Movie Details

Captain Phillips

Set almost entirely in the Indian Ocean, director Paul Greengrass who is best known for directing political thrillers such as "Bourne", "United 93" and "Green Zone", returns with yet another dramatic thriller titled "Captain Phillips". Tom Hanks stars in the titular role of American skipper Captain Richard Phillips, and the film revolves around him and his crew`s terrifying encounter with a bunch of gun-toting Somali pirates.

Language: English
Subtitle: Chinese
Classification: PG
Release Date: 14 Nov 2013
Genre: Thriller
Running Time: 2 Hours 14 Minutes
Distributor: SONY PICTURES RELEASING INTERNATIONAL
Cast: Tom Hanks, Catherine Keener, David Warshofsky
Director: Paul Greengrass
Format: 2D

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Review
Writer: Casey Chong

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Watch this if you liked: "United 93" and "Green Zone".

It's been three years since Paul Greengrass last directed the underwhelming military drama, "Green Zone" in 2010. Now, he's finally back with a bang in the one of the most highly-anticipated movies of the year, "Captain Phillips".

Based on a memoir "A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS, and Dangerous Days at Sea" by Richard Phillips and Stephan Talty, "Captain Phillips" tells a true story of the titular character (Tom Hanks), whose cargo vessel "Maersk Alabama" gets hijacked by a gang of four Somali pirates led by Muse (Barkhad Abdi).

Like all his past movies, director Paul Greengrass employs the same shaky-camera technique that gives his movie a sense of 'you-were-there' kind of docu-drama. The result is often taut and remarkably intense. But the cinematic urgency wouldn't have worked if not for Barry Ackroyd's tense cinematography and Christopher Rouse's mostly airtight editing.

Not to forget also is Henry Jackman's pulse-pounding score that often energizes the momentum of the movie. Among the most memorable moment that is bound to make the audience glued to their seats is the gripping scene where the Somali pirates attempt to board the cargo vessel at all cost, while Captain Phillips and his crew tries their best to fend them off.

Story-wise, Billy Ray's adapted screenplay is slow but steady as the movie goes. The movie especially jolts to life once the hostage situation takes place in the cargo vessel. While the overall plot is noteworthy, there are times where the audience might be drained by its overlong duration - in which the movie clocks at an unnecessary 2 ½ hours.

For the acting department, Tom Hanks delivers one of the best performances ever seen in his illustrious career. His trademark 'everyman' kind of acting skill is top-notch. The way he portrays Captain Phillips is convincing enough that the audience can easily relate to him. He's not a hero here, but rather an ordinary person trapped under forceful circumstances and his subsequent reactions to handle the situation by attempting to outsmart his captors. Aside from Hanks' Oscar-worthy performance, Barkhad Abdi is similarly remarkable as the leader of the Somali pirates, Muse. Despite this is only his first feature debut, Abdi excels at displaying believable character driven by desperation.

No doubt that "Captain Phillips" qualifies as one of the best movies of the year. This is the kind of movie that deserves a lot of attention when the awards season arrives.


Cinema Online, 20 November 2013
   
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Classification
Effective 15 July 2011
G - Suitable for all ages
PG - Suitable for all ages, but parents should provide guidance to their young
PG13 - Suitable for persons aged 13 and above, but parental guidance is advised for children below 13
NC16 - Suitable for persons aged 16 years and above
M18 - Suitable for persons aged 18 years and above
R21 - Restricted to persons aged 21 and above only
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