The more famous the actor, the harder it is for us to suspend disbelief. But Tom Hanks becomes Captain Phillips so completely and inhabits the character so thoroughly, you will forget about his public persona and focus instead on this remarkable story.
And the Somali-Americans hired to play pirates seemed so scary, and so thin, the Oscar-winner admits he was actually frightened during their first scene together.
The real Captain Phillips has vouched for the accuracy of the film that bears his name. Events are shown here as they happened when pirates boarded his cargo ship off the coast of Somalia in 2009.
Anyone who follows the news knows how this incident ended so it's remarkable how much tension is generated first on the ship, then in the tight quarters of a lifeboat, after the pirates take Phillips hostage.
What's so scary here is the desperation of the pirates.
We even have compassion for these men, born into abject poverty and caught now between powerful forces with no way out.
Another Fall weekend brings another terrified movie, and "Captain Phillips" arrives at the perfect time for you to go inside and enjoy it.