Review: Captain Phillips


What is it? Paul Greengrass directs a dramatisation of a 2009 Somali pirate hijacking of a cargo ship. Stars Tom Hanks as the eponymous cap’n, and newcomer Barkhad Abdi as Muse, the Somali ringleader.

The Independent says: “a gruelling and claustrophobic movie… full of juddering hand-held camerawork that gives us the illusion we’re at the heart of the action, watching newsreel footage… as an action movie, Captain Phillips is also very well made in its own macho fashion. What it lacks is a human dimension… it ends up as another story about a heroic American held captive by villainous “others” whose back story the film-makers aren’t much interested in investigating.”

They say: The Express: “the picture does have the whiff of yesterday’s news about it… However, it does end with a virtuoso bit of acting from Hanks… even if he is upstaged by a buck-toothed, brilliant newcomer.”

The New Yorker: “this most likable of actors [Hanks] deliberately presents us with a character who makes no effort to be liked. A warmer and wiser guy would have tipped the scales.”

You say: @kevjumba: “I love Tom Hanks... But “Captain Phillips” made Somalians look like terrorists and the US military look like a Call of Duty game.”