Captain Phillips grips its audience with its tense situations, but was overdone.
Captain Phillips was overdone in its script and in its portrayal of Phillips himself. The script was often too obvious or over-the-top in its effort to indirectly inform its audience of necessary information. For example, before setting out, Captain Phillips heavy-handedly overviews their route with his crew.
What truly made this movie overdone, though, was its portrayal of Captain Phillips. Tom Hanks is one of my favorite actors and he did a great job as Phillips. The issue is that in real life, Phillips is not the hero that this movie makes him out to be. He wasn’t so concerned about security on the ship. He made brash decisions that jeopardized the safety of the ship. He didn’t cleverly stall the pirates while at the same time protecting and informing his crew. In some cases, the true Phillips is hinted at in the movie. But the heroic Captain Phillips is a Hollywood exaggeration. (For more details, check out this article on his crew’s reaction to the film.)
Finally, as an aside, I’m interested to know the actual circumstances under which the pirates were simultaneously killed. Again in Hollywood fashion, the pirates are killed at the last possible second, just as Phillips is about to be executed. I suspect that in the actual events, the pirates were killed as soon as the opportunity presented itself, in a far more mundane way.