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'When God is silent' -3/6/2015, 9:14 AM

Take steps to better health with Walk Kansas -3/5/2015, 4:18 PM

Holy Week services -3/4/2015, 9:13 AM

Hydrant flushing begins Friday -3/4/2015, 4:00 PM

Are we strangers in our own homeland or not? -3/4/2015, 9:22 AM

Heartland Community Foundation partners with 16 nonprofit funds for Match Madness -3/3/2015, 2:41 PM

Hays advances to Round 2 of showdown -3/3/2015, 11:47 AM

'Focus' ends up adrift at box office -3/3/2015, 8:38 AM

Gloria changes 'lazy' to 'busy' as she prepares potatoes -3/3/2015, 8:38 AM

Take actions to reduce post-holiday stress -3/2/2015, 9:16 AM

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Clubs and meetings (March 1, 2015) -3/1/2015, 3:45 PM

Phillipsburg DCF worker honored by governor -2/27/2015, 4:49 PM

City starting burnout Monday -2/27/2015, 4:31 PM

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Sharma advancing MIS surgery for HaysMed -2/26/2015, 9:23 AM

Lenten retreat March 14 in Hays -2/25/2015, 11:50 AM

Spring 2015 continues enrollment growth at FHSU -2/25/2015, 10:57 AM

Rose Garden hosting special event March 9 -2/24/2015, 11:32 AM

Gloria 'Daniel-izes' dessert -2/24/2015, 8:14 AM

Breaks might help post-holiday depression -2/23/2015, 9:55 AM

Upcoming farm bill and grain price projections -2/22/2015, 5:26 PM

Clubs and meetings (Feb. 22, 2015) -2/22/2015, 3:17 PM

Birthday -2/19/2015, 8:59 AM

Extension offers advice for passing down farm or ranch -2/19/2015, 8:59 AM

A smile is friendly magic -2/18/2015, 4:56 PM

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An easy-to-make, tasty food treat -2/17/2015, 4:18 PM

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Kochia control in early spring for fields in wheat -2/15/2015, 2:37 PM

Business Briefcase (Feb. 15, 2015) -2/15/2015, 2:37 PM

Clubs and meetings (Feb. 15, 2015) -2/15/2015, 2:27 PM

A mother-in-law's example of faith shows transformation -2/13/2015, 9:26 AM

Birthday -2/12/2015, 9:08 AM

Elevate your marriage during National Marriage Week -2/12/2015, 9:08 AM

Taking time to have a little laugh during life's busyness -2/11/2015, 8:51 AM

Lions Club convention March 7 in Hays -2/10/2015, 4:10 PM

HaysMed welcomes new pulmonologist -2/10/2015, 1:35 PM

'SpongeBob Movie' is what you make it out to be -2/10/2015, 9:01 AM

Remembering Valentine's Days from years ago -2/9/2015, 10:07 AM

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Clubs and meetings (Feb. 8, 2015) -2/8/2015, 4:26 PM

Business Briefcase (Feb. 8, 2015) -2/8/2015, 3:32 PM

County Extension has farm bill information available -2/8/2015, 3:31 PM

Kansas 4-H Foundation names new president/CEO -2/5/2015, 3:32 PM

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Community Bulletin Board (Feb. 5, 2015) -2/5/2015, 8:15 AM

Youngsters look back through generations on KS Day -2/4/2015, 8:15 AM

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'Project Almanac' misallocates its resources -2/3/2015, 9:48 AM

Church services a busy time -2/3/2015, 9:47 AM

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Business Briefcase (Feb. 1, 2015) -2/1/2015, 4:32 PM

Nex-Tech names a studio space in Hammond Hall on FHSU campus -1/30/2015, 3:47 PM

Castle Rock Casiono Resort submits application for project -1/30/2015, 3:47 PM

Dreiling/Schmidt radiation oncology receives accreditation -1/30/2015, 10:13 AM

Moran gains seat on Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee -1/30/2015, 9:54 AM

