And here we go…
With Gravity blowing people’s minds, and 12 Years a Slave getting great reviews in limited release this weekend, Captain Phillips finds itself with some stiff competition. And while I don’t see it winning Best Picture, it easily makes it in to “must see” territory.
Based on a true story (key word being “based”), this is a tale of piracy without all the peg-legs, parrots and pieces of eight. Tom Hanks turns in a marvelous performance as Captain Richard Phillips. How do I always forget how good an actor he is? There’s such a expanse of different emotions that Hanks morphs through. The leader, the schemer, the loving husband, the fighter, the tactician, the negotiator, the protector, the hero, the victim. Hanks is all of these as Captain Phillips.
The wonderful surprise though is how good the supporting cast is. Barkhad Abdi plays the pirate “captain” Muse in his acting debut, Michael Chernus, who is primarily a stage actor (though he’s had roles in Men in Black 3 and The Bourne Legacy), is a great First Officer in his role as Shane Murphy. The rest of the ensemble is no slouch either as the military, pirates, and crew all show off impressive acting chops.
Of course, the cinematography is great. This film takes place 98% at sea, and some great camerawork captures the suspense and tension. The shaky cam at the start is a little annoying, but you’re soon past that and on to clearer waters.
Of course, there are some complaints about the truthfulness to the story, listed here in the New York Post, which puts an interesting spin on things, but there’s no debate the movie is great. Go see it.