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FILM FANS: Tom Hanks is amazing as Captain Phillips

EDITOR’S NOTE: Film Fans features local residents reviewing the movie of the week: “Captain Phillips.” Want to be a film fan? Email features@gwinnettdailypost.com.

4 out of 4 stars

Ladies and gentlemen, this is how movies should be made. In “Captain Phillips,” Tom Hanks plays the title character and turns in yet another captivating performance. The film itself has every element you want in a tense thriller. It’s a true white-knuckled thrill ride full of raw emotion.

The film, based on the true story of a ship taken over by pirates, is set on the seas off the coast of Somalia when they are suddenly attacked and boarded by four armed Somali pirates. The story begins with a tense chess game in which the pirates search for the crew while Phillips stays one step ahead of them, injuring one and the crew finally taking over the leader of the pirates. Things go from bad to worse when the tables turn and Phillips is taken hostage.

Aptly written and directed, the film builds a slow burn that never stops. However, the real strength of the film is the main star. Tom Hanks turns in a brilliant performance and I will be surprised if his name isn’t called when nominations come out next year. What won’t surprise me is to hear his name called (again) when the awards are given.

— Ron Adams,

Athens

3 and 1/2 out of 4 stars

This is a very powerful and intense filmed based on the true story of the piracy and hostage situation in 2009. Tom Hanks does a strong and great job as Captain Phillips, who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. When his cargo ship is hijacked close to Somalia, he tries his best to make good decisions in the midst of the stressful and scary situation. What follows are many scenes of fear in the midst of distress. I thought Barkhad Abdi did a very convincing job playing the leader of the hijackers. I believe this movie was partly written by the actual Captain Phillips who endured the actual situation. The whole film was very well done and it had an emotional ending. I would recommend it for anyone who is interested in this dramatic story and historical event.

— Cindy Evans,

Duluth

2 and 1/2 out of 4 stars

Even though you probably already know the ending, “Captain Phillips” is a gripping film.

Tom Hanks shows off his acting chops to the finest degree, especially near the end of the movie when his calm, assertive and tactful manner turns into explosive empathetic madness.

But the other characters are much less interesting, especially the captain’s cohorts, who are only allowed to shoot water cannons at the on-coming pirates instead of real guns. This was a little hard to believe — Americans like their guns and gosh darn it, they’re not afraid to use ’em! (Except in this movie).

The Somalian bad guys are pretty scary, though. All I know is if those dudes attacked my boat, I’d be cowering in the corner worse than Phillips does and I’d probably get so scared, I’d push one of my own co-workers into the line of fire to save my own butt. But hey, I guess that’s why Captain Phillips is the star of the movie and not me.

The dialogue was a little lame and the inevitable setup of the pirate attack was grossly blatant — but that’s OK. The movie holds your attention enough to forget about those things. Hanks really did a great job with this picture and I think the last few scenes will make it all worth his while when award season rolls around.

— Michael Gorgoglione,

Dacula