“Captain Phillips” isn’t the only movie about a cargo ship hijacked by Somali pirates on the Indian Ocean that’s worth seeing in October. But it will receive the most attention — and for good reason. Scheduled to hit theaters on October 11th, it stars box office champion Tom Hanks and is directed by Paul Greengrass, a master of big-screen docudrama (his “United 93” captured the terror of 9/11 without Hollywood excess or a single false note). Nor does it hurt that “Captain Phillips,” a close-up account of events you’ve read about, has a preordained happy ending.
Even so, that doesn’t mean you should overlook “A Hijacking,” a darker Danish film that will come out on DVD on October 15. This one plays out as a high-stakes poker game between the Somalis’ “translator,” who denies he’s a pirate while demanding $15 million for the release of the crew, and the shipping company’s chief executive, whose opening bid is $250,000. Suspense builds gradually and the story is understated, but that gives it a stark authenticity and only adds to the tension. Although this hijacking is fictional, it feels no less real. — John Birmingham