Captain Phillips

Columbia Pictures' "Capt. Phillips," starring Tom Hanks.

Jasin Boland

In this Oscar-nominated thriller for ‘Best Motion Picture’, Tom Hanks plays the skipper of the cargo ship Maersk Alabama that was hijacked in 2009 off the coast of Somalia. Knowing the bookends to this piracy incident on the high-seas beforehand--how it started and dramatically ended--I didn’t quite expect this movie to keep my rapt attention like it did.

Hanks’ true co-stars in this flick aren’t so much US Navy SEALs but rather a well-cast group of actors portraying the terrorists and his crewmembers. The backdrop of the Maersk Alabama completely befuddles the bad guys and gets them off their game in a way not seen since Bruce Willis’ character in “Die Hard” eye-poked terrorists throughout the Nakatomi building in 1988.

Making his big-screen debut with ‘Captain Phillips’, is Somali-American actor Barkhad Abdi.  Abdi, playing the terrorist leader, has been nominated for an Oscar in the Supporting Actor category. Abdi’s outstanding work in this movie is evenly matched by the veteran Tom Hanks.  In fact, I found this to be Hanks’ best acting since ‘Cast Away’ in 2000.  

“Captain Phillips” brings moviegoers ingenuity, suspense and a victory over bad guys who have it coming.  Drop anchor and go see this high-stakes drama at sea. Remember, they’re not here to fish.

Grade: B+

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