Best Movies by Farr
Captain Phillips Poster
Released Runtime Category
2013 134 Action/Adventure, Mystery/Thrillers
Director Language
Paul Greengrass English
Tom Hanks, Catherine Keener, Barkhad Abdi

Captain Phillips

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What's it About

Captain Richard Phillips (Hanks) is at the helm of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama on its journey from Oman to Kenya. Off the coast of Somalia, two skiffs close in on the freighter. Boarded by four armed Somalis, Phillips does all he can to defuse a potentially deadly situation. An uneasy negotiation with the head pirate Muse (Abdi) begins, but the situation rapidly deteriorates, and the Captain becomes a hostage. Will he survive?

Why we love it

Director Greengrass (“United 93”) brings his tried and true brand of kinetic filmmaking to this story of a real life 2009 hijacking. A prologue revealing the settled marriage of Phillips and his wife (Keener) is the metaphorical calm before the storm. Greengrass proves himself a master of suspense; for instance, he swiftly cuts from Hanks aboard the ship, to the desperate Somalis as they load up their boats for the attack. Non-professional Abdi goes head to head with Hanks, lending Muse an aura of desperation and menace. The nail-biting tension explodes, leading to a breathtaking coda. You won’t soon forget Hanks’ brilliant performance, even if the Academy (shamefully) did.

BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"