Are you the captain now? Take the Captain Phillips quiz!

By: Lenore Brown
Image: TMDB

About This Quiz

Test your knowledge of the 2013 film, Captain Phillips, based on the true story of Captain Richard Phillips and his experience with pirates on the high seas.

Captain Richard Phillips is played by which actor?

Captain Phillips is based on a true story from 2009. Captain Phillips is played by Tom Hanks, in a performance that was nominated for a Golden Globe. The real Captain Phillips often participates in speaking engagements to inspire others with his courageous story.

What is the name of Richard Phillips’s wife?

Andrea is the wife of Rich Phillips, and she works in the medical field. Andrea is played by Catherine Keener. Keener is also known for her roles in Being John Malkovich and Capote.

In which state does Richard Phillips live?

Richard Phillips and his wife live in Vermont. Vermont is the Green Mountain State, known for its natural forested landscape. Its capital is Montpelier.

As Captain Phillips reads the itinerary for his cargo ship, from where will the ship be departing?

The ship will be leaving from Salalah. Salalah is the capital city of southern Oman's Dhofar province on the Saudi Peninsula. Within the Arabian peninsula, there are nine countries: Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, The United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia.

Where is the ship’s destination?

The ship is scheduled to arrive in Mombasa, Kenya. It is the second largest city in Kenya. Mombasa is known for being a cultural wonderland as well.

What is the name of the ship Captain Phillips takes command of in Salalah?

In Salalah, Captain Phillips takes command of the Maersk Alabama. It is carrying 2,500 tons of commercial cargo, 200 tons of food, 166 tons of fresh water, and 250 tons of bunker fuel. Maersk is the largest container ship operating company in the world.

What attacks Captain Phillips’s ship out on the open ocean?

A group of pirates from the mainland attacks the Maersk Alabama. Their goal is to take what they can from the ship. They will then take command of the ship and all of its cargo in order to turn a profit.

What country do the pirates come from?

Somalia is an African country located in the Horn of Africa. It is just south of the Saudi Peninsula. The pirates come from the small village of Eyl, Somalia.

What insulting name do the other pirate leaders call Muse?

Muse is one of the pirate group leaders. He is tall and skinny, but the other leaders tend to make fun of his appearance. These insults do not phase him and his approach to finish his goal.

Why are the other villagers upset that Muse selected Najee for his crew?

Najee is not from the same village as Muse. The other villagers question the choice because they do not know who Najee is. It is also not customary to pick someone from a different village.

What does Captain Phillips check as soon as he boards the ship?

Captain Phillips is aware of pirate activity in the area. He wants to make sure all of the doors are locked. He tells First Mate Shane Murphy to lock everything, even when in port.

Why do the pirates target Captain Phillips’ ship?

The pirates are using an older radar system from a fishing boat. They don’t know any details about the ship other than it is traveling alone, away from other ships in the main channel. With the ship alone, they know that assistance will be delayed when they begin the attack.

How many men are in the crew of the Maersk Alabama?

The Maersk Alabama has a crew of 20 men. Not many people are required to operate a cargo ship, even at this size. Many of these men have families, and Captain Phillips wants everyone to get home safe.

What type of training does Captain Phillips require the crew to perform?

The first drill the crew runs is a simulation of a pirate attack. The crew makes sure that the ship is secure. Shortly after the drill, the crew needs to prepare for a real world attack.

How many pirate skiffs (small boats) approach the Maersk Alabama?

Two pirate skiffs appear on the radar screen, approaching the Maersk Alabama. Each boat carries a pirate group, their weapons, and a radio. One group is lead by Muse, the other by Asad.

Who does First Mate Shane Murphy first call for assistance?

Murphy first calls the U.S. Maritime Emergency line. There is no response. He then contacts the nearest agency – the U.K. Maritime Trade Operations in Dubai.

Knowing the pirates are listening to the radio, who does Captain Phillips pretend to call?

Captain Phillips pretends to contact Coalition Warship 237. The pirates hear this on the radio, and one skiff turns back. Muse, however, continues to pursue the Maersk Alabama.

What happens to Muse’s skiff during the initial pursuit of the Maersk Alabama?

The Maersk Alabama performs a tactical maneuver that causes large waves to be left in its wake. The skiff has only one small engine that has a difficult time pushing the skiff through the waves. The engine on the skiff eventually becomes overworked and gives out.

