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The Pirates of Somalia (2017)

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In 2008, rookie journalist Jay Bahadur forms a half-baked plan to embed himself among the pirates of Somalia. He ultimately succeeds in providing the first close-up look into who these men ... See full summary »



, (based on the book "The Pirates of Somalia: Inside Their Hidden World" by)
2,992 ( 122)





Credited cast:
... Seymour Tolbin
... Jay Bahadur
... Maria Bahadur
... Abdi
... Jared Bahadur
... Alex
... Katlyn
... Tracy Ziconni
... Mitch Kelp
... Ancient Warrior (voice) (as Hakeemshady Mohamed)
Sabrina Hassan ... Maryan
... Agent Brice
... Avril Benoît
... Kailash Bahadur
... Navy Admiral


In 2008, rookie journalist Jay Bahadur forms a half-baked plan to embed himself among the pirates of Somalia. He ultimately succeeds in providing the first close-up look into who these men are, how they live, and the forces that drive them.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

canada | writer | drugs | gun | See All (4) »


Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language throughout, drug content, and brief strong violence. | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| | | |



Release Date:

8 December 2017 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dabka  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Barkhad Abdi, who plays Abdi, is wearing a t-shirt of the Dutch national soccer team, with number 9, from famous striker Ruud van Nistelrooy. See more »


Crowe: She's gonna marry her Lit professor.
Jay Bahadur: No way. Tracy is repulsed by older men.
Crowe: You were older.
Jay Bahadur: Two years is not older, man!
Crowe: It's a little bit older.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing credits identify the many Somali refugees in the cast and crew with the year they became a refugee. See more »


References Black Hawk Down (2001) See more »


In Love With You
Written by Ed Hartman
Performed by Ed Hartman
Courtesy of Crucial Music
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User Reviews

Reasonably entertaining, but nothing special
8 December 2017 | by See all my reviews

This is quite and odd film to judge easily. Having never heard of it and coming upon it by chance as I often do, I wasn't really sure, even at the end, what Id just watched. I liked it enough and found it easy viewing. Not exactly certain what category it falls in, but much of the time it seemed more of a light-hearted comedy than an account of life in the capital of contemporary sea fairing piracy.

Jay Bahadur played by Evan Peters embarks on a trip to Somalia both to establish himself as a journalist/writer and earn a book deal, and to indulge his long held fascination with the Somalian culture. Essentially he charmingly bumbles his way around this poverty stricken East African country with all the ineptitude of Mr Magoo and the typical arrogance of an American, though he's supposedly Canadian.

I'm not sure if this is based on a true story but given that his presence in the country coincides with the 'Captain Phillips' incident, I suspect that it is, or at least, very loosely is. That he actually remains alive is a miracle, since he seems hell bent on self destruction by way of poor judgement and foolish behaviour.

The film largely focuses on him and and his spell in Somalia rather than The country, its inhabitants, or even much of the story from the perspective of the people he's trying to write about and report on. As such the title is a bit of a misnomer because actually there is very little here that is really about "the pirates of Somalia". I think this is where the film faults, as neither he nor much of what he does is particularly interesting. The parts of the film where you would expect drama and at least a little action and heightened tension, such as when he actually encounters pirates, are largely calm and unremarkable affairs with very little conflict or excitement. There are some incidents that occur to add spice and dimension to his journey but in the context of the film it's all fairly bland and unremarkable.

As I said, it is an easy watch, but in no way will you find yourself engrossed the way you'd expect from a film of this nature. It simply doesn't deliver on expectation particularly given the title.

The acting is pretty good all round. There very credible performances buy all our lead players and aside from Melanie Griffiths who seems to be playing a parody of the role she's cast in, I think there are no failings at all. Nice to see Pacino playing a minor but strong part, and Barkhad Abdi gives a similarly strong performance here.

I think the screenplay should have been more earnestly approached, the script more tinged with emotion, and the proceedings more anxious and edgy. Perhaps that may have made this one more similar to other films of this ilk which is what the producers were trying to avoid, and perhaps they didn't want to make it too 'Hollywood'... or perhaps this is just what happened. I don't know. As I said its a good film but there just isn't enough depth to it for my liking.

OK all that said I'm still not sure if I would recommend it. Its quite a good piece, and reasonably well done, but I just didn't enjoy it enough to warrant sending another soldier in behind me. The best I can suggest is give it a go if you haven't got much on.

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