Starring Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi and Catherine Keener, Captain Phillips is a 2013 action thriller film about Richard Phillips as he and his crew members steer the Maersk Alabama to Kenya. After the US container ship is attacked by Somali pirates, the ship’s captain must act to get his crew to safety. Directed by Paul Greengrass, it is a biographical film that tells the events as they happened in reality.
First Officer Shane Murphy and Phillips impose strict security measures on the ship and conduct a drill because of concerns about pirate activity off the coast of the Horn of Africa. Still, the ship is being pursued by Somali pirates during the exercise and Phillips asks for help when he realizes this. But eventually the pirates catch up with the ship and storm it to extort ransom for the ship and crew. If you enjoy watching fast-paced, adrenaline-pumping thrillers, then the following movies are great choices for you. You can watch most of these Captain Phillips-like movies on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
8. Olympus Has Fallen (2013)
The action thriller directed by Antoine Fuqua tells the story of an attack on the White House. The US President and several other officials are involved in a deadly attack by Korean terrorists and are held hostage in the building. The film features great action sequences and heroic moments that induce a sense of calm. Starring Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman and Angela Bassett, the film did well in theaters. The facets of the hostages, the terrorists and the rescue operation are similar to what happens in Captain Phillips. Richard Phillips and Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) are brave protagonists who risk their lives to save those they are responsible for.
7th Speed (1994)
In this action thriller, a man named Howard Payne (Dennis Hopper) plots to extort ransom by planting bombs and killing innocent people. After his first attempt was controlled and thwarted by the bomb disposal squad, he planted another explosive device on a bus. Jack (Keanu Reeves) does everything in his power to get the passengers off the bus safely. Another brave woman on the bus, Annie (Sandra Bullock), helps him on his mission. The film is packed with action-packed sequences and twists that will leave the viewer glued to their seats. Filmmaker Jan de Bont’s Speed has concepts similar to Greengrass’s Captain Phillips, including extortion for money and endangering the lives of innocent people.
6. The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009)
The Taking of Pelham 123, directed by Tony Scott, is another action thriller about brave acts in the face of terrorists. In the film, the heinous terrorists hijack a New York City subway train and take the passengers hostage in order to extort money from the city’s mayor. The film’s cast members include John Travolta, Denzel Washington and John Turturro. Like most films on this list, this film is about deadly terrorists who know no mercy or compassion. They take what they want without caring about the lives of innocent people.
5.Red Eye (2005)
The all-star cast, with Rachel McAdams and Cillian Murphy playing Lisa and Jackson respectively, makes for a great action thriller. The film follows Lisa, who works as a manager at the Lux Atlantic Hotel, as she returns home after her grandmother’s funeral. On the plane, she meets the charming stranger Jackson, but soon learns that he has ties to a terrorist organization and has hatched a plot to assassinate a senior Homeland Security official, Charles Keefe (Jack Scalia). Jackson kidnaps Lisa’s father to get her to cooperate and switch the hotel room where Keefe will stay. Both Red Eye and Captain Phillips are about terrorists who pursue bigger goals and put lives at risk. Their reasons may be different, but in the end the hero of the film manages to escape and the terrorists are prevented from carrying out their plan.
4. Air Force One (1997)
Starring Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Glenn Close, Wendy Crewson and Xander Berkeley, Air Force One tells the story of the President of the United States who is held hostage on a plane returning from a diplomatic meeting. The film is about Russian terrorists who hijack the President’s plane that is carrying his family and other officials. Unlike most films that feature a rescuer on the President’s team, this film focuses on the President as he is a seasoned war veteran. Like Captain Phillips, the film features government and security officials who must extricate themselves from difficult situations. In both films, the main villains are terrorists who threaten other people’s lives for their own benefit.
3. Hotel Bombay (2019)
Based on a true story when one of the largest hotels in India was under siege, Hotel Mumbai is an action drama directed by Anthony Maras. It stars Dev Patel, Nazanin Boniadi, Armie Hammer, Anupam Kher and Tilda Cobham-Hervey. The film follows the heroic actions of the hotel staff who safely rescued and protected the people of the hotel during the deadly terrorist attack that put thousands of lives at risk. While experienced professionals lead the rescue operation in Captain Phillips, the viewer in Hotel Mumbai sees how inexperienced and untrained people save other people’s lives. Still, the spirit and bravery displayed by the main characters in both films are similar and commended for their efforts.
2. Zero Dark Thirty (2012)
‘Zero Dark Thirty’ tells the story of US CIA agents who hunt down one of the world’s most wanted terrorists – Osama Bin Laden. The senior intelligence analyst Maya is played by Jessica Chastain, along with a cast of talented actors including Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton, Kyle Chandler, Stephen Dillane, Chris Pratt, Édgar Ramírez and Frank Grillo. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, the film follows the various events that eventually led to the overthrow of bin Laden. The most important aspect of the film – the way it deals with terrorism – is very similar to that of Captain Phillips.
1. Die Hard (1988)
Directed by John McTiernan, Die Hard is one of the most famous cult classics that has found numerous fans and deserves to be at the top. Detective John McClane (Bruce Willis) finds himself in a difficult situation when he has an assignment to do over the holidays. He drives home for Christmas but is confronted with a hostage situation in an office building. With his personal life compromised when his wife Holly (Bonnie Bedelia) is taken hostage, he takes quick action to get her to safety. The hostage situation and attack by the terrorists are similar to what happens in Captain Phillips. Both protagonists act wisely to save the hostages and in the end themselves.