Captain Phillips

134 mins
Poster for Captain Phillips

Tom Hanks plays Richard Phillips, a real-life cargo ship captain whose ship was taken hostage by Somali pirates during the... More

Where to watch Captain Phillips

Captain Phillips is available to stream in New Zealand now... More on Netflix and Prime Video and Apple TV Store and TVNZ+ and Neon Rentals.

Captain Phillips | Ratings & Reviews

"“Roller-coaster ride” may be a cliché but it’s well deserved by this superb action thriller - only the roller-coaster’s at sea. As in United 93 and his two Bourne movies, director Paul Greengrass ratchets up the tension with Hitchcockian skill. Taking the true tale of the 2009 hijacking of cargo ship, Maersk Alabama, by just four Somali pirates, Greengrass spins it into riveting entertainment. Think The Hurt Locker - with waves."

Flicks, Adam FrescoFlicks

"What unfolds in the next two hours is gripping enough that more than a few theatre armrests will probably require upholstery repair."

"More often than not... Captain Phillips is riveting."

A.V. ClubA.V. Club

"(Greengrass) remains the kind of filmmaker cinephiles are lucky to have around."


"Piercingly realistic..."

Los Angeles TimesLos Angeles Times

"Another highlight in Tom Hanks' Americana gallery, the story of a seemingly regular guy who turns out to be something more than a regular guy, thus giving hope to regular guys everywhere."

San Francisco ChronicleSan Francisco Chronicle

"(A) suspensefully spiky thriller..."

Entertainment WeeklyEntertainment Weekly

"What truly sets Captain Phillips apart from other high seas, high stakes adventures is a career-best performance from Hanks..."

Film School RejectsFilm School Rejects

"Yet another Greengrass masterpiece. And it reveals why there have been so many: Behind the director's dispassionate, unfailingly rigorous lens lies an enormous, unfailingly compassionate heart."

The Washington PostThe Washington Post

"Squeezing every drop of tension from wet-ink recent history, Phillips only falters when making its protagonists mouthpieces in a broader geopolitical debate."

Total FilmTotal Film

"Raises the bar on what a true-life action thriller can do."

Rolling StoneRolling Stone

"Hanks deftly captures Phillips' blend of bravery, heroism and abject terror in a wonderfully minimalist performance, one of his best."

USA TodayUSA Today

"There is something too dry and austere about Greengrass and Ray’s telescoped vision, which touches only fleetingly on the pirates’ motives, the suffering of the Somali people and the collateral damage of global capitalism."


"Director Paul Greengrass remains a genius of claustrophobia, yet his better films — "Bloody Sunday," "United 93" and "The Bourne Ultimatum" — all beat with a stronger sense of central identification. He doesn’t have as much to work with this time, and his solution is to slow down the pace. The result is more clarity, but also more monotony."

Time OutTime Out

"There's something so unforced about him that it can seem as if he's not delivering a performance, just being Tom Hanks."

The New York TimesThe New York Times

"This a quasi-war movie set in peacetime; these men are fighting to the death, but not for nation or principle or ideology — or at least, not a conscious ideology: they are caught in larger economic currents."

The GuardianThe Guardian

"Captain Phillips could have stopped at simply depicting what happened; it’s the steps it takes to examining why it happened that make it extraordinary."

The DissolveThe Dissolve

"The film rips right along and never relinquishes its grip."

Hollywood ReporterHollywood Reporter

"Both Greengrass and Hanks are on award-deserving form in a riveting, emotionally complex and hugely intelligent dramatisation of a real-life ordeal."

Empire MagazineEmpire Magazine

Captain Phillips | Details

Award winner
Best Supporting Actor (Abdi), BAFTAs 2014
M, Violence
Drama, True Story & Biography
Country of origin