Captain Phillips PG-13 (2013) Tom Hanks portrays a merchant marine captain whose ship is hijacked by Somali pirates.  This movie stuck to the facts as much as possible.  It was based upon a book by Captain Richard Phillips.  An interview with him is included in the special features section of the DVD.  The movie was filmed on a real ship that was identical to the one that was captured.  The producers even went so far as to use Somali actors and an actual navy trauma nurse to add to the realism.  The film is a frightening look into the world of terrorism.  The unarmed merchant ships that sail around the Horn of Africa are woefully unprepared to defend themselves and only the heroic efforts of the captain saved the ship and crew.

The only bad part about the movie is that it did not give enough background information about the conflict in Somalia to explain the motives of the hijackers. It is implied that the hijackers are only in it for the money when, in fact, they see little of the money themselves.  The ransom money is used by warlords to finance the endless civil wars in Somalia.  There are some minor errors regarding vehicles, navigation and weapons use, but no major historical errors.  The film has a fair amount of cussing, but it is not as extreme as in many movies.  It has some violence, of course, but it is not excessively graphic.  It has no sexual content whatsoever.  Teachers might be drawn to this film because it is rare to find a quality film about recent historical events, but it has some limitations. It is a suspenseful movie, and worth watching at home but not worth showing in a history class, however, because it doesn't teach enough about history to justify the class time spent.

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