Let me start by saying this is the front runner for the 2013 Academy Award as best picture and Tom Hanks will be nominated as best actor. Gee, I guess you could stop reading now, I have told you the bottom line. This film just makes good decisions after good decisions.
Except for Hanks, they don't have an actor in the film you can name or ever saw before - this makes you accept the characters as real people and not Hollywood personalities playing real people. The Somali pirates are actually Somali citizens ( but not actors or
When you know the ending, because the story is fact based and yet, you worry about each step the characters make, that is the sign of an outstanding production.
Credit must be given to the writers and director, Paul Greengrass, when they can make the audience care and even become emotionally involved with the villains (pirates)in the story. It is a rare film that has you hoping that both the good guys and the "bad guys" survive this ordeal. Somali pirate captain,Barkhad Abdi, will be in the mix for best supporting actor.
One last outstanding feature of this film is its ability to have you physically and emotionally share the
stress that this hostage situation places on every member of the cast. I don't recall one joke, one moment that the movie allowed in the usual "comic relief" - this is a hardcore emotional roller coaster and you will
need time to recover from this film,I repeat,it drains the viewers, not just the actors.