Captain Phillips

Rated 5.0

Director Paul Greengrass and screenwriter Billy Ray keep the central focus on Capt. Phillips (Tom Hanks), but never lose sight of what’s going on with the Maersk Alabama’s 20-man crew or with the scrawny quartet of Somali youths who first try to take over the ship and then later try to take flight with Phillips as hostage. A key drama within the larger one comes from the keenly nuanced battle of wits, male pride and all-round know-how that develops between Phillips and the gaunt, rail-thin pirate called Muse (a haunting Barkhad Abdi). The film rises to its most impressive levels when we begin to see that the simplistic good guys/bad guys outlook that usually prevails in such stories gets deflected here in some very interesting and even moving ways. The screenplay and direction combine with Hanks’ quietly multifaceted performance to portray Phillips as a genuine hero, but also as one deeply marked by the devastating cost of victory. Cinemark 14, Feather River Cinemas and Paradise Cinema 7. Rated PG-13.