Metascore
87

Universal acclaim - based on 45 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 45
  2. Negative: 0 out of 45
  1. Reviewed by: Chris Hewitt (1)
    Dec 23, 2013
    100
    A triumph of pure cinema and wonderful visual storytelling from Chandor, who must now be considered the real deal, while Redford is sublime in what could well be the performance of his career.
  2. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Oct 31, 2013
    100
    Chandor and Redford make an illuminating procedural of Our Man's response to calamity... Our Man is everyman, revealed by beautifully filmed and edited action without exposition.
  3. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Oct 24, 2013
    100
    All Is Lost works quite brilliantly on its most basic narrative level.
  4. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Oct 24, 2013
    100
    It’s an expertly paced thriller that never misses a note.
  5. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Oct 24, 2013
    100
    Chandor’s attention to detail, and the expressiveness and utter believability with which Redford goes about the anything-but-mundane business of surviving, make All Is Lost a technically dazzling, emotionally absorbing, often unexpectedly beautiful experience.
  6. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Oct 24, 2013
    100
    The pacing is perfect, and the action, mostly filmed in a studio, is never less than utterly believable. The director’s first feature, “Margin Call,” was full of rapid-fire dialogue, and he shows off considerable range by following it up with this film.
  7. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Oct 20, 2013
    100
    The way that Redford’s character — who for all his namelessness and near-wordlessness emerges as a distinct character, a calm, pragmatic, curious man with a dry sense of humor — struggles with that ultimate question is the beating heart of All is Lost, which somewhere in its second hour goes from being a good movie to being a great one.
  8. Reviewed by: Ali Arikan
    Oct 18, 2013
    100
    Here is a formidable opus whose real spiritual relative is Tennyson's "Ulysses". Yes. All is Lost is that good.
  9. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Oct 17, 2013
    100
    All Is Lost, which is only Chandor's second film, reveals itself as remarkably skillful, surprisingly insightful and deeply moving. It's a confident work by an artist who knows himself and trusts his audience.
  10. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Oct 17, 2013
    100
    The ancient Greeks believed that character should be revealed through action. I can’t think of another film that has upheld this notion so thoroughly and thrillingly. There is certainly no other actor who can command our attention — our empathy, our loyalty, our love — with such efficiency.
  11. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Oct 17, 2013
    100
    It's a meditation on mortality, with remarkable resemblances to "Gravity," not to mention echoes of "The Old Man and the Sea." It's admirably crafted, with a wealth of detail that illustrates the sailor's resourcefulness.
  12. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Oct 17, 2013
    100
    There is incredible tension in this ordeal, this effort to survive, to find rescue, and Redford - an icon of the American film experience for more than half a century now - makes that tension deeply palpable.
  13. Reviewed by: Mary Corliss
    Oct 17, 2013
    100
    In this film, however, he battles the elements and mortality with a thinking man’s resilience the equal of any astronaut, freighter captain or free man enslaved. That he fights fate on his own makes All Is Lost a signal film achievement and the capstone to a great star’s career. This is Ultimate Redford.
  14. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Oct 17, 2013
    100
    Redford will surely earn a well-deserved Oscar nomination for this role, to which he commits with unerring dedication. But the real star is writer/director Chandor, whose painstaking approach is exquisite in its spare integrity.
  15. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Oct 16, 2013
    100
    All Is Lost is movie magic on many levels but most importantly as the rare opportunity to watch a seasoned actor at the pinnacle of his power.
  16. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Oct 16, 2013
    100
    This is Robert Redford doing what too many stars should do and don't: taking a chance. And reinventing his art. It's an extraordinary thing to see.
  17. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    Oct 15, 2013
    100
    A genuine nail-biter, scrupulously made and fully involving, elemental in its simplicity.
  18. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Oct 15, 2013
    100
    Redford, already a giant, has never been more suggestive. His character’s misadventure — might be a kind of cosmic penance. It’s the salvation of the moviegoing year.
  19. Reviewed by: Mike D'Angelo
    Oct 16, 2013
    91
    Arguably, the performance is too single-minded to achieve real greatness, but its utter lack of showmanship is precisely what the movie requires; at its best, All Is Lost could almost be a documentary about survival at sea, though it’s more starkly elemental than even nature documentaries usually get.
  20. Reviewed by: Jordan Hoffman
    May 25, 2013
    91
    Chandor delivers pure cinema. Thrilling and adventuresome, this is a career highlight from the uniquely sympathetic Robert Redford.
  21. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    May 25, 2013
    91
    The movie is an impressively realized work of minimalist storytelling that foregrounds Redford's physicality more than any other role in his celebrated career. His performance defines the movie to an almost shockingly experimental degree.
  22. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    Oct 16, 2013
    90
    It’s a classic tale of survival that draws on how movies, in the right hands, can make viewers see the world through others’ eyes, and to feel what keeps them grasping as it threatens to slip away.
  23. 90
    In his late seventies, Robert Redford has never held the camera as magnificently as he does in the survival-at-sea thriller All Is Lost.
  24. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Nov 6, 2013
    89
    Audience fortitude aside: This is compulsively watchable stuff, a masterstroke of thoughtful direction and thought-provoking performance.
  25. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Oct 17, 2013
    88
