Based on the true story of Richard Phillips’ struggle against four Somali pirates who hijack his cargo ship, Paul Greengrass’ latest is a tense and unrelenting thriller.

Shot using the vérité techniques Greengrass perfected in United 93 and The Bourne Supremacy/Ultimatum, the film remains grounded (well, afloat… ) despite the occasional test to our suspension of disbelief.

Balanced in its humanising of the Somali characters and buoyed by terrific acting, the film subverts expectations of an Air Force One/Under Siege-style narrative by ensuring the eponymous character remains a believable everyman. This is largely down to Hanks’ best performance in years, culminating in a devastating final scene.

A taught and well-constructed thriller, this is quality entertainment that shouldn’t leave anyone with a sinking feeling.

Rating: 4/5


CAST: Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman, Catherine Keener

DIRECTOR: Paul Greengrass

WRITER: Billy Ray

SYNOPSIS: The Captain of the cargo ship MV Maersk Alabama must protect his crew when the ship is hijacked by Somali pirates.