HOLLYWOOD (WWJ) – Tom Hanks is AMAZING as Captain Richard (Rich) Phillips, the captain of the MV Maersk Alabama, a US cargo ship that was targeted by Somali pirates in 2009.

The film, “Captain Phillips,” is based on the book written by Phillips following his harrowing experience aboard a lifeboat hijacked by the pirates. Phillips is taken hostage after he is ordered onto the lifeboat by the pirates after Phillips convinces them that the Alabama is “broken.” The pirates see that Phillips’ crew is trailing them and decide to lure them to Somali for a big payoff.

Those plans are thwarted when the U.S. Navy shows up. The Navy destroyer, the USS Bainbridge is sent in. Its Commander, Frank Castellano (Yul Vazquez) tries to end the situation peacefully, but when the pirates refuse to release Phillips, specially-trained Navy SEALs are deployed.

“Captain Phillips” will keep you at the edge of your seat. It’s particularly exciting to watch, knowing that what’s unfolding on screen is based on actual events. What some moviegoers may find even more amazing than the story itself is the fact that 75% of the filming took place over 60 days on the open water. That’s right – open water – not on a movie set! That decision was one made by director Paul Greengrass, who also helmed the action films, “The Bourne Ultimatum” and “The Bourne Supremacy.”

Tom Hanks stars in Columbia Pictures' "Captain Phillips."

Tom Hanks stars in Columbia Pictures’ “Captain Phillips.”

As far as the acting, Hanks, as Phillips, is no-nonsense, yet compassionate. He tries to broker a deal with the pirates – and even provides medical assistance to one of his captors. Unbelievable, some would say, yet believable.

And while the entire cast delivers stellar performances – hats off to the actors playing the pirates – Vazquez’s depiction of Castellano is dead-on. If you’re looking for action – and plenty of it – you don’t want to miss “Captain Phillips.”

See you at the movies!

Follow Terri on Twitter @TerriJLee

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