Captain Phillips ★★★½

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Based on the true story of Captain Richard Philips being taken hostage by a group of Somali pirates, Paul Greengrass' Captain Philips chronicles the events that transpired in 2009 with a heavy dose of universal sentimentality and an overtly political agenda. These aspects could have easily come across as cheesy and polarizing if it weren't for Barry Ackroyd's cinematographic genius. His naturalistic style combined with Greengrass' intense pacing created an appropriately suspenseful tone for the film. Greengrass has matured as an auteur over the years, ultimately culminating with this Best Picture nominee; however, Captain Philips would not be what it is if it weren't for the outrageously talented Tom Hanks' performance. From the opening scene, he stole every scene he was in. In an extremely competitive year for lead acting performances, I still hold that it is a crime Hanks didn't receive an Academy Award nomination. Barkhad Adbi did receive a much-deserved nod for his supporting role. Bottom line, this is an enticing biopic drama with excellent production and entertainment value, but that's just about all that it is. Captain Philips lacks any transcendent meaning or purpose. It lacks heart. I'd recommend this film to everyone, but it could have been better. How this film earned a Best Picture nominee over the likes of All Is Lost, The Great Beauty, and my personal favorite Blue Is The Warmest Color, is beyond me.