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lime Screen Review: Captain Phillips

Lime Review - Screen

Captain Phillips

words by

Cassam Looch

Reporter: Cassam Looch

The London Film Festival opener is a curious choice. It is a sensitive subject matter, and the issue of piracy off the coast of Somalia is ever-present in the news.

A film based on a real-life incident from 2010 might also seem like ‘too soon’ after the event, but rest assured this is a superbly crafted affair with some tremendous performances. 


Hanks plays the titular Captain, and his turn seems to be fairly run-of-the-mill until the final five minutes when he turns on the style and delivers, what we believe, is his best performance to date. It’s frighteningly realistic, and you wonder how many actors in Hollywood could convince you they are in a state of shock. 


Elsewhere, young newcomers match the veteran. There is a real sense of danger and energy to the pirates, although credit must also go to director Paul Greengrass for that. The idea of any drama being drawn out of a slow pursuit of a lumbering Ocean vessel might elicit memories of ‘Speed 2: Cruise Control’, but the clever way in which the initial battle of wits is shown makes it feel more like ‘Master & Commander’ or a high-seas version of ‘Wrath of Khan’. 


Things settle into a more predictable arc, but it’s here that the actors rise to the challenge. A high-quality film to open any festival, and a breathless example of the trademark Greengrass style. 


Starring: Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman



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