,855

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$218,791,811
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Prior to the bridge takeover scene, Paul Greengrass told Barkhad Abdi to "own it." Abdi lost sleep the previous night in anticipation of his first acting experience. The next day, his improvisation of the line "look at me, look at me, I'm the captain now" was the clip used in his awards considerations. After Abdi and his fellow actors dropped character, Tom Hanks' first words to Barkhad were "so, you're from Minnesota." See more »

Goofs

When the pirates enter the ship's wheelhouse and find most of the crew missing, pirate Najee takes crew member Quinn hostage with a .45 Colt 1911. The pistol's hammer position changes throughout this entire sequence, which is strange since we see Najee actually rack the Colt's slide as he is getting Quinn on his feet. Stranger still is the fact that the Colt's hammer is DOWN when the standoff ends, without the weapon having been fired. Since the Colt is single-action, there is no way Najee could have killed Quinn by pulling the trigger with the hammer down anyway. 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.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Onion Film Standard: 2014 Oscar Edition (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Hilm B Hilm
Written and Performed by Musa Hanhan
Courtesy of Crucial Music Corporation
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Paul Greengrass directs another tension driven film bringing Tom Hanks to the forefront...
27 September 2013 | by Clayton DavisSee all my reviews

Hours after the World Premiere of Paul Greengrass' newest psychological thriller "Captain Phillips," my heart is still palpating at a hundred beats per minute. Starring the magnificent Tom Hanks in his finest performance since "Cast Away," this edge-of-your-seat thrill ride lands as one of the best films of the New York Film Festival and the year.

An intricate and precisely executed thriller written by Billy Ray, everything about "Captain Phillips" works amazingly. It's this year's "Zero Dark Thirty" in tension and features not one, but two fierce performances from Tom Hanks and newcomer Barkhad Abdi. A loose dramatization and not a fact to fact retelling of a dark day for an American captain, the film takes us through the days Captain Richard Phillips' cargo ship was hijacked by Somali pirates in 2009. The film unravels itself with a narrative intensity bringing our hero from the day of his departure to the end of his journey. Writer Billy Ray's detailed and well-structured script provides Greengrass to do exactly what he does best in his directorial efforts. There are definite elements in "Captain Phillips" that remind me of the emotional and gut- wrenching effect that "United 93" had on so many of us nearly seven years ago. While you will have a near heart attack, you will be in tears by the end credits.

I haven't been this impressed with the work of Tom Hanks in years. Putting every ounce of his charm to good use but digging deep into a character with such raw and emotional fervency. Hanks' dedication and abilities utilized are the same tools used in his first Oscar-winning performance in "Philadelphia" I assure you. It's a turn that could make him this year's Daniel Day-Lewis. As his wife, the beautiful Catherine Keener is regulated to one single scene, at the beginning of our film, where Hanks dominates the conversation. Still a cherry on top if you ask me but not something that many will notice nor remember..

Breakthrough performer Barkhad Abdi is simply sensational. With a snarky demeanor as he calls Capt. Phillips "Irish" - Abdi plays Muse, a Somali pirate that is layered with pride and disdain for the human condition. Billy Ray gives him such a complexity, hinting at a sensitive undertone but not masking the overtly violent rage that embodies his soul; it's a creative formula that equals an interesting dichotomy. Abdi administers these traits brilliantly.

As you expect any Paul Greengrass film to be, the technical executions are top-notch including the intimate Cinematography by Barry Ackroyd and the tight editing of Christopher Rouse, both sure-fire Oscar nominees for awards season.

One of the amazing things about "Captain Phillips" is the final twenty minutes or so. Pent-up emotion that has built for nearly two hours, our hero's last moments with the audience are both triumphant and incredibly vulnerable. This is when Tom Hanks shows his true power as one of the finest actors to grace our screens. I admire the man. He captures the real human condition, both in courage and in the face of defeat. How would you react in what you thought could be your final moments on Earth? Who would you think about? What about if you did make it? Would you be so overcome with emotion that you couldn't focus on the blanket of safety that surrounds you, or would you just crumble into the fetus position, wanting to return to your place of origin? "Captain Phillips" renewed my love of the movies. It's what breathes life into my daily routine. It fascinates us and which is why, no matter how terrible our lives are, or how the economy falls beneath our feet, cinema still lives. Free as a bird. I'm in awe of all of this. I feel privileged to share those moments. Not to be hyperbolic or put focus on the Oscar race, which is what I do for a living, but "Captain Phillips" showed me what Tom Hanks really means to cinema. Our lives are habitual and ordinary at times, yet someone, every now and again, has the ability to capture those little quirks of our own selves. I think Hanks is this generation's treasure that will be remembered for years to come. I'm in near tears as I write this now. Paul Greengrass brought me personally into a situation that I will likely never be in and examined my frail and defenseless spiritual nature. Connection. That's what cinema is about. Few films do this. Many never will.

To get off the somber note, "Captain Phillips" is filled with high- levels of tension. Bring your defibrillator and a bottle of Xanex to make it through the picture as your heart will be beating outside of your chest. In so many ways, it's the perfect film. Real life, authentic characters, and a cast and crew that show up to deliver some of their finest works. A dynamite lesson of the human psyche.

"Captain Phillips" opens in theaters October 11.


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