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Generally favorable reviews- based on 163 Ratings

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  1. Negative: 33 out of 163

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  1. Jun 12, 2014
    One of the slowest movies I have ever watched. I would say that if you know not to expect an action packed experience going into this then you would be fine, but even as someone who knew not to expect that I found myself caught off guard by how boring this film ended up being. For the majority of the film, rather than watching Robert Redford fight for survival, we watch him go through menial tasks. There are some interesting scenes here and there, but overall the film seems to just drag on. I wouldn't call what Redford does here acting, as his character very rarely shows any emotion or speaks at all. It's not bad, but instead a rather dull and boring film. I don't recommend it unless you are just a survival fanatic. Expand
  2. Jun 7, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Wow, what a waste of time.I have watched movies with similar circumstances, but they were much more original.The only things original about All Is Lost are the things that lead to frustration.Are you kidding me two ships pass by him, and don`t see him? Are you kidding me he set the life boat on fire? lol Are you kidding me he just gave up, and let him self go into the Ocean? lol That was pretty dumb of him to put fire on the life boat, and then just quit. The main character is a man of few words, and when he finally says his first word half way through the movie you find out his mouth needs to be washed with soap.I hated how the movie ended. You don`t even see the guy/people who rescued him, just a hand. Expand
  3. May 25, 2014
    I have owned All Is Lost for some time now i just never got around to watching it that's a shame because i knew the film was good but damn i didn't know it was going to be a contender for my favorite Robert Redford movie. The fact that Robert Redford says less then 10 words through out the whole film is amazing i think its not till like the 22 minute mark till we hear him finally say something. The plot is simple but masterful some would find this type of film boring but not me i have actually stayed out on a boat for two weeks when i was younger and i had a blast. The film opens up with Robert Redford waking up to little spurts of water coming into his boat he gets up to see that he had clipped the edge of a container full of shoes that had fallen off a cargo ship. Well he ends up fixing the hole in his ship and life goes on as before but soon a huge storm hits and while fixing things around inside his boat a big wave hits his boat causing him to hit his head on a steel post that knocks him out. He then wakes up to water up to his thighs so he gets out a life raft and starts to gather some food and other things and he gets inside is life raft that is being pulled behind the boat. From here we watch Robert Redford try to survive in the open water as he tries to make his way to the Sumatra Straits in hope that he ends up being saved.

    Overall i give it a 8.5 This film is beautiful, mesmerizing, and breathtaking All Is Lost is a most watch for all.
  4. May 5, 2014
    although i regard robert redford as a great actor this was a surprisingly poor performance. predictable and formulaic it was obviously shot mostly in the studio. i couldn't engage with the sailor at all . he was so stupid in everything he did that i wanted him to die out of pure frustration and boredom. not his ,mine.
  5. May 3, 2014
    There are no other actors, no other locations, no other dialogue. All we get is just one guy, one sea, one story. This is the kind of film that needs to be made more often. Everything about it is powerful.
  6. Apr 9, 2014
    A thrilling, edge-of-your-seat ride to the bottom of the ocean pleases with its delicate sparsity. A fresh take on survival, All Is Lost is let down by its glaring lack of realistic emotion and contemplation.
  7. Mar 31, 2014
    Not a film for lovers of fast paced action yarns, "All is Lost" is a reflective survival story in which a single man (Redford) awakes on his boat to find himself alone and sinking. With virtually no dialogue, this is a film of thought and the simple need to rely upon the human instinct for survival.
    Beautifully shot and directed, the film at its heart has a career best performance from
    Redford and must rank as one of the films of the year. Expand
  8. Mar 25, 2014
    Truly one of the worst movies I have ever seen! So so boring! Which is a complete shame because this movie had so much going for it! In the end, the only thing that was lost is what could have been a great film!
  9. Mar 18, 2014
    This film was unable to sustain my interest for a number of reasons. The opening prologue provided no tangible information. As a starter, it would have been helpful to know to something about this voyage. Family difficulties? Feeling guilty about past acts? but none of this was forthcoming. Also, more information should have been provided about where exactly he was (like a map) and where he was heading. Being someone unfamiliar with boats, it would have helped sustain my interest to know more about what he was doing after the storm hit. Frankly, being 1 hour and 45 minutes of a solitary sailor with no dialog, this film just lost it for me half way through. I still do not understand what the critics saw in this movie to give it high ratings. It seems like a self indulgent fantasy by Mr. Redford. And lastly, what kind of a crazy person 80 years old (or so) goes out in sailboat on the ocean by himself? Expand
  10. Mar 15, 2014
    in the ending robert redford tries to drown himself then someone helps him thats a dumb plan to do and guess what he catches his raft on fire thats a idoiotic move . i was really looking forward to see this .
  11. Mar 8, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. If you are a sailor, you will likely spend the majority of your time watching this movie scratching your head, as Redford's character makes some truly mind boggling decisions, like stopping to shave while being faced with an oncoming storm instead of putting up his storm jib BEFORE the storm arrives.