    In this spare, unusual and intimate action thriller, Redford's expressions do nearly all of the communicating. He is the sole human cast member and utters only one word during the entire movie, which covers a span of eight days. The ocean — super-charged and becalmed — gets equal billing. If this sounds bizarre, or like an exercise in tedium, it is neither.
  26. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Oct 17, 2013
    88
    Redford, who can play intelligence, wit and nuance to a camera like nobody's business, holds us in his grip. It's a master class in acting.
  27. 88
    This solo ordeal won’t be to every taste, but All Is Lost is a grand vehicle for the actor and for that viewer ready to consider his or her own mortality, the problems, conflicts, strengths and shortcomings you’re sure you leave behind when you just sail away.
  28. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Oct 18, 2013
    83
    If one buys into the whole grace under pressure thing, All Is Lost – the title is its own spoiler alert – is first-rate.
  29. Reviewed by: Jessica Kiang
    May 25, 2013
    83
    All Is Lost is a taut, superbly crafted addition to the survival story genre.
  30. Reviewed by: Kevin Harley
    Dec 23, 2013
    80
    With no 3D, no friends and no hope, Redford and Chandor show how survivalist instincts can stoke thrilling, thoughtful cinema. If Gravity grabbed you, hop aboard and hold tight.
  31. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    Oct 18, 2013
    80
    All is Lost is as quiet as "Margin Call" was chatty; at a minimum, you might call this film a procedural. But like the best of the genre, its relentless focus on the material and the practical also gestures subtly at a life of the soul, however battered.
  32. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Oct 14, 2013
    80
    Unimaginable as anything but a movie. It’s largely wordless, sombrely spectacular, vast and intimate at the same time, with a commitment to detailed physical reality that commands amazed attention for a tight hundred minutes.
  33. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    May 25, 2013
    80
    A virtually wordless film that speaks with grave eloquence and simplicity about the human condition. Nothing here feels fancy or extraneous, least of all Redford’s superb performance.
  34. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Nov 7, 2013
    75
    The presence of Robert Redford gives the character weight, if not depth, because we bring to the film everything we know about the actor from other movies. Redford’s characters have seemed unflappable for more than 40 years: sometimes cool, sometimes cocky, but almost always master of a situation. To see him beginning to flounder is to see a new Redford, one who catches us off guard.
  35. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Nov 7, 2013
    75
    This very male and methodical movie is like the anti-“Gravity,” as the un-moored hero is quietly in control of his options and at peace with his possible failure.
  36. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Oct 25, 2013
    75
    Ultimately, your nautical mileage may vary as to whether Chandor and Redford achieve the philosophical and emotional impact they intend, but in a movie that is a demonstration of the importance of trying, they definitely try.
  37. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Oct 24, 2013
    75
    The film is unusual not so much because of its content - the man vs. nature story has always been a popular one, whether in print or on film - but in its restraint. Putting an actor, even an accomplished one such as Redford, alone on screen for more than 90 minutes is a risk.
  38. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Oct 24, 2013
    75
    The film has a quietly relentless quality. Redford is fully engaged and vital. I'll leave it to others to read greatness into All Is Lost. It's enough that it's good.
  39. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Oct 20, 2013
    75
    The film is still a gripping experience, though, with its circling sharks, its sun-dappled beauty and its agonies of shattered hope. At one point I was convinced that Sandra Bullock would splash down next to our man in her space capsule and Hanks’ Maersk ship from “Captain Phillips” would steam by to pick up both of them.
  40. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    May 25, 2013
    70
    Redford, who can’t avoid exuding charisma, plays this role with utter naturalism and lack of histrionics or self-regard.
  41. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Oct 8, 2013
    63
    J.C. Chandor creates an austere snapshot of human struggle, ingenuity, and perseverance, one that's predicated on Robert Redford's fantastic performance.
  42. Reviewed by: Randy Cordova
    Oct 24, 2013
    60
    It feels like a filmmaker’s exercise rather than an involving motion picture. Although you may never be bored with All Is Lost, you are rarely fully engaged.
  43. Reviewed by: Robbie Collin
    May 25, 2013
    60
    The film’s scope is limited, but as far as it goes, All Is Lost is very good indeed: a neat idea, very nimbly executed.
  44. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    May 25, 2013
    60
    Redford delivers a tour de force performance: holding the screen effortlessly with no acting support whatsoever.
  45. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Nov 7, 2013
    50
    All is Lost is more fun to think about than it is to actually watch: It’s a testament to a great actor, an experimental piece of cinema and a bit of a bore.
User Score
6.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 164 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 64
  2. Negative: 24 out of 64
  1. Oct 18, 2013
    2
    All is most certainly lost including 106 minutes of my life watching this turgid drama in which the waves are as crashing as the boredom. Robert Redford's one man show is unsurprisingly disappointing. For one character to hold centre stage for an entire movie is a tall order that rarely succeeds and that is definitely the case here.Set the scenario on a boat and you have double trouble. What we actually have here is one man pitting his wits against nature, in this case a succession of storms. We never really know what the Redford character is doing out there and the time frame presented as 8 days doesn't actually seem credible in what happens on screen. Critics will reach for there list of superlatives (and they have yawn yawn) and praise Redford to the skies to be sure, but I find it hard to believe that the general audience member will warm to this monotonous indulgence.

