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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®-winner Tom Hanks), and the Somali pirate captain, Muse (Barkhad Abdi), who takes him hostage. Phillips and Muse are set on an unstoppable collision course when Muse and his crew target Phillips’ unarmed ship; in the ensuing standoff, 145 miles off the Somali coast, both men will find themselves at the mercy of forces beyond their control. The film is directed by Academy Award® nominee Paul Greengrass, from a screenplay by Billy Ray based upon the book, A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea, by Richard Phillips with Stephan Talty. The film is produced by Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, and Michael De Luca.
© 2013 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Rotten Tomatoes® Score
Critics Consensus: 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.
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Common Sense Media
Common Sense Says
Nail-biting story of ship hijacking is fabulous but intense.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Captain Phillips is an intense drama based on the true story of an American cargo ship that's hijacked by Somali pirates. Director Paul Greengrass (United 93, the Bourne films) is known for his visceral depictions of action-packed violence, and Captain Phillips is a real nailbiter with extended scenes of suspense, menace, and violence. There is lots of blood, but just a few casualties -- none of them civilians -- but the camerawork makes the danger -- usually death threats facing a machine gun -- feel personal. Language includes a few uses of "s--t"; the Somalis often chew khat, a plant that's a stimulant; and characters smoke cigarettes as well.
A Lot or A Little?
The parents’ guide to what’s in this movie.
Positive Role Models
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
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- Genre:Drama, Thriller
- Release Date:October 11, 2013
- Languages:English, Spanish
- Captions:English, Spanish
- Audio Format:5.1
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