Flash Movie Review: Captain Phillips

Part of my responsibilities, in my role as a credit manager, has been the preparation of documents to present to the bank for payment from a letter of credit. A letter of credit is a legal document issued by a bank to pay another bank (usually in another country) that guarantees payment for goods we ship under specified conditions. The portion of the paperwork I enjoy reading about is the trail our shipment travels from our docks to the customer. Starting out by truck, our product may switch to rail before reaching a port of departure. Here is where it gets fun for me as the goods are loaded onto a  container ship that sets sail, to travel to all parts of the world. I have learned so much about different cities and countries based on where the shipments are destined to land. All of it had seemed exciting and exotic until I saw this riveting drama based on a true story. My fanciful daydreaming about sailing to new and faraway places came to a screeching halt at the reality of what happened to Captain Richard Phillips, portrayed by Tom Hanks (Larry Crowne, The Terminal). Based on Richard Phillips’ memoir, “A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS and Dangerous Days at Sea,” this movie skillfully brought the story to life. It was one thing to read articles or see newscasts about Somali pirates, but to have it shown right up in my face made this movie a more tense and dramatic film viewing experience. The story was about the 2009 hijacking on the container vessel Alabama by Somali pirates. Director Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Supremacy, Bloody Sunday) did a wonderful job in keeping the story’s pull at a constant tautness. When Tom Hanks is firing on all cylinders, as he was in this role, he shows why he is considered one of the better actors in Hollywood. Newcomers Barkhad Abdi and Markhad Abdirahman as Somali pirates Muse and Bilal were outstanding. The scene where Muse says, “Look at me, look at me; I am the captain now,” was a brilliant piece of ad libbing. For me, the movie was getting so intense I started to cry at a particularly emotional scene. If you are like me and plan on seeing all the major Academy Award nominated films before the Oscar telecast, you might as well get an early start with this outstanding movie. There were a few scenes where blood was shown.

4 stars 


About moviejoltz

From a long line of movie afficionados, one brother was the #1 renter of movies in the country with Blockbuster, I am following in the same traditions that came before me. To balance out the long hours seated in dark movie theaters, I also teach yoga and cycling. For the past 3 years, I have correctly picked the major Oscar winners... so join me as we explore the wonder of movies and search for that perfect 4 star movie.

Posted on October 14, 2013, in Drama and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Wow, even the trailer is gripping!

  2. I don’t think Tom Hanks can go wrong. Can’t wait to see it.

  3. I look forward to this film, and am glad you rate it four stars out of four. Too often, the hype of publicity outruns the movie, and money’s wasted. I’m glad i found your blog. Your reviews tend to be very useful guides.

    • That was my concern as well, the hype was everywhere and I try to avoid it as much as possible. However, that in itself is a challenge. Thank you for the kind words and please let me know your thoughts on the film after you have seen it.

  4. It’s got Tom Hanks starring in it. How could anybody pass it up?

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