Paul Greengrass’ Captain Phillips

Justin Perich Captain PhillipsCaptain Phillips – It’s always a pleasant surprise to see an actor who’s been an A-lister for 25 years hit notes you didn’t know they had, and Tom Hanks hits a whole slew of them in Paul Greengrass’s latest true-life piracy thriller. While the accent is reminiscent of his turn as Carl Hanratty in Catch Me If You Can, Hanks brings to life the character of Captain Richard Phillips with stunning power, depth, and authenticity that helped keep me on the edge of my seat the whole 134 minutes. The other knockout performance in this piece that won’t get nearly enough hype is Barkhad Abdi’s portrayal of the pirate leader Abduwali Muse. It’s his screen debut, and he’s managed to create one of the most captivating villains I’ve seen on film. I also give top marks to the writing, directing, and cinematography–rarely does a Hollywood blockbuster make me care so much about the characters, and and unfold their story with so much detail and nuance. Unlike Gravity, I missed the IMAX experience so I can’t say whether or not the extra ten bucks is worth it, but I can say with certainly that Captain Phillips will blow you away on the average big screen. 5/5 stars.