The true story of Captain Richard Phillips and the Maersk Alabama’s takeover by Somali pirates is amazing enough. But put in the hands of Paul Greengrass and Tom Hanks, it turns into a satisfying thriller. Phillips and his crew were boarded by four pirates off the Horn of Africa. The pirates eventually abandoned the crew and took Phillips hostage on board the cargo ship’s lifeboat. The movie is a race against time. Can the Navy rescue Phillips before the Pirates reach the Somali coast or before they get desperate enough to kill the Captain. If you’ve read anything about this story you know how it ends. The execution of how it plays out is what is most interesting. Hanks delivers his usual solid performance, even if his New England accent is a bit dodgy. My biggest complaints are these. In the first act, Hanks and his wife (Catherine Keener) are driving to the airport and talking about their kids and it turns into this deep discussion of the future and the type of world in which they will live. It is very forced and completely out of the blue. We really have no idea why they are having this discussion other than they are having it. My other complaint is about Catherine Keener. She is one of my favorite actresses. I’m not sure how much more she could have been used the way this film is structured, but she  seems to just be thrown in there to prove to us that Phillips has a family. Seems like a waste of a great talent. That said, CAPTAIN PHILLIPS is a very good thriller and well worth your time. — Alan Yudman

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