Another week, another near-certain best-picture nominee.
So why should you check out “Captain Phillips,” the gripping real-life tale of the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by Somali pirates?
Here are six reasons:
1. It feels like a summer blockbuster, only classier.
2. It may not be the technical marvel that “Gravity” was, but shooting the majority of the movie on the open water on a working ship identical to the Alabama is still an impressive feat.
3. As Richard Phillips, Tom Hanks gives a measured, reserved performance right up until he’s taken from the Alabama. When he finally lets go of all that confidence, the result is devastating.
4. Barkhad Abdi makes his acting debut as Muse, the “captain” of the pirates’ small fishing skiff, and he’s terrific. There’s nothing actor-ish about what he does.
5. Without excusing their actions, “Captain Phillips” sheds light on the plight of the pirates. Former fishermen who can no longer make a living due to overfishing, they’re simply answering to local warlords who demand the capture of big ships they can ransom.
6. None of the pirates bear even a passing resemblance to Keith Richards.
“Captain Phillips” is rated PG-13 and opens nationwide on Friday, October 11.