Captain Phillips Poster Analysis

‘Captain Phillips’ is a 12A rated biography thriller released in 2013. It has an IMDB rating of 7.9 out of 10. Tom Hanks starred in the film.


The centre of the poster is the sans-serif bold large white typography and the main characters name “TOM HANKS” is written just above, drawing the audience’s attention as he is such an iconic actor and was in the classic film ‘Forrest Gump’. Therefore this would increase ratings and attract more people to watch the film. As well as this, in eye-catching orange it states that the film is “BASED ON A TRUE STORY”, giving the audience more information about the film.  As well as this, the poster states what other films the director has made, drawing in fans of his previous work.

The poster creates questions in the audience’s mind using images. A small fishing boat is shown heading towards a large cargo ship, but is it trying to chase it? Or possibly even overpower/hijack it? This will intrigue the audience and entice them to watch it in order to find out what the narrative entails.

Two characters from the film have an even image ratio suggesting that they both have equally important roles in the film. However, the male on the left’s (Tom Hanks aka ‘Captain Phillips’) facial expression is terror and worry conveying that he is in danger, possibly caused by the male on the right (Barkhad Abdi aka ‘Abduwali’) who seems fierce, determined and relatively dangerous.

My Opinion:

My favourite part of this poster is that it is split into three sections, showing two main characters which are on separate sides of the poster, connoting separate ways of life (one honest and one criminal) but how they are joined together in one catastrophic event, shown in the middle section of the poster.

Media Theory: 

  • Roland Barthes (Enigma theory) – The theory which suggests any text (e.g tv and film) makes the audience question something and intrigues the audience, drawing them in. The poster creates questions such as ‘what happens between the two characters’.

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