Review: A stellar Hanks in harrowing ‘Phillips’

October 8, 2013 • Entertainment

This film image released by Sony – Columbia Pictures shows Tom Hanks, second right, in “Captain Phillips.” (AP Photo/Sony – Columbia Pictures, Jasin Boland)

If you saw Paul Greengrass’s “United 93,” a terrifying depiction of one of the doomed flights on 9/11, you know this director can evoke a harrowing, real-life event like few others. In fact, you may not have recovered yet from the experience.

So it’s no surprise that Greengrass has produced another expertly crafted, documentary-style film based on a real event — the 2009 hijacking of a cargo ship by Somali pirates and the five-day standoff that ensued, with the ship’s American captain, Richard Phillips, held captive in a stifling covered lifeboat after offering himself as a hostage.

A major difference is that this movie has a happy ending — for the captain, anyway, who was rescued in a dramatic high-seas Navy sniper operation. Three of the overmatched attackers were killed; the fourth is in a U.S. prison.

More cinematically speaking, the difference is that “Captain Phillips” is a star vehicle. In Login to read more

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