    I really don't understand how a movie like this can be made with such little attention to detail.
  12. Mar 1, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It is obvious Redford has never been on a boat or he would never allowed himself to be shown as an idiot. Love to know if there were any technical advisors, probably from NASCAR. Thinking of allowing water in thru a hole or open hatch is OK? Love the part of shaving as a storm is approaching rather than putting up a storm jib. Never trimmed his sails at all, always luffing. There was so many stupid acts, the whole movie was aggravating. BTW I'm a sailor Expand
  13. Feb 26, 2014
    This is a movie i didn't know about until I was on a flight and watched it. Slowly, almost like torture, the situation gets worse and worse for this aging sailor on his own sail boat. The film does not have any dialog and no other characters, which says alot in itself as the film is long but not boring. As an experienced sailor, the character is able ot survive but not without several missteps and know-how to save himself. The tension builds as the situation gets worse and there is no dialog- you can really become just as frustrated and full of tension as you begin to sink with the ship. Expand
  14. Feb 26, 2014
    Redford should have been nominated for an Oscar, and in any other year would have been (2013 was so strong for film and especially male leads!) I found it gripping despite the ambiguity and lack of dialogue because you can't help wondering about the steps he takes for survival and would you have done the same thing, etc. Wished for a clearer ending but I guess they wanted us to discuss it. Beautiful photography and music, great acting, great truth. Expand
  15. Feb 22, 2014
    it will generally require a herculean effort on the parts of both the director & the single actor/actress to carry a single character story in such a manner as to keep an audience entertained & captivated. unfortunately, this film does neither. with zero background provided, we really have no reason, other than basic human decency, to cheer him on in his struggle for survival. one wonders, for example, what possible purpose and or planning went into this misguided, catastrophe laiden misadventure. presented in a vacuum, as it is, it comes & goes without generating much impact, and i found Redfords performance solid, but hardly spellbinding. unless you're a fan of his, i'd skip this one. Expand
  16. Feb 21, 2014
    An amazing and heart warming movie. There is only one character in the movie and still the producers are still able to get to grab the viewer. It was able to get a range of emotions out of me. It shows how strong the unnamed man is and his will to keep alive. Bravo! A great film!
  17. Feb 20, 2014
    This is a truly amazing film and I'm shocked it gets such a bad user score. The user scores on Metacritic are usually very reliable. The mood, the acting, the alternating sense you get of hope and hopelessness, just make the film riveting for me. It's a pure action spectacle so I fail to see how anyone could have found it dull. Some of the shots are simply breathtaking too. Robert Redford is now a new hero of mine. Expand
  18. Lyn
    Feb 15, 2014
    It's interesting to see Robert Redford's workmanlike performance here -- with little action, no dialogue, zero glamour. But his misadventures at sea would have benefited greatly from the presence of a big tiger or Louie Zamperini. OK, not fair to compare this to fiction ("Life of Pi"), but having read Louie's true story in "Unbroken," I felt frustrated that Redford's character was not more resourceful as the mishaps unfolded. At the very beginning, we hear his "message in a bottle" soliloquy that provides little in the way of backstory. What's he "sorry" for? Defying family wishes by taking this trip? Something to do with his kids' mother? Letting someone dye his hair and leave the telltale white sideburns? Not a satisfying film. Expand
  19. Feb 14, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This is an entry into the "white people doing things they probably shouldn't" genre. You know, like getting involved in 3rd-world coups, climbing mountains and trying to be friends with grizzly bears. Then everything goes wrong and it's time to make an inspiring film, instead of highlighting the colossal stupidity that put them in the situation in the first place. This one features a guy in his 70s sailing alone in the Indian Ocean. It does a fairly good job keeping your interest but the last 45 minutes get tedious and cliche, with the predictable "almost" rescue and the "all hope is lost" scene. Redford has almost no dialog (doesn't even talk to himself). Likewise, there are no other actors in the film. Critics love these "actor's studio" gimmicks and they explain about 20 points of the meta-score. Bottom line, if you shop at Whole Foods, were ever a fan of Coldplay and have a Thule rack on your car, you will probably be inspired by this film. Expand
  20. Feb 14, 2014
    A One was probably too generous. I can't believe anyone liked it. There are perhaps 20 seconds of dialogue in the entire movie. You just watch Redford stumble around making mistake after mistake on his boat. It is boring. It is a complete yawner and you really don't care in the end if he lives or dies.
  21. Feb 13, 2014
    Watching a mute sailor roam around his sail boat for one half and then chill in his life boat for the second half... all the while speaking a grand total of 10 words (I didn't count, might be less)... was a complete bore. I found myself reaching for my tablet continuously to browse the internet while this epically slow film dragged on. If you need a good movie to sleep to, this is the perfect movie with endless sounds of the ocean. Expand
  22. Feb 13, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. There were a number of problems for me in this movie. First, although Our Man seems to be a fairly seasoned sailor, and has most of the right equipment on the boat, he failed to immediately turn on the bilge pump when he first saw water pouring in through the damaged hull. That would be one of the first things an experienced sailor would think of in that situation. If he had started to pump immediately, he might have saved his electrical system, including the batteries, depending of course on how good or large-capacity the electric bilge pump was. Second, an immediate emergency repair of the hull would have been in order. There is a technique of wrapping a sail around the hull as a temporary measure to keep the water from pouring in, and many cruising sailboats carry pieces of waterproof fabric (such as sailcloth), and ways to attach them to the hull, to make immediate emergency repairs.

