What we should be scrutinizing is why American audiences will only stomach stories with dark faces if it's a white one that saves the day. We must ask that people like Tom Hanks and Paul Greengrass, people who have leverage in Hollywood, demand better.
Is Captain Phillips a case where bigger, louder -- and since it's Paul Greengrass, shakier -- is actually better? And do the film's pirates rise above being caricatured villains to represent the real Somalian men who turn to this high risk/high reward way of life?
Based on the title character's book recalling the 2009 incident -- in which an American cargo vessel in the Indian Ocean was captured by four Somali pirates -- Captain Phillips puts you right in the middle of the action and never lets you go.