Captain Phillips (Directed by Paul Greengrass, 2013)
The most interesting question about this morality tale of American power efficiently eliminating vermin is whether it should be seen merely as a feel-good pot boiler or whether its uncompromising resistance to depth betrays a wider anxiety about the way the world is going.
Tom Hanks, captain of a container ship that is boarded by Somali pirates, turns in a polished performance as the decent man who responds to crisis with impressive, yet not extravagant, heroism. He was a better choice than, say, Harrison Ford, who excels in roles where the good man, finally goaded beyond endurance, comes out fighting and kicks ass. Hanks needs to be more ordinary than that, for the ass-kicking here is left to the military, with its hi-tech drones and Navy SEALs who pull off a flawless rescue. The emphasis is on collective not individual brilliance.