    It drove me crazy that he left the foresail, a sort of small genoa, flapping around. Why didn't he drop it, as it served no purpose whatsoever just flopping around? Alternately, if he had put the boat on a point of sail that would have heeled (leaned) the boat so that the damaged side were up, it would have been much less likely that water would continue to pour in, at least in calm seas, which he had initially.

    The "storm jib": an experienced sailor would have put the storm jib up when it first looked like he was in for a storm, not waited until it was almost impossible to do so, especially for a single-handed sailor.

    The sextant: First, it is not at all surprising that in this age of inexpensive electronic navigation devices (GPS's), even a relatively good sailor would not know how to use a sextant. That said, a small battery-powered inexpensive GPS could be kept in a completely waterproof container of some sort for just this sort of emergency, or even two of them in separate containers, with spare batteries. They are so cheap now that it is absurd to not carry at least one of them as a spare navigation device. Second, a sextant without a nautical almanac, sight reduction tables, and an accurate timepiece, can only give you latitude, (by "shooting" the sun at true local noon), so it was unrealistic that he was plotting his course in that way on his chart. The most he could have done was plot lines of latitude on the chart. Also, only taking a shot or two around noon as he was apparently doing only gives you lines of position, not exact points, such as the ones he was marking on the chart. Also as an emergency and alternate piece of equipment, the sextant could have been a $70 plastic sextant, not an expensive metal one such as the one seen in the movie (which apparently was a gift, so I suppose he had no choice in the matter), in fact plastic sextants are much easier to use than the type he had. If sailing and navigation experts were consulted for this movie, they must have been ignored.
    Water would have poured into the boat through the open companionway hatch when the boat rolled. I think someone said there was also a port open, so the same applies. I also think the boat would have sunk much faster than it did in the movie. Monohull boats have heavy keels that help sink them relatively fast, unless the boat were upside down with a large bubble of air trapped in it. Multihull boats (catamarans and trimarans) do not have heavy keels, and will not sink, although they would ride very low in the sea if full of water, again, unless they are upside down, in which case they might remain fairly high on the water, as long as a bubble of air is maintained inside the hull or hulls.
    Same story for radios: a well-prepared sailor could have a small handheld radio with spare batteries kept in a waterproof container. Had he had one of those, he could have raised one of those ships on the emergency frequency (instead of trying to get their attention by yelling at them)

    The life-raft: Any halfway good life-raft (which this one obviously purported to be) would definitely include at least a simple solar still, a very basic and completely necessary piece of lifeboat equipment. It was absurd that he had to figure out how to make one. Also, was there not a mirror in the emergency pack to try to signal other boats, or ships? Nearly all lifeboats include one. Also a loud whistle would have been part of the kit.
    Bottom line: it was a little difficult for me to take this movie very seriously.
  23. Feb 9, 2014
    After watching i have trouble to describe my feelings. Mostly it is annoyance.

    I am annoyed by the fact that the director has absolutely no clue about sailing. Neither does Redford apparently otherwise he would never have agreed to this script. (maybe he really needed the money?)

    I am not a sailor, i have never learned sailing in any way yet i recognize so many errors and mistakes in
    this movie it is truly saddening.

    It couldve been a really nice movie if it wasnt so damn stupid.
  24. Feb 7, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. All is Lost is in an interestin enough film. Almost no dialogue makes it very unique, and the premice of a lone sailor battling for his life agains the elements promises a bit of a thrill. Unfortuanltely, however, Robert Redford doesn't really seem to be acting at all, and the character he plays appears to be trying to kill himself. He certainly managed to kill the film for me, as he sat in a overturned life raft, his face sunburnt and cracked, with a hat sitting three feet away from him. Anyone who has any knowledge of sailing, the ocean or the world in general will find this a tragic comedy of error after error, with an unresolved ending. Expand
  25. Feb 7, 2014
    When I saw 'The Company You Keep' I said why would he take risks at this age. He took even riskier job in this movie. I heard that he also lost his hearing during filmmaking for this. Robert Redford, the hardworking man at 77. Don't think he's the only one but Bruce Willis, Stallone and Schwarzenegger doing the same. They are capable but this man put lots of effort to give his best.

