CAPTAIN PHILLIPS (12)
D: Paul Greengrass
Columbia/Trigger Street (Scott Rudin, Michael DeLuca & Dana Brunetti)
USA 🇺🇸 2013
W: Billy Ray [based on the book 'A Captain's Duty' by Richard Phillips & Stephan Tatty]
DP: Barry Ackroyd
Ed: Christopher Rouse
Mus: Henry Jackman
Tom Hanks (Capt. Richard Phillips), Barkhad Abdi (Muse), Barkhad Abdirahman (Bilal), Faysal Ahmed (Najee), Mahat M. Ali (Elmi), Michael Chernus (Shane Murphy), Catherine Keener (Andrea Phillips)
Captain Phillips is an absolute nerve-shredding masterclass of thrills and tension, based on a true story of piracy off the East African Coast where a freight vessel delivering aid to Mombasa was boarded by Somali pirates who hold it's captain hostage for ransom.
Director Paul Greengrass brings the same energy he brought to the Bourne films whilst presenting the film as a docudrama, much like he did with United 93.
The claustrophobic photography adds to the tension and the action is quite rightly kept focused on the hijack of the ship and then the capture of Captain Phillips, with cutaways to the rescue operation kept minimal and to the point, with the tension mounting towards a heart-pounding crescendo.
Tom Hanks delivers a fantastic performance in the title role, although his American-Irish accent is a little distracting in the opening moments. The true revelation however, is the performances of the four Somali captors, each a character in their own right with two particularly nasty bastards, including the leader of the gang, Muse.
Nominated for a Best Picture Oscar and quite right too. It's most certainly one of the best films of 2013.