    On the plus side there is some very accomplished cinematography and I must admit that the later scenes in the dinghy are better than what has gone before. The last scene is actually the best in the film. However, it is certainly not enough and when all is said and done this is a boat trip definitely not worth taking.
    Full Review »
  2. Oct 29, 2013
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. As a sailor and boat owner, I thought this was a horrible movie. Lazy director and poor script. The boat was poorly maintained, the skipper (Redford) seemed incompetent or even suicidal.

    If the movie had retained anyone with some real offshore sailing experience, a large number of gaffes and mistakes could have been avoided.

    Some examples: Redford never puts on a life jacket even in a storm; he has NO portable waterproof electronics (everyone going offshore has GPS, VHF radio and satellite phones); we never see the boat actually being sailed, just some shots of a luffing jib and reefed main; the boat seems to have no engine and no automatic bilge pump; Redford is seen whittling a handle for a really old manual bilge pump (a handle is tied to the pump in any boat I have seen); a broken mast is released by one quick cut of a rope, while in a real broken mast situation, the steel rod/cable shrouds are really hard to cut and most boats carry bolt cutters, hacksaws or more extreme shroud cutters devices to cut away a broken mast; and there was no "ditch bag" a bag that is prepared to throw into the life raft to help with survival.

    The only way this movie could have worked for me was if the entire thing was a dream, and the last scene was of Redford in a hospital as the heart monitor goes flat (i.e., this was a real sailors horrible nightmare as he died).
    Full Review »
  3. Dec 31, 2013
    0
    Spoiled for me a former yachtsman) by lack of authenticity. Use of sextant impossible to find position that way. Hole not at but above waterline -entirely different. Such flimsy patching would not hold out in that sea. Unseamanlike behaviour not securing hatch properly not zipping up all panels properly not sailing to favour unholed side etc. This is not pedantic. Tone of film demands total authenticity and belief in he sailor's measures. Suspect all makers in awe of Robert Redford recreating Old Man and The Sea.. Thus sloppy Full Review »