Parents' Guide to

Captain Phillips

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Nail-biting story of ship hijacking is fabulous but intense.

Movie PG-13 2013 134 minutes
Captain Phillips Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 14 parent reviews

age 14+

No winners...only survivors.

This film starts slow, but then builds to an unexpected violent climax. It is a bit genius that it can pull off feeling unexpected since we already know what is going to happen (similar to United 93). But such is the genius of director Greengrass. Barkhad Abdi nails the role as the lead Somali pirate. Some more cultural context on the extreme desperation and poverty that these young men are forced to navigate would have been a bit helpful, but the film does a good job of feeling like there were no winners, only survivors.
1 person found this helpful.
age 11+

Thrilling, Interesting, & Violent

The only thing that kept me watching is how intense and interesting this movie was. Part of me wanted to leave because of all the violence. A man gets shot in the head and the camera shows blood dripping down his forehead. A teenager---and two other men---get shot in the head (off camera) and the camera shows blood/brains on the wall. Captain Phillips gets splattered with blood. An extremely intense scene is when the pirates hold a gun to a man's head and counts down to when they're going to shoot him. There's not THAT much swearing, but they say things like, "shit", "asshole", "goddamn" Overall, Captain Phillips is a really good movie with AMAZING acting and is VERY INTERESTING

This title has:

Too much violence
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (14):
Kids say (62):

Some moviegoers may have trouble sitting through another of director Paul Greengrass' in-your-face thrillers, where every moment is fraught with anxiety and dread. But Greengrass is like Hitchcock or Spielberg; he's a gifted storyteller of this genre of movies so intense you bite your nails down to the quick and can't settle your heartbeat. The cinematography, the editing, the score -- it's all set up to make your flight or fight reflex work in overdrive, as you identify wholly with Hanks' middle-aged commanding officer, a man of honor who doesn't suffer fools and who is afraid but still willing to deal with four young pirates holding deadly weapons at his heart.

It's no surprise that Hanks is a master of the craft, so what's truly amazing is how good the young Somali actors are, particularly Abdi as the leader of the four pirates. He tells a rival that he might be skinny, but he's no coward, and his bravery, albeit misguided, is there -- in the way he's unwilling to let his bigger, angrier fellow kill any civilians, including Phillips, and the quiet, calm way he explains that he's a fisherman without fish, implying that this life of piracy is what his warlord bosses expect of him. Even if you know the outcome of this standoff between the pirates and the US Navy, the characters and the performances make Captain Phillips a must see for anyone who appreciates high intensity in their action dramas.

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