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Captain Phillips (2013)


Average Rating: 8.3/10
Reviews Counted: 238
Fresh: 222 | Rotten: 16

Smart, powerfully acted, and incredibly intense, Captain Phillips offers filmgoers a Hollywood biopic done right -- and offers Tom Hanks a showcase for yet another brilliant performance.

Average Rating: 8.8/10
Critic Reviews: 51
Fresh: 46 | Rotten: 5

Smart, powerfully acted, and incredibly intense, Captain Phillips offers filmgoers a Hollywood biopic done right -- and offers Tom Hanks a showcase for yet another brilliant performance.


User Ratings: 145,424


Movie Info

Captain Phillips is a multi-layered examination of the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates. It is - through director Paul Greengrass's distinctive lens - simultaneously a pulse-pounding thriller, and a complex portrait of the myriad effects of globalization. The film focuses on the relationship between the Alabama's commanding officer, Captain Richard Phillips (two time Academy Award (R)-winner Tom Hanks), and the Somali pirate captain, Muse … More

Rating: PG-13 (for sustained intense sequences of menace, some violence with bloody images, and for substance use)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 21, 2014
Box Office: $107.1M

Sony Pictures - Official Site



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Critic Reviews for Captain Phillips

All Critics (238) | Top Critics (51) | Fresh (222) | Rotten (16) | DVD (3)

Over and over in this movie we hear variations on the phrase "everything's going to be OK." It's just impossible to head out of the theater and back into the wider world believing that's actually true.

Full Review… | December 10, 2013
Top Critic

We're in the steady hands of Paul Greengrass, a director fully aware that convincing crisis stories involve conflicting interests and passions.

Full Review… | December 9, 2013
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

The entire performance is one of the greatest in Hanks' prolific, varied career - a role that gives him a massive arc and the opportunity to show great range.

Full Review… | October 14, 2013
Top Critic

Whether or not you find it an inadvertent parable of the political moment (I do), Captain Phillips is a terrific film.

Full Review… | October 11, 2013
The Atlantic
Top Critic

It's the work of Tom Hanks that makes this film unforgettable.

Full Review… | October 11, 2013
Top Critic

This is acting of the highest order in a movie that raises the bar on what a true-life action thriller can do.

Full Review… | October 11, 2013
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

Bring your defibrillator and a bottle of Xanex to make it through the picture as your heart will be beating outside of your chest.

Full Review… | July 6, 2014

As in many films of this genre, fiction or fact, finesse gives way to firepower force, and though the real-life outcome is fixed in advance, the voyage is exhilarating.

Full Review… | May 1, 2014
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

About an hour in, though, much hell breaks loose. Greengrass' avid, excitable camera moves begin to match the action, to become the action.

Full Review… | April 22, 2014

The script, adapted from the book written by the actual protagonist, is not romanticized or glossed over with overreaching sentiment, and Greengrass' direction matches it with a style that is consistently tenacious.

Full Review… | February 21, 2014

After a gripping start in which Phillips tries to outrun the pirates, the excitement lessens once they clamber aboard.

Full Review… | February 7, 2014
Daily Record [UK]

Storytelling in its purest form: it works as a no-fat thriller, yet it achieves nuanced character dimension and thematic complexity

Full Review… | February 6, 2014
Movie Mezzanine

[W]e're carried along not just by the momentum of events, but by the precision with which they're depicted.

Full Review… | February 6, 2014
Film Comment Magazine

While the events depicted here do at times suggest a sort of Die Hard on the high seas, the tone is refreshingly anti-triumphalist.

Full Review… | February 4, 2014
SF Weekly

The final scenes alone, make "Captain Phillips" worthy of being called a masterpiece.

Full Review… | January 31, 2014
Cinema Crazed

While I find it a little strange that it's been getting as much awards attention as it has, it's still worth taking a look at for Greengrass' intense direction and a story that will have your eyes glued to the screen. For most of it at least.

Full Review… | January 20, 2014

One of the ten best films of 2013.

Full Review… | January 7, 2014
Movie Dearest

It's a sweaty-palmed, relentless thriller - and a damned good one.

