Thursday, October 10 2013, 04:21 PM MDT
Movie Review: Captain Phillips
4 out of 5 Stars
Director: Paul Greengrass
Starring: Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman
Genre: Biography, Crime, Drama
Recommended To: Those looking for an intense award-worthy drama with terrific performances.
Synopsis: In 2009 a US-flagged cargo ship captained by Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks) was hijacked by Somali pirates.
Review: Captain Phillips is a story about courage and desperation. It features a strong performance from Tom Hanks as the no-nonsense sea captain and an even more impressive portrayal of Muse, the leader of the Somali pirates, by Barkhad Abdi. Phillips is a fairly simple character. He wants to protect his crew and return to his family. Muse, however, is far more complicated and Abdi gives the character a true sense of inner turmoil that propels him and the films plot to its inevitable end.
Many have criticized director Paul Greengrass (Bourne Supremacy) distinctive use of shaky cam, but it works quite well in Captain Phillips as it gives the audience a sense of being caught up in the chaos as well as the constant back and forth sway of the sea. A smoother approach wouldnt have matched the undercurrent of the characters emotions and would have robbed the final acts sense of claustrophobia.
My only real complaints about the film are that Henry Jackmans (Kick-Ass, Wreck-It-Ralph) score is distracting at times and the movie could have been edited a little more tightly. There are scenes, particularly at the beginning and at the end of the film, which should have been trimmed back or eliminated altogether. Fortunately neither qualm ruins the experience and I suspect well be hearing more about Captain Phillips come award season.
-Ryan Michael Painter