    Just a year ago we saw 'Life of Pi' about a young Indian boy who was lost in the great Pacific. This time an old man who lost in the Indian ocean finds hard to survive during his drift on the current of the ocean. Performance was undoubtedly great along with fine direction and good visuals. The movie had only one character so the talkings were insufficient but in a right and convicing way.

    I am not doubting, it was a great movie but the timing was bad. I just enjoyed 'Life of Pi' and 'Gravity' and I still feel it fresh in my mind. So to see a movie like this in a short span I was not much excited. The end was good and did not appeal strongly, but kept simple as that. Many people had displeasure on that portion, that could be a reason to vastly dislike it.

    In a way the movie had its own strength, especially in the story. When you think the container is what's gonna spoil and damage expedition, actually it won't but storm. Like that there are many others makes you think one and takes you into another. One of the good movie from 2013 according to performance sadly he was not nominated for academy awards. It got only one nomination, in the sound editing category. It is a tough competition in that list so it can be anybody's game.
  26. Feb 1, 2014
    i'll give this film a 1 only because i liked the score. the movie itself was a crashing bore. except for the opening scene. give me tom hanks and wilson anyday over redford's craggy face as a stand-in for actual acting.
  27. Jan 28, 2014
    - gave up his boat
    - strove for self destruction
    - this is why idiots shouldn't sail
    - instruction manual for certain death
    - shame

    - i liked the bit when he jumped into his life raft
    - i saw this cause it was in macclean's.
  28. Jan 28, 2014
    This is an extraordinary and riveting film and deserves much more than nominations --and it has had far fewer than it should have --it deserves a win. For the screenplay, for the performance, for the sheer beauty of it. It felt like a book that you cannot put down, that you urgently want to know how it ends, that you don't want to end. I hope this film and Robert Redford's performance in it win at the Spirits. It has such spirit. Expand
  29. Jan 27, 2014
    BAD FILM..Professional well crafted film with too many ERRORS!!!. (Good metaphorically speaking). Firstly ..Who is this guy? Where does he come from? If you know sailing you will know that this guy does almost everything wrong as a sailor. So I assume he is an armature, in which case he is an idiot (really...... No life jacket, no mandatory PFD? really…?) Because of the obvious metaphorical caliber and cinematography of the film I will give the benefit of the doubt and assume that all the dumb choices he make are to in fact make a point.

    I’m bored and too make a long story short Ill say this;

    This film is a metaphor for about a random guy getting old and dying (a nobody) BUT more importantly how this guy simply goes through the motions of getting old giving up and dying.
  30. Jan 22, 2014
    Director J.C. Chandor follows up 2011's Wall Street drama "Margin Call" with a superbly shot "All Is Lost," a near-silent survival procedural that creates an austere snapshot of human struggle, ingenuity, and perseverance. The film is a testament to the endurance of the human spirit when facing insurmountable odds, while employing only a few lines of dialogue to set the movie's tone.

    The film begins with an unnamed yachtsman “Our Man” (Robert Redford), in the middle of the Indian Ocean who wakes up to discover that water is pouring into his boat. He quickly discovers that his yacht has collided with a floating metal container and that the hull is substantially damaged. Seemingly unconcerned, he sets about patching up the hull, bails out the excess water and continues on his way. However, with a fierce storm fast approaching, Our Man's problems are far from over.

    Without language and human interaction, the film relies heavily on its production values. Frank G. DeMarco and Peter Zuccarini's cinematography is fantastic, highlighting the ocean landscape and ominous skies with a limited amount of CG intrusion. Robert Redford is terrific as the lone, experienced sailor battling the elements to survive.

    The camera is consistently up-close-and-personal with its lone subject, but it never provides any kind of back story for "Our Man." Another nagging issue is its lack of inventiveness, and there isn't a moment in the picture or in the story that hasn't been seen or explored before.

    That being said, there is an appealing simplicity to Chandor's script, which is enhanced with thoughtful direction and an intensely physical performance by Robert Redford that makes for one hell of a ride.
  31. Jan 22, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I hate to be a spoilsport, but as a sailor I recognize how ridiculous this film is to watch. It's an excellent film to showcase how not to sail, how not to prepare and how not to even bother donning a life jacket one time in the film. I can begin with how inaccurate all of the scenes are.