Bible is playbook to super life, not Super Bowl, victory -1/30/2015, 8:23 AM

Moran gains seat on Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee -1/29/2015, 2:02 PM

Extension offers regional estate planning workshops -1/29/2015, 9:36 AM

DeBakey Heart Institute sponsoring CPR training -1/28/2015, 1:46 PM

Hays Academy of Hair Designs sweeps competition -1/28/2015, 12:06 PM

Hospital restrictions in place at HaysMed -1/28/2015, 10:25 AM

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Comedian, author Rainn Wilson coming to FHSU -1/27/2015, 1:37 PM

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DeBakey Heart Institute sponsors coffee, conversation -1/26/2015, 11:04 AM

Many can suffer from seasonal disorders -1/26/2015, 9:50 AM

Clubs and meetings (Jan. 25, 2015) -1/25/2015, 3:05 PM

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Eating well while spending less actually is possible -1/22/2015, 9:55 AM

One of 5 finalists for FHSU provost position withdraws -1/21/2015, 11:36 AM

Away from home, and longing to be back in Kansas -1/21/2015, 8:44 AM

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'American Sniper' hits its mark in U.S. theaters -1/20/2015, 9:31 AM

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HaysMed joins trend, expands Point of Service collections -1/19/2015, 1:46 PM

Couture-Lovelady assigned to House Rules Committee -1/19/2015, 11:22 AM

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Save some trouble, get agriculture leases in writing -1/18/2015, 3:14 PM

Clubs and meetings (Jan. 18, 2015) -1/18/2015, 3:13 PM

-1/18/2015, 2:00 PM

Hays to host Western region farmers market conference -1/17/2015, 3:23 PM

Community Bulletin Board (Jan. 17, 2015) -1/17/2015, 3:14 PM

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Nex-Tech acquires Computer Solutions -1/15/2015, 2:01 PM

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For Your Information (Jan. 13, 2015) -1/13/2015, 1:37 PM

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Community Bulletin Board (Jan. 12, 2015) -1/12/2015, 8:47 AM

Clubs and meetings (Jan. 11, 2015) -1/11/2015, 4:00 PM

Calling all precision agriculture geeks -1/11/2015, 3:51 PM

1st film in series on water to feature Cheyenne Bottoms, KWEC -1/9/2015, 4:27 PM

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Halls of Ivy -1/9/2015, 4:00 PM

Hays Recreation Commission calendar -1/9/2015, 4:00 PM

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'Captain Phillips' is commanding

Published on -10/16/2013, 9:49 AM

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"Captain Phillips" tells the true story of Capt. Richard Phillips and the crew of the Maersk Alabama during the cargo ship's hijacking by Somali pirates in 2009. Very simply, this is a fantastic -- and powerful -- movie.

Much like there was in "Gravity," there is a scene in "Captain Phillips" that transcends the films greatness and blows through the barrier into iconic territory. In both cases, however, I feel I would be providing a disservice to describe these scenes more than I already have -- even saying where they occur within the movie is information enough to spoil some of the effect.

I will simply say this: When Tom Hanks is nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in "Captain Phillips," the highlight reel that will be shown will be almost exclusively from the scene I am describing.

Cryptic acting achievements aside, "Captain Phillips" is a tense thriller that displays wonderful focus on its narrative. There are no distractions here, there are no cop-outs. There is very real and intimate danger.

What's more, "Captain Phillips" does an excellent job of putting different worlds on display. The film starts by introducing the world of commercial shipping, which is something I would imagine isn't familiar territory for most viewers. Next we see the turmoil of Somalia. The contrast between those two perspectives is startling, and the film does a great job of showing how heavily the circumstances of our birth affect the course of our lives.

It's very rare for a film to earn a six out of six from me. I cannot remember ever giving two in a row. "Captain Phillips" very much deserves its rating and its hype.

It is one of the best films of the year, and it is certainly the best Tom Hanks movie I've seen in close to a decade.

6 of 6 stars

James Gerstner works at Fort Hays State University Foundation. james.gerstner@gmail.com

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