Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 48 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 44 out of 48
  2. Negative: 0 out of 48
  1. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Oct 11, 2013
    100
    The piercingly realistic Captain Phillips will exceed your expectations.
  2. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Oct 10, 2013
    100
    Captain Phillips is such an impressive dramatic achievement that it comes as a shock when it gets even better, during a devastating final scene in which Hanks single-handedly dismantles Hollywood notions of macho heroism in one shattering, virtually wordless sequence.
  3. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Oct 10, 2013
    100
    Captain Phillips, a movie that insistently closes the distance between us and them, has a vital moral immediacy.
  4. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Oct 10, 2013
    100
    Captain Phillips is harrowing, inspiring, a must-see piece of moviemaking.
  5. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Oct 10, 2013
    100
    Even as Greengrass’ signature kinetic style renders us nearly seasick and emotionally spent from the action, it’s the work of Tom Hanks that makes this film unforgettable.
  6. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Oct 10, 2013
    100
    This is an intense and complicated story, and the film doesn't rush it. It lets it unfold and build, methodically.
  7. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Oct 10, 2013
    100
    As we bounce over rough seas on the Maersk, we know just what will be lost if the Somalis don’t keep their trembling fingers off their triggers. As the title suggests, this is not a movie about an incident: It’s a movie about a man who stays very real to us.
  8. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Oct 9, 2013
    100
    At this point in his celebrated career, there shouldn't be much new that Hanks can show us. But there is, as the actor reaches deep inside to express the relief of dodging death as I've never seen it played before. He's in shock; we're awed.
  9. Reviewed by: Dan Jolin
    Oct 8, 2013
    100
    Both Greengrass and Hanks are on award-deserving form in a riveting, emotionally complex and hugely intelligent dramatisation of a real-life ordeal.
  10. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Sep 30, 2013
    100
    It falls to Hanks and his movie-star presence to anchor this ambitious enterprise, and he does some of his most impressive acting without saying a word.
  11. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Sep 27, 2013
    100
    The most gripping based-on-fact film so far this year.
  12. Reviewed by: Rodrigo Perez
    Sep 27, 2013
    100
    It’s a breathlessly told movie; both meticulous and frenetic, sweat-soaked and methodical. It will take hold and won’t let you go, and it’s one of the most engaging movies of the year.
  13. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Oct 8, 2013
    91
    The pressure cooker atmosphere builds for almost too long, but when the resolution finally occurs, the sense of relief is that much more palpable.
  14. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    Oct 11, 2013
    90
    Hanks and Abdi are so compellingly matched that unlike with most thrillers, it won't be the action climax in Captain Phillips that'll stick with you. It'll be that aftermath, which gets at the emotional toll of terrorism in a way few movies have.
  15. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    Oct 8, 2013
    90
    Captain Phillips could have stopped at simply depicting what happened; it’s the steps it takes to examining why it happened that make it extraordinary.
  16. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Oct 9, 2013
    89
    With Captain Phillips we get a viable thriller whose conclusion is already known, and a character who reacts to circumstances rather than a personal, heroic code. And now, it’s a story preserved in brine.
  17. Reviewed by: David Ehrlich
    Oct 1, 2013
    89
    While this is arguably Greengrass’ best film, it’s almost certainly his most urgent.
  18. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Oct 11, 2013
    88
    It might have all been another Hollywood-formula flick with American might taking on the alien other. But Greengrass gives Phillips and Muse the time, aboard a covered lifeboat, to discover shared beliefs and fears.
  19. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Oct 10, 2013
    88
    The climactic rescue by Navy SEALs is riveting. But it's Phillips' devastating after-the-fact shock that leaves the most haunting impression in this ambitious, taut and captivating thriller.
  20. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Oct 10, 2013
    88
    Despite the obvious mismatches involved, this isn’t a simplistic smackdown. Freighted with weighty issues, Captain Phillips is a film worth debating.
  21. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Oct 10, 2013
    88
    Captain Phillips manages to expose us to a few things that are unusual in a thriller, including sympathy for the enemy and, in Hanks’s performance, the frailty that is the other side of heroism.
  22. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Oct 10, 2013
    88
    In Captain Phillips, director Paul Greengrass pulls off the same remarkable feat he accomplished with "United 93": He takes a true story in which the outcome is already known and transforms it into a gripping, wrenching, devastating thriller.
  23. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Oct 10, 2013
    88
    Director Paul Greengrass creates an aura of urgency so compelling, so rooted in detail, that we temporarily forget what we know and hold our breaths for two-plus hours of tightening suspense.
  24. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Oct 8, 2013
    88
    Mr. Hanks, in yet another in a long line of diverse character studies, does a beautiful job as the voice of reason and logic, trying to inspire bravery and maintain order amid the noise and panic. In the big emotional scenes, as well as the small, nerve-jangling scenes, he is an artist at the top of his skill.
  25. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Oct 8, 2013
    88
    Captain Phillips works precisely because Hanks isn't a muscle-bound, gun-toting figure (nor does he turn into one during the course of the movie). Placed in an untenable position, he uses guile and intelligence instead of brawn and weapons to enhance his survival chances.
  26. 88
    The performances and Greengrass’s way with action immerse us and make Captain Phillips a tight, taut,edge of your seat thriller even if you remember the ending.
  27. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Oct 11, 2013
    83
    Greengrass is an expert hijacker, too. He hijacks our good sense.
  28. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Oct 9, 2013
    83
    A great many filmmakers — too many — use handheld cameras to evoke a sensation of raw, this is really happening immediacy. But director Paul Greengrass is unique. At a glance, his live-wire, ragged-camera method may seem overly familiar, but the way he employs it, that method is as expressive as the style of a superb novelist.
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 538 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 5 out of 133
  1. Oct 11, 2013
    10
    Captain Philips keeps you on the edge of your seat! You think it's intense when the pirates board the ship, but it takes you to a whole new level later on. I could not look away for a second. Tom Hanks delivers a breathtaking performance worthy of an Oscar nomination and possibly an Oscar. One of the best films I've seen this year. Captain Philips will make you rethink your ratings for other movies! Full Review »
  2. Oct 11, 2013
    10
    People will be talking about Tom Hanks' masterpiece for a long time!!! Absolutely stunning and well acted. A thriller that will never be forgotten!!! Awesome!!! Full Review »
  3. Oct 11, 2013
    9
    Captain Phillips is one of the best films I've seen this year with a all round great performance by Tom Hanks it kept me on the edge of my seat the same way Paul Greengrass did with United 93 suspenseful the moment the pirates get on the ship and take over I was thinking this is good enough but then it gets even better as the movie plays out. Tom Hanks will get an oscar nomination for his performance in this movie or even an Oscar which I think he should overall great movie. Acting A, Music A, Writing A, Movie 10 out of 10 Full Review »