    He patches a hole in the hull then tacks over and puts high water right on his repair job. Come on really?Why are his clothes constantly dry? Why does the boat have a roller fuller in the beginning then he's hanking on a jib half way through? He's shaving in the middle of a storm on a sinking boat ...really? He's pouring water on a cell phone to get it to work after drying it out? life jacket after constantly being thrown overboard and miraculously making it back onboard? What? Watches the boat sink and not bothering to grab the Lifesling or a life jacket. No handheld water proof radio, no GPS. The boat rolling over in a storm (unrealistic) several time with the companionway open yet cardboard boxes in one scene are underwater then dry in the next scene. Learning celestial navigation from a book in a life raft that cannot be maneuvered. He doesn't cap his water jug then wonders why there is salt water in it? How did it hold water in the first place with the cap open? I can't begin to tell you how asinine this film is. For any blue water sailor this film depicts a person that has no business being on the sea and nobody, I mean nobody would be this goofy and unprepared. Because this film is so silly and unrealistic I have to give it a score of only 1. Oh, and at the end...after seeing a boat only a few hundred yards away, he lights his life raft on fire, then decides to kill himself after struggling the entire film to be saved. I give up.
  32. Jan 16, 2014
    In his late seventies Redford reminds us that despite his plethoric and undeniably lustrous acting career he can still shine brighter than ever, in a movie where not only he is the only actor but he has hardly any lines. The director J.C. Chandor on the other hand proves that his noteworthy first feature film ‘Margin Call’ was no fluke and has deservedly gained a place in my list of directors whose next project I will definitely watch. Expand
  33. Jan 5, 2014
    They could have put the camera on some random person's face and get the same "performance" Robert Redford gave. There was no acting involved. The movie is boring garbage. Nothing redeeming about it.
  34. Jan 1, 2014
    I havent sailed much but even to me this movie which solely portrays sailing emergency situation at sea seems as a string of completely mind boggling unbelievable events as if sailor is trying to kill himself instead of fighting for his life. Thus ruining this movie for me. The fact that there is no dialogue and there is just a single character on screen makes sure of that.
  35. Dec 31, 2013
    These are usually not my type of films a movie with no back story and no dialogue, but Robert Redford makes this film worth watching. Like Gravity this film is really about the performances of its actors and for either in the wrong hands both would fail. Thankfully both succeed. A-
  36. Dec 31, 2013
    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 Expand
  37. Dec 31, 2013
    There is nothing to it. With less words than any movie I have ever seen, Redford needed to do some extraordinary acting to give some poetry or artistry to the film. Unfortunately, the movie becomes a standard survival film.
  38. Dec 29, 2013
    Taking some bold notes from Hemmingway’s ‘The Old Man and the Sea’, JC Chandor tells a story of a lone sailor’s strife to survive after being stranded at sea due to a series of worsening events. With little to no dialogue, ‘All is Lost’ is filled with subtext and relies on Robert Redford tremendous talents to hold the screen alone. Redford’s unnamed character (titled ‘Our Man’ in the credits), is an ambiguous figure with literally no back-story; but that made him all the more intriguing. There was no scenery chewing in the performance, just plain stoicism as his character steers peril in the eye… all truly felt lost. Chandor is no stranger to the dynamics of the 2008 financial crisis, and it’s very possible that some of these issues are layered between the fine lines of this story. With an abandoned shipping container being the initial cause of Our Man’s high seas accident, one could relate that to the irresponsibility of big corporations and the negative effects it has on the people. However, as you would expect from this metaphorical movie; it’s all up to each viewer’s interpretation. I applaud the rigorous efforts placed in producing this film, but for some reason I thought it was a tough film to fully connect to. It may be due to its stark minimalism or maybe the subtle emotional payoff. In any case, it was one of the year’s most ambitious movies, and I encourage anybody up for a challenge to give it a try. Expand
  39. Dec 28, 2013
    One of the year's most exciting movies barely has a word of dialogue, and is a completely absorbing lost at sea adventure. It's easy to take Redford for granted here, and in hindsight, it's hard to imagine another actor pulling this off quite as well.
  40. Dec 16, 2013
    Another film about the human spirit’s ability to persevere we do not need, yet here we are again.

    In the straights on Sumatra off the coast of Indonesia a lone sailor (Robert Redford) awakens to find his sailboat's cabin filling fast with ocean. A massive whole has been torn through the side after a freak, overnight collision with a rogue shipping container. In the vastness of the
    Indian Ocean the spectacular odds of this collision’s happening seem staggering, and yet this is only the beginning of the misadventure.

    After patching up the side of the boat, even despite the total loss of all modern navigation equipment, the danger seems to cease. For a moment it seems like all that’s left is for the lone sailor to venture into the nearest port and seek repairs, but of course we know this is not the story.

