Captain Phillips

  • 12
  • Paul Greengrass (2013)
  • US (SUB)
  • 128 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
5 out of 5

Director Paul Greengrass pulls no punches with this true-life tale, which sees Tom Hanks step into the shoes of Richard Phillips, the captain of a US cargo ship hijacked by Somali pirates in 2009. As with his 9/11 drama United 93, Greengrass re-creates the shocking events with a heart-pounding urgency, and there's a powerful sense that violence could erupt at any moment - and it often does. But the director's greatest skill is conveying the growing desperation of both Phillips and lead pirate Muse (Barkhad Abdi) after the initial, breathtakingly staged raid goes awry. Phillips may be the one taken hostage aboard a claustrophobic lifeboat, but Muse is revealed to be as much a victim as the increasingly desperate situation plays out. Even when the US Navy turns up, the tension continues to escalate, as the political ramifications of the kidnapping call for a decisive solution. It all builds to a dizzying emotional crescendo in the final scenes, with Hanks at the very peak of his powers.

Plot Summary

Premiere. An American cargo ship sets a dangerous course around the coast of Somalia, while inland, four men are pressed into service as pirates by the local warlords. The captain is taken hostage when the raiding party hijacks the vessel, resulting in a tense five-day crisis. Fact-based thriller, starring Tom Hanks and Barkhad Abdi.

Cast and crew


Captain Richard Phillips
Tom Hanks
Andrea Phillips
Catherine Keener
Barkhad Abdi
Barkhad Abdirahman
Faysal Ahmed
Mahat M Ali
Shane Murphy
Michael Chernus
Mike Perry
David Warshofsky
Ken Quinn
Corey Johnson
John Cronan
Chris Mulkey
Captain Frank Castellano
Yul Vazquez
SEAL commander
Max Martini


Paul Greengrass

Other Information

English, Somali +subtitles
Theatrical distributor: 
Violence, swearing.
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 18 Oct 2013
Certificate 12