What does Captain Phillips fire at the pirate skiff?

Captain Phillips opens an emergency kit and grabs two red signal flares. He fires them at the pirate skiff. Both flares miss their target.

What is the Maersk Alabama’s last line of defense?

Without any weapons on board, the last line of defense is to turn on the ship’s fire suppression hoses. The hoses create a perimeter of pressurized water around the ship. A small boat could easily sink by being filled with water if it approached.

Muse uses the radio to tell the crew of the Maersk Alabama that they are who?

Muse tells the crew of the Maersk Alabama that they are the Somali Coast Guard. This statement is laughable because they are heavily armed in a small skiff. Captain Phillips knows this and continues evasive maneuvers.

Where does Captain Phillips tell the crew to go and hide from the pirates?

The crew goes to the engine room to hide. Captain Phillips tells the crew to turn off the lights and remain there until they hear the secret password. The captain wants to avoid having a hostage situation with the entire crew.

What is the password Captain Phillips will use to let the crew know that it is safe?

The captain orders the crew down to the engine room and to lock all of the doors and hatches. They should not open any door unless they hear the password “suppertime." The crew remains here until they capture Muse.

What nickname does Muse give Captain Phillips?

Muse asks Captain Phillips where he’s from. Phillips says he’s from America and he’s Irish. Muse decides to call Phillips “Irish."

What does Captain Phillips offer Muse if they leave?

Captain Phillips says they have $30,000 dollars in the safe. He offers it to Muse if they will leave. However, the pirates are looking for a much bigger payday, and they refuse the offer.

What does the crew do to the ship in order to disable it?

The chief engineer powers down the ship while Muse and his crew are on the command bridge with Phillips. The sudden loss of power alarms the pirates. Muse immediately wants to know what is wrong with the ship, and he wants to know where the crew is hiding.

What room does Muse insist on investigating?

Muse looks at a diagram of the ship’s layout. Since the ship is disabled, he figures the source of the problem could be in the engine room. However, it’s the same place the rest of the crew is hiding.

Captain Phillips discreetly suggests that his crew should spread what at the entrance to the engine room?

Captain Phillips notices that Murphy is hiding in the galley. He inconspicuously announces to the pirates to watch where they step, as to avoid stepping on broken glass. This gives Murphy the idea to spread glass at the entrance to the engine room.

After the crew captures Muse, the pirates are forced to leave the ship on what?

The crew of the Maersk Alabama convinces the pirates to leave the ship in exchange for Muse. As Captain Phillips shows the pirates how to operate the lifeboat, Najee knocks him down into the lifeboat. The lifeboat is released from the Maersk Alabama with Captain Phillips inside.

What is the name of the vessel that answers the Maersk Alabama's distress call?

The USS Bainbridge is an Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer that is assigned to the Counter-Piracy Task Force 151. It has heard of the Maersk Alabama hijacking and is coming to assist. However, the USS Bainbridge is nearly 800 miles away.

What do the pirates argue about running out of?

Khat is a plant native to the Horn of Africa. When the plant is chewed it can cause excitement, loss of appetite, and euphoria. In Somalia, the plant is typically used in trades or as a bribe.

What was Muse’s profession before becoming a pirate?

Muse mentions to Captain Phillips that he and his group were all fishermen before turning to piracy. The big container ships chased all of the fish out of the good fishing spots. Without the fish, they were unable to make money.

What does Muse say he captured last year?

Muse tells Captain Phillips that he captured a Greek ship last year. He received 6 million dollars for the ship’s ransom. Now he intends on getting a ransom for Captain Phillips's life.

What seat number on the lifeboat is Captain Phillips sitting in?

As the Navy negotiates with the pirates, they ask to talk to Captain Phillips to make sure he is alive. Phillips responds and says he is ok, but he also makes it very clear where he is sitting – Seat #15. The Navy takes note of his location and tells Captain Phillips to continue sitting in the same seat.

How is Muse convinced to leave the lifeboat?

Muse comes aboard because he is convinced the village elders will help negotiate a deal to get a ransom. When the other pirates become frustrated, they threaten to kill Phillips. The Navy SEAL Team snipers kill the other pirates and arrest Muse, thus saving Captain Phillips.

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