Reeling - Rene Rodriguez

October 12, 2013 12:00 AM

Captain Phillips (PG-13)

In Captain Phillips, director Paul Greengrass pulls off the same remarkable feat he accomplished with United 93: He takes a true story in which the outcome is already known and transforms it into a gripping, wrenching, devastating thriller. This one plays like an enormous punch to the gut. The movie is based on Richard Phillips’ book-length account of the 2009 hijacking of the Maersk Alabama cargo ship by Somali pirates, the first such attack on a U.S. vessel in 200 years. But although the scenario might seem limited in dramatic potential, screenwriter Billy Ray (Shattered Glass, State of Play) takes a journalistic approach to the story, turning it into a procedural in which every detail contributes to the whole: the way the ragtag group of pirates comes together; the day-to-day operations of the mammoth ship; the limited resources Phillips had to defend his boat against an attack and the ingenious tactics he employed in order to save his crew.

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