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First Reaction: Captain Phillips (2013)

Paul Greengrass’s true-life adaptation of the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates is truly riveting and comes alive in Captain Phillips. Captain Phillips played by Tom Hanks presents some of his best acting I’ve seen in recent years. Through it’s consistently teeth-clenching intensity, amped up by the excellent music score by Henry Jackman and screenplay by Billy Ray, Captain Phillips creates satisfying drama as well as justly showcasing the true events that took place. The film is two hours and fifteen minutes, which seems overly drawn out but it creates enough dread that by the end of the film, Tom Hank’s natural and decent performance quickly escalates to one painfully disturbing portrait of the aftermath of a tragic event when anyone is pitted against America. It may not be an Oscar winner, but it is Tom Hanks’ magnificent portrayal of a real-life heroic figure will surely have The Academy dabbing their eyes by the end of the film. B+

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