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Captain Phillips 

One of those days

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Ever have one of those days? Captain Phillips has, stuck at sea for a week after being kidnapped by pirates in the simply titled Captain Phillips. Based off the book that's based off the real events, the film follows the 2009 hijacking of container ship Maersk Alabama by Somali pirates, and subsequent kidnapping and rescue attempts of the ship's captain (Tom Hanks). Director Paul Greengrass helmed a similarly stripped-down retelling of true terror with the essential United 93. Here, his workmanlike ability to craft harrowing realism clots any attempts at sermonizing while escalating the suspense to peerless levels. A bit of a missed opportunity, actually, since only a few crumbs of reasoning go to explain the actions of the impoverished, warlord-controlled pirates (led by skeletal newcomer Barkhad Abdi). Captain Phillips is filled with dread, as audiences helplessly watch people making all the wrong decisions until it's mortally too late to course-correct.

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Vol 24, No 27
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