Universal acclaim - based on 48 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 528 Ratings

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  • Director: Paul Greengrass
  • Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Biography, Drama, Thriller, Crime
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Runtime: 134 min
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 44 out of 48
  2. Negative: 0 out of 48
  1. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Oct 11, 2013
    The piercingly realistic Captain Phillips will exceed your expectations.
  2. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Oct 10, 2013
    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.
  3. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Oct 8, 2013
    The pressure cooker atmosphere builds for almost too long, but when the resolution finally occurs, the sense of relief is that much more palpable.
  4. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Oct 8, 2013
    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.
  5. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Oct 9, 2013
    Captain Phillips is a voyage well-worth taking.
  6. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Oct 10, 2013
    It is, however, just about perfect in its wrenching emotion, expressed by an actor clearly up to the challenge of acting in a Paul Greengrass docudrama — which is to say, acting with as little capital-A Acting as possible.
  7. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Oct 7, 2013
    Not far below the surface Captain Phillips is also an unpleasant and uncomfortable experience, a film that’s not entirely happy with itself.

See all 48 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 5 out of 131
  1. Jul 20, 2014
    Outstanding acting! This movie is just must watch for everyone! Based on a true story, it delivers so much pain and pressure that it was hard to believe that this was just a movie! 10/10 For this masterpiece! Expand
  2. Oct 11, 2013
    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! Expand
  3. Oct 27, 2013
    Captain Phillips 2013

    Director: Paul Greengrass

    Tom Hanks brings another spectacular, emotional, well presented, and inspirational movie
    to the big screen. The movie introduced new characters but all of them did their individual roles with excellence. The content of the movie is very new to viewers and successfully introduces the life of pirates.

    When Captain Phillips leads this massive cargo ship from Jordan to Kenya, it was all supposed be a normal route. But, after several hours in the sea, Captain Philips and his crew faced the unexpected reality of pirates. The fear portrayed by Captain Phillips and his crew and the emotional rollercoaster and dramatic environment makes the movie very interesting to watch and enjoyable at the same time.

    As American, watching the Navy Seals plan and execute a successful mission to save a single American's life is a very inspiring moment and makes viewers proud. The last minutes of the rescue, the intense exchange between the pirates and the American rescue team and the situation inside the lifeboat was very dramatic and all characters performed their part with excellence.

    The movie is a masterpiece in all aspects and is a movie worth watching and a movie that will be remembered.


    Captain Philips Movie 2013
  4. Oct 11, 2013
    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 Expand
  5. Oct 28, 2013
    Being held hostage by a dangerous group of modern-day pirates as they wield automatic weapons is something nobody wants to experience, but Captain Phillips will probably be the closest you’ll get to knowing what it's like.  The film is based on the true story of the brave commander of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama, which was seized in 2009 by a crew of Somali pirates.  The gritty cinematography and the realism of the characters make Captain Phillips one of the best films of the year.
    Director Paul Greengrass, who's works include the Bourne sequels and United 93, once again used his infamous shaky-cam techniques to effectively give the feeling of disorientation and boost the intensity of the film. The cinematographer was Barry Ackroyd, who chose to shoot with different film depending on which characters were in the shot. If Hanks or his crew members were in frame, they were shot on 35mm, which produced a higher quality picture with more vivid colors and less of a grainy look. On the other hand, the pirates were shot with 16mm film, giving off a more grainy look with slightly duller color. These contrasts, along with the hand-held camera look and close-up face shots all accumulated to intensify the already horrific situation. Greengrass' cast consisted of almost all no-name actors besides Tom Hanks, who gave a possible oscar-nominating performance as he displayed the bravery of being Richard Phillips, captain of the Maersk Alabama. In order to add to the realism, Greengrass didn't let the pirates and Hanks meet each other until they were on set and about to film. The fear expressed on Hank's face may have also been natural.
    The first 20 minutes of the movie was the calm before the storm. Hanks is packing his bags, getting ready to leave his house in Vermont. His wife drives him to the airport, and you can't help but notice how worried and visibly scared she is. Her tears and feelings of uncertainty foreshadow the horrific events that follow. Viewers become emotionally invested knowing the captain has a loving wife back home. Meanwhile, back on the shores of Somalia, a dream-team of pirates is being assembled. Similar to the drafting process of a schoolyard football game, about 8 men are selected from the group, based on strength and determination. The Somalians grab their AK-47s, and climb into their motorized skiffs as they head to sea with only one objective to bring home money. Even though the Somalians are embarking on a journey of crime, all they want is a better life. The contrast of Phillips home-life versus life in Somalia is nothing but saddening. A part of you almost roots for the pirates to return home with their ransom money.
    When Hanks first steps foot on the ship, he goes right into captain mode. He immediately starts safety procedures and bosses around his lazy group crew workers. After finishing up his last safety drill, he spots 2 skiffs on his radar, headed his way quickly. One skiff ends up turning around, but the inevitable happens, and the Maersk Alabama is boarded by 4 Somali pirates. As Hanks sends the crew to hide out in the engine room, he does his best to distract the impatient pirates by offering them water and melon slices to snack on. But the leader of the hijackers, Muse (Barkhad Abdi), has had enough, and eventually takes the captain hostage on a small covered lifeboat, while demanding a ransom of millions in exchange for his return.
    The claustrophobic lifeboat consisted of Captain Phillips, Muse, and his 3 other helpers the right-hand man, the hothead, and the rookie. While in the lifeboat, Hanks begins to form a relationship with the rookie pirate, who's only 16 years of age and displayed just as much fear as Hanks. Hanks helps the youngster bandage his cut foot and tries to speak with him. He tells the Somalian that he is too young to be hijacking ships. The dynamics of their relationship was interesting. They both secretly helped each other, trying to avoid being caught by the hothead, who never hesitated to scream at Hanks and deliver a pistol-whip to his forehead. As the movie progresses, your concern for the safety and future of the young pirate is right there with your concerns for the captain.
    What follows is an intense cat-and-mouse game with the U.S. Navy and the little orange lifeboat, full of failed negotiations and uncertainties. Once the lifeboat is surrounded, it is clear that all 5 men are unsure if they will make it out of there alive. All 130 minutes accumulate to what is one of the most intense movie climaxes you'll see. And Hank's brilliant acting in the last 4 minutes caps the movie with a real, heartfelt ending that everyone must see themselves.
  6. May 22, 2014
    I always wondered how they wound up in the lifeboat... I'm glad they focused on the details of how the whole thing went down... especially the actual rescue... learned something and enjoyed the well directed well acted film... tom hanks did go a little over the top at the end... Expand
  7. Nov 30, 2013
    someone great said this movie is full of pro US propaganda and crap and if they havent yet they should as this is exactly what it feels like when watching this film. Its main characters from scene to scene dash from coward to stone cold hero personalities, every US person in the film is positive and all Somalis are portrait like village people who just climbed down from banana trees. Expand

See all 131 User Reviews


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