Full Review… | December 30, 2013

Not only a riveting drama about quiet heroism, but an eye-opening look at a clash of cultures.

Full Review… | December 22, 2013
Salt Lake Tribune

Captain Phillips is indeed a gripping, grueling, agonizing, nail-biting, brutalizing, kick-punching motion picture, but beyond the technical thrills and vise-grip tension, it also offers a weary, hard-won empathy.

Full Review… | December 22, 2013
Sacramento News & Review

Tom Hanks gives a fine, un-showy and sublimely focused performance.

Full Review… | December 21, 2013
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

It goes from exciting to exhausting mighty quickly and the final act.

Full Review… | December 21, 2013
Daily Mirror [UK]

The disappointing aspect to Captain Phillips is that it doesn't go beyond action movie conventions.

Full Review… | December 21, 2013

Captain Phillips repeatedly underlines the Navy's brilliance, and also the contest between Rich and Muse, their exchanged looks in a tight, hot space suggesting they might share a burden. But they can't.

Full Review… | December 17, 2013

Audience Reviews for Captain Phillips


Released the same year as A Hijacking, Captain Phillips concentrates on the true story of a Hijacked ship and the rescue mission that followed. Two very different films essentially about the same thing. It's fair to say that Captain Phillips won because it is the big star Hollywood picture but also because Paul Greengrass is the best director working today when it comes to dramatised reconstructions. I would argue that A Hijacking is the better film that takes a more realistic approach and shows all sides of the story but Captain Phillips is the more exciting. The last scene is spectacular though, Tom Hanks has never been as good and I'm not sure Hollywood has ever been so raw.

Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer

A remarkable performance from Tom Hanks in his middle age since we missed him from his movies from the 90's, too bad the academy didn't appreciate him enough to make the list for Best Actor.. Meanwhile, Barkhad Abdi's performance as Muse got a delightful attention from the critics with 1 BAFTA Awards and an Oscar nomination.. The story itself is quite interesting, but how Paul Greengrass made the movie is another thumbs up since he make not only a great drama but also a thrilling movie that will keep the audiences hold their breath like they been on Phillip's experience.. Overall, 'Captain Phillips' definitely one of the best movies in 2013..

Sanjaya 丘耀文

Super Reviewer

Believable, straight-ahead, plausible dramatization of the real-life piracy story it's based on; sheer entertainment, but not mindless, with good dynamics between the two "captains." Exciting, enjoyable movie - won't blow you away, but remarkably competent, and the ending is more human and realistic than most comparable (action) movies you've seen.

Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer


A cargo ship captain must preserve his and his crew's lives after their ship is hijacked by Somali pirates.
For most of this film, it is a solid, two-and-a-half- to three-star thriller. The action is intense, and the plot moves along quickly. It is in the last moments of the film, especially the phenomenally vulnerable turn by Tom Hanks, that makes this film worth watching.
The film's attempts to humanize the Somali pirates fails - not miserably but fails nonetheless. We get shots of Somali poverty, the Somali social order, and the trailer-publicize line, "Maybe in America," but these moments don't amount to much because by the end of the film, there's no real understanding or human sympathy possible on the part of either the characters or the audience. The Somalis are unquestioned bad guys; director Paul Greengrass might as well have given them red light sabers.
Overall, Hanks's performance is strong and the film is a good addition to the thriller genre.

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Captain Phillips Quotes

Muse: Bilal, you idiot!
– Submitted by Elena S (4 months ago)
Muse: Did you shoot my friends? USS Bainbridge VBSS Officer: Captain Phillips is safe and your friends are dead.
– Submitted by Jack P (8 months ago)
Muse: Maybe in America, Irish. Maybe in America.
– Submitted by Carlos Manuel R (9 months ago)
Muse: Everything going to be okay.
– Submitted by Thiru????i K (10 months ago)
Muse: I come too far, Irish. I'll not give up.
– Submitted by Thiru????i K (10 months ago)
Muse: I love America.
– Submitted by Elena S (10 months ago)

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