    It is as if the hulking metal mass has delivered upon the lone sailor a divine wrath from which there is no escape. When we see the container, a faceless representation of some mega conglomerate, smashed through the side of the delicate sailboat, sweatshop-produced shoes spilling out into the ocean, the irony is overwhelming. The very world the lone sailor has set out to get away from has tracked him down.

    Before we start the film, just from the title alone, we know what the outcome will be, yet despite the unoriginal plot and standard shipwreck story conventions, the film succeeds. Fantastically succeeds.

    Almost completely devoid of dialogue, Robert Redford exudes a stolid, matter-of-fact persona in the face of catastrophe. He toils steadily, remaining steadfast in his manner. It is exhausting just watching him labor endlessly and even though he is performing, this performance cannot really be considered acting. Simply going through the motions of this role is enough to exude awe, especially when he is being thrown around wildly by the untamed, open ocean; the work that it must have taken to play this role is obvious and seems to strip away acting practices; what we really see is a man just trying not to die.
  41. Dec 2, 2013
    A similar picture by Aleksandr Sokurov, Mother and Son, is an example of another brilliant film that uses action instead of dialogue, as well as time to tell its story. But to give this film an unusually low score would be the result of a lack of film literacy. I'd caution those who hated All Is Lost to avoid films by Andrei Tarkovsky and Satyajit Ray, too.
  42. Hum
    Nov 25, 2013
    All is lost, including an hour of my life spent watching the first half of this film. Redford is like a monk, not saying a single word. When the frustration finally gets to him, he screams out one word. Given the depravity of Hollywood you can guess what that word was. The second half was barely watchable, no dialogue. See Captain Phillips instead
  43. Nov 24, 2013
    As quest for survival movies go, this one is made exceptionally well due largely to Robert Redford's great acting. Moments in this movie are extremely tense; don't go if you're looking for relaxation. Of the two movies of this type recently, Gravity and All Is Lost, I prefer this one because it goes for realism rather than Hollywood style.
  44. Nov 22, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Hard to sit through this one--the cinematography was good, scenery even believability--except for his not talking at all--well, barely. No one says he has to carry on a monologue with himself but, come on, I think anyone would be making some noise if they were being tossed about on a boat, literally upside-down at times. That 20 minutes to the first word (after the actual beginning) was just breaking the ice, I thought, but then there was such a dry spell afterward that I almost left; it was actually tedious to sit through. I like and admire Redford both as an actor and a person, but this particular film did nothing for me except make me wonder how much longer it was going to last........ Expand
  45. Nov 20, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Sailors will find this movie ridiculous because Redford plays a character who obviously does not know how to sail or how to react in a sailing emergency. As sailors, we spent the entire movie asking each other, why isn't Redford doing this or that (things a real sailor would know to do). Thus, if you are a sailor, either view the movie as a tragic comedy of errors, or expect to be disappointed. The ending is unclear, which is annoying. This is the first time in a long time that I disagree to such an extent with the professional critics. Expand
  46. Nov 20, 2013
    Robert Redford is way out in the Indian Ocean, when his sailboat is hit by a shipping container. That's only the beginning of his solo ordeal for survival. The gradual deterioration of his situation is detailed methodically, without dramatics, dialogue and with minimumal emotion (the opposite of Bullock's solo challenges in "Gravity.). Still, the continued quiet persistence in the face of continued frustration is effective. It's not especially gripping, but involves in an objective, almost procedural way. Expand
  47. Nov 12, 2013
    I had just listened to the TED Radio Hour and the tale of Roz Savage rowing across the Atlantic before going to see All Is Lost. It was a very interesting juxtaposition of the real and fiction. All is Lost was riveting and Redford's performance, with almost no spoken words, was a triumph of acting with eyes and body. You may quibble with details, but I never let them get in the way of my absorption into the movie and Redford's performance. Expand
  48. Nov 12, 2013
    When reviewing a movie, play, musical, cabaret act or anything that comes under the guise of 'art' I do my best to be kind but I am at a loss regarding the new Robert Redford film "All Is Lost". I have walked out on only one movie in the 70+ years I have been movie going and it took all I had not to walk out on this one.

    To be positive Redford does a good job with what he is given to
    work with but he is the only one on the screen for the hour and forty minutes of the film and if the audience applauds when a school of fish appear you know something isn't working. My feeling is nothing in the movie works with the director J.C. Chandor, also the writer, along with the directors of photography Frank G. DeMarco and Peter Zuccarini, doing some shots that are incomprehensible. I am not a 'sailor' but even I know some things in the screenplay, on the screen, are not believable.

