Captain Phillips (2013)

Out here survival is everything

Plot outline

The true story of Captain Richard Phillips and the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates of the U.S.-flagged MV Maersk Alabama, the first American cargo ship to be hijacked in two hundred years.


The true story of Captain Richard Phillips and the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates of the U.S.-flagged MV Maersk Alabama, the first American cargo ship to be hijacked in two hundred years. - Richard Phillips

Captain Phillips is a multi-layered examination of the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates. It is - through director Paul Greengrass's distinctive lens - simultaneously a pulse-pounding thriller, and a complex portrait of the myriad effects of globalization. The film focuses on the relationship between the Alabama's commanding officer, Captain Richard Phillips (two time Academy Award®-winner Tom Hanks), and the Somali pirate captain, Muse (Barkhad Abdi), who takes him hostage. Phillips and Muse are set on an unstoppable collision course when Muse and his crew target Phillips' unarmed ship; in the ensuing standoff, 145 miles off the Somali coast, both men will find themselves at the mercy of forces beyond their control. - Sony Pictures Entertainment

When a cargo freighter passes just outside Somalian waters, some men in a motorboat approach the freighter and start shooting at it. The Captain, Richard Phillips deduces they're pirates so he tries to keep them off the ship but fails. They come on board so Phillips instructs the crew to hide. The pirates go to the bridge and tell Phillips they want money and when Phillips offers what they have which is about $30,000, the leader has his mind set on getting millions. He plans to take the crew hostage and hold them for ransom. But since they are hiding he goes off to find them. Eventually the crew captures the leader. His companions who have Phillips, demand they be allowed to go in the lifeboat. They let them but they keep Phillips. They try to go to Somalia but the U.S. Navy arrives and tries to stop them even if it means losing Phillips. -

Captain Richard Phillips (Hanks) and his crew are carrying freight around the Horn of Africa when four Somali pirates forcefully take over their ship, the MV Maersk Alabama. While Phillips' team follow his orders to hide until they hear him give the safe word, the captain and a few essential crew members remain on the bridge as the heavily armed pirates make their way up to seize control of the ship. But the interlopers soon discover something that sends them into a furious rage: After effectively shutting down the ship, Phillips explains that the Maersk had malfunctioned when the crew pushed it too hard in an attempt to evade the attackers. In order to appease their leader, the ruthless Muse (Barkhad Abdi), Phillips offers them the $30,000 that's been locked in the ship safe. But that isn't enough, and Muse demands that Phillips help him search every corner of the ship to root out the terrified crew. When that plan fails, the pirates agree to take the cash from the safe and flee in the Maersk's lifeboat. At the last minute, however, they kidnap Phillips in the hope of supplementing their take with a sizable ransom -- a decision that leads to a tense standoff with the U.S. Navy, who would sooner see the lifeboat sunk with Phillips inside than allow it to reach Somalia..

Assigned the dangerous task of taking the unarmed container ship, Maersk Alabama, from Oman to Mombasa, Kenya, the American navigator, Richard Phillips, and his crew see their worst fear come true, in 2009. Off the coast of Somalia--for the first time in maritime history--an opportunistic gang of armed-to-the-teeth Somali pirates seize the American vessel, demanding millions as ransom, dragging Alabama's men, the brazen pirates, and the U.S. Navy in a five-day cat-and-mouse game. As the Navy SEALs of the USS Bainbridge are on standby, Captain Phillips' ship approaches Somalia. Will they get out of there alive? - Richard Phillips