Film review: Plenty of tension in Captain Phillips but Greengrass risks stifling his own drama

Paul Greengrass, 134mins. Starring: Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi (12A)

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The Independent Culture

Paul Greengrass is an excellent action director who knows just how to use frenetic editing and handheld camera to crank up the tension.

He is also politically aware. His problem in telling the true story of Captain Phillips (the redoubtable Hanks) and the hijacking of his ship by Somalian pirates, is that the film becomes increasingly claustrophobic the longer the hijacking lasts.

Greengrass has placed such spatial constrictions on himself that, for all the skill with which Captain Phillips is made, he risks stifling his own drama.