    When Robert Redford costars with strong actors like Paul Newman, Barbra Streisand or Dustin Hoffman he shines and he shines here but the ocean wins out. And don't hate me Redford fans but he hasn't aged as well as Newman did. He gives his all and is getting a lot of the spotlight for it but as honest an acting job he does it is not enough to 'sell' the film
  49. Nov 11, 2013
    There is little poetry or artistry to this film. As someone else said, it's basically a procedural about dealing with sailing emergencies. I really don't understand so many reviewers proclaiming "the performance of a lifetime" from Robert Redford. I thought his acting was too often stiff, unrevealing and sometimes forced. It was not terrible, just uninspired, but then, has he ever been a really great actor? Or been in a really great movie? I don't mean to be unkind to an earnest guy making his final movie. You should probably see this so you know what everyone is talking about. And then you can wonder who's reviews you should trust. Expand
  50. Nov 11, 2013
    Good drama, but irritating if you know anything about sailing. 1) Emergency beacons are cheap and small and waterproof. Anyone with any sense would have at least one on board. 2) What is the fool doing in the cabin during a storm? He should be at the Helm. 3) Why did he spread that sail over the bow of his boat? So what if some water was leaking in. He could just pump it out (that is why the hand pump is next to the helm) 4) Why did he try to send an SOS early in the movie when his boat at that point was in good condition? I could go on but you get the point. Redford makes up for the technical details though. Very good acting. Expand
  51. Nov 11, 2013
    As Our Man (Robert Redford) narrates the only monologue throughout a practically dialogue-free film, as the deck floods and the water begins to sink into the “Virginia Jean” in the opening scene, it becomes quite apparent that optimism is not in our best interest for All Is Lost.

    J.C Chandor directs and writes, fresh off his Academy Award Nominated Original Screenplay debut Margin Call,
    a subtle and deeply metaphysical picture of one man’s survival story.

    All Is Lost, a nearly dialogue free, thirty-two page treatment, tells the story of a man and his enduring will to survive the torrential Indian Ocean. When Our Man awakens to find a breach in his hull, no thanks to a floating red shipping container, he uses his keen nautical skills to detach the container from the “Virginia Jean”. Successful in his attempt to detach, Our Man steers his ship away, finally dislodged, and begins to patch his wounded boat. After successfully sealing the hull, ridding the boat of excess water and trying to readjust the boats navigational functions, Our Man is left with very little options. After a fatal storm for the “Virginia Jean” that forces Our Man to seek refuge on a lifeboat, All Is Lost showcases the talent of Redford as a veteran actor.

    As the scenes build and the obstacles for Our Man continue, the film is an affecting cinematic venture that demands thought and patience. Effortless in his nuances and thoroughly convincing as a marine veteran, it’s almost daunting to actually remember Redford as a ranch-head.

    Set against the smooth and wavy backdrop of the Indian Ocean, Our Man, wrinkled, wise, bloody, and hopeful keeps us enthralled. At times, the film plays more as an informational boating tale with cautionary repercussions than a deeply affecting drama of hope, but Redford uses the film to seal his place amongst the greatest nuanced actors of his time.

    The film itself is not for everyone. Somewhat uneventful and at a snail’s pace narratively, All Is Lost is Chandor‘s self-reflexive piece of arrogance and Highlighting his skills as a writer and captain in front of the camera, the film itself is a bit nauseating due to the sweltering reminder of how good Chandor is. The film is filled with incredible, realistic scenes of pain and suffering, underwater scenery and marine wildlife, but the film is also a poorly constructed visual disaster. Poorly edited special effects of passing by boats and overwhelming wave FX, inadvertently reminds audience members how talented Redford actually is in the role and how much Chandor has to learn.

    Redford is pushed physically and mentally, literally being plunged into the blackened water, spun around and battered within the cabin of the boat, and peeled of all human interaction, the film is Redford‘s finest work as a seasoned film icon.

    The production itself is a mixed bag of emotions. From an original score that includes a whale horn, excellent sound mixing and editing of the water and the always present mother-nature antagonist, to the extremely revealing intimate camera angles, there is much to be had with All Is Lost.

    Unfortunately for Redford and all involved, All Is Lost will mostly be an overlooked, or intentionally avoided film by many. Sure to make a splash with film enthusiasts and Redford die-hards, even then, the film will present audience members with a very hard decision, to sit through the whole movie or leave three-quarters in. There is no denying the intensity and power in Redford‘s portrayal of a literally and figuratively lost man. But, like his character in the film, All Is Lost may very well be drowned by obscurity.

