The Christian Broadcasting Network


Right Now: Get the Superbook Bible App for Kids!



Email Updates

Latest entertainment articles and reviews. Subscribe

Weekly top stories and videos. Subscribe

Captain Phillips: Christian movie review

Popcorn Rating

Movie Info


PG-13 for sustained intense sequences of menace, some violence with bloody images, and for substance use


Drama, Biography, Crime, Thriller


October 11, 2013


Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman, Faysal Ahmed, Michael Chernus, Mahat M. Ali, Catherine Keener, Max Martini


Paul Greengrass


Columbia Pictures

More on this movie at

More Christian movie reviews

Get the latest on Hollywood Insight: A Christian Movie Blog

Please Note:
In providing movie reviews on our site, is not endorsing or recommending films we review. Our goal is to provide Christians with information about the latest movies, both the good and the bad, so that our readers may make an informed decision as to whether or not films are appropriate for them and their families.

Review: Captain Phillips

By Hannah Goodwyn Senior Producer - Tom Hanks' new movie, Captain Phillips, may seem familiar as it's based on the true story of a pirate attack off the coast of Somalia back in April 2009.

The Oscar-winning actor (Forrest Gump, Philadelphia) gives a gut-wrenching performance as Captain Phillips, one that may get him another Oscar nod come nomination time. Right there with him is newcomer Barkhad Abdi, whose portrayal as Muse, a Somali pirate leading the hijacking attack, is also noteworthy.

Rated PG-13, Captain Phillips contains scenes too violent for children. Caution is advised. (More on this below.)


With reports of piracy along the coast of Somalia, Captain Richard Phillips isn't taking any chances. His crew onboard the US-flagged Maersk Alabama will be ready to defend their unarmed cargo ship. Soon his fears are confirmed when he spots two unidentified boats filled with armed men approaching. Taken hostage, Captain Phillips is at the mercy of his captors, lead by the calculating Muse. Both of their fates intertwine when forces beyond their control disrupt Muse's plans.


Director Paul Greengrass takes you on a thrilling ride in Captain Phillips. The film has a good pace of calm moments (even humorous ones) that lead to heart-pounding drama. Engaging from the moment Captain Phillips spots the pirates, this Universal Pictures release avoids feeling predictable even though the outcome is known.

What makes this movie are the commanding performances given by its cast, specifically Hanks in the title role and his counterpart, Abdi, as the pirate who's desperate to reach the Somali coast with his hostage. Audiences will see Hanks' talent full screen, particularly in the film's final scenes. Abdi does well in presenting an intriguingly, complex portrait of the ‘bad guy'.

Captain Phillips' PG-13 rating is for sustained intense sequences of menace, some violence with bloody images, and for substance use. Some of the Somali characters are shown chewing khat, a regional plant that contains an amphetamine-like stimulant. Foul language is sparse; however, a crew member does use profanity. Violence is a major factor in making this film PG-13, with gunfire and its effects playing a big role.


Captain Phillips has a slow start, but soon builds to a captivating momentum as we see a dramatic take on what really happened during the 2009 hijacking of the Maersk Alabama. If you can brave the violence, it's one to see.

For more reviews like this one, sign up to receive's Entertainment email update.

Hannah GoodwynHannah Goodwyn serves as the Entertainment producer for For more articles and information, visit Hannah's bio page.

E-mail me!

Log in or create an account to post a comment.  

  • Translate
  • Print Page

Are you seeking answers in life? Are you hurting?
Are you facing a difficult situation?

A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.

Email iconSign up for E-mail Updates Full List

Do You Know Jesus
Grow In Your Faith

Need Prayer?

Call 1-800-823-6053
Email your prayer request