|Hanks gives an Oscar-worthy performance.
Directed by Paul Greengrass
Produced by Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and Scott Rudin
Written by Billy Ray (screenplay); Richard Phillips/Stephan Talty (book)Starring Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi and Catherine Keener
In the vein of the celebrated United 93, Paul Greengrass' latest film takes true events and drops the viewer right in the middle of them. Captain Richard Phillips (Hanks) is sailing the Maersk Alabama through pirate-infested waters. American cargo ships aren't easy to board, and history says they'll make it their destination, even if pirates do bother them. When a group of Somali pirates remarkably boards their vessel, Phillips and the crew are terrorized by the armed men, who demand a sum of millions. But their struggle to endure turns into an even worse one for Phillips, as he's taken hostage by the pirates.
Paul Greengrass continues to prove he's a great director, carving out an intense film with one star and mostly non-professional actors. Tom Hanks has proven himself as a versatile actor, drifting from comedy to drama all through the course of his career, and he offers one of his best performances in this dramatic role. He is largely restrained, yet totally convincing, unleashing a burst of raw emotion in the final moments of his performance. Career highlight? I think so. Apart from Hanks' excellent work, Barkhad Abdi offers a great performance as the lead pirate Muse, and the other actors around them deliver solid performances. The film also has technical merit, with the claustrophobic cinematography, tight editing and amped-up soundtrack to accompany the fine work of the cast. In short, it's powerful, Oscar-worthy and one of the year's best films.
Oscar Potential: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor (Abdi), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing