With the Oscars exactly one week away from today, it’s time to start catching up on all of the nominees. Luckily, many of the films nominated for Academy Awards this year are ready for you to rent and watch right now. One such film available for you to watch right now is Captain Phillips.

Based on a true events, Captain Phillips tells the story of Richard Phillips, the captain of a container ship that was captured and boarded by Somali pirates while attempting to round the horn of Africa. The film documents Phillip’s attempt to save his crew and the ship.

Captain Phillips functions as an action film and procedural, and in those two genres it is next to perfect. It is shot in the signature Greengrass style that is present in all of his films. Majority of the film is shot handheld, and so most standard filmmaking practice is thrown out the window. The shakiness and placement of the camera makes us a fly on the wall to the action, as if we’re eavesdropping in on what’s happening on screen. The effect is claustrophobic and often thrilling.

The writing is sharp, and Billy Ray’s script was rightly nominated for an Academy Award. There aren’t many dialogue scenes, but what we do get is excellent. It’s quick, entertaining, and always believable.

Of course, this film would not be what it is without Tom Hanks. His performance is nothing short of incredible. We know that, we’ve come to expect excellence from Hanks. He is truly one of the finest working actors, and this is his finest work in years. There are moments of acting in this movie that are just about as good as you’re going to get.

Barkhad Abdi is also great as the leader of the pirate crew. It’s hard to believe, but this was his first ever role. He kills it in every scene and had Hanks not been cast, Abdi would almost certainly have been seen as the star of this film. For a first time actor, this is a stunning performance.

The films occasionally bogs, and it’s simply not as good as Greengrass’ masterpiece United 93, but Captain Phillips is definitely worth a rental.


Have you seen Captain Phillips? Are you interested? Let me know in the comments below.