    All Is Lost is a thoroughly independent film driven by a tour-de-force performance by Redford. After all is said and done, ambiguity is established and time has lapsed, one may come to the realization that All Is Lost is a rehashing of Cast Away, Open Water and last year’s Life of Pi, that may have come a little too soon, but narratively, not fast enough. I hope, for Redford‘s sake and for the sake of the sole actor steering this lost, directionless film, the film doesn’t become a hyperbole of itself. As Our Man ends his only few words, “all is lost here, except for soul and body”, Redford is present front and centre, but contrary to what the film claims, it’s soul still needs to be found.
  52. Nov 11, 2013
    "All is Lost" will likely come across in different ways to different individuals. The movie-going public has a detached concept of the situation that Robert Redford's protagonist faces think TV hit "Survivor", where a tough day involves performing stunts brainstormed by the show's staff who are camped on the other side of the island and the big downside is getting blackballed by backbiting co-contestants.
    I am a student of actual survival stories such as the Uruguayan rugby team's 1972 crash in the Andes, or Steven Callahan's story of surviving 76 days in a life raft in the Atlantic in his book "Adrift".
    This is the basis for the "All is Lost" script, watching another human actually fighting for his life. Even though the film plays a little fast and loose with the technical aspects I think the movie succeeds masterfully in creating a powerful existential action movie without dialogue and limited special effects. It has the ascetic feel and pathos of Hemingway's "Old Man and the Sea" but eschews dialogue, depending instead on Redford's superb acting to communicate the determination, fear, doubt and defeat of a man facing his mortality. This film is a rare gem in a pile of trinkets.
  53. Nov 7, 2013
    I could not get into this movie as much as I wanted to. The only good thing was that the music score was appropriate for this movie. It helped me sleep. The music was just as slow as the movie. The acting by Redford was non existent. No acting what so ever. He just went thru the motions. Too bad.
  54. Nov 5, 2013
    ALL IS LOST is a survivalist film following one lonely "our man" who remains silent. The film blasts a punch with its combination of terror and beauty. The sea has never seemed more astounding and frightening. Redford is cast so well, it is impossible to imagination another actor in this role. ALL IS LOST, through brilliant camera work and stellar music, reaches biblical proportions in its view of the frailty and strength of the human spirit, the will to survive, and the desire to end it all. Expand
  55. Oct 31, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The basic interest of this movie is will the Robert Redford charactor "Our Man survive. There is an apparent answer. A boat with a light approaches his lifeboat and shines a light towards his submerged body. He swims to that light and a hand reaches underwater to rescue him. Being rescued isn't consistent with the title of the movie, "All is Lost." There have been claims by people who have had near-death experiences that describe a calming light during those moments. A possible hallucination of a dying brain could be that reaching hand. Perhaps, the same thing can happen when the victim/patient succumbs. If that is what the ending portrayed, all was lost. For the theist and believer in an afterlife the hand could be symbolic of God's taking Our Man to heaven. In that case he would have died, but everything is gained. Lastly, the visual presentation at the end may be the Hollywood required happy ending. Please click this comment as helpful if you think that it is hard to explain the title of the movie based on what you saw. Expand
  56. Oct 29, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand 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).
  57. Oct 28, 2013
    There is only one character is this movie played by Robert Redford. He is all by himself on a boot in the Indian Ocean. The whole movie is about his fight for life.
    Almost no words except a few exclamations but the movie is full with dramatism. Beautiful cinematography and music. In my opinion, the movie is not a piece of entertainment. Is it piece of art? Definitely. One can easily
    predict Redfort will be nominated for the Oscar's best actor for this role, and rightfully so. Expand
  58. Oct 28, 2013
    The movie gets no points for originality as we have all seen survival films before, including "Kon-Tiki" from this past year, which was also set on a ship. However, Redford is so good and the filmmaking is superb so I was riveted to the screen the entire time. I think everyone can relate to the snowball effect of one bad thing happening after another and you can't catch a break. The Redford character is relentless in his persistence to survive, and you can't help but root for him because he never gives up. He keeps one step ahead of death due to his survivor skills. Kudos to the filmmaking crew with all the close ups, underwater photography, and great ship/ocean noises making you feel like you're on the boat with him. Expand
  59. Oct 22, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. In its simplest form, the film’s about Robert Redford on a boat for an hour and a half. It’s a well-made film, great visuals, and great acting. However the end result just makes it boring when it’s so easy to compare it to other films such as Cast Away and The Perfect Storm. There’s virtually no character development either, if you start the movie off by connecting with the character (fatherly or personally) you’ll enjoy it, if you think he’s a rich jerk with a boat then you can’t wait to see him fail, but this doesn’t matter because you’ll never know anything about him, other than that he knows how to sail quite well. I can respect it as an art film, but as a form of entertainment it feels hallow, stretched, boring (like being stuck out at sea, I get it). If you’re a Robert Redford fan (The Sting, Spy Games) you’ll find it okay, if you’re an artsy Robert Redford fan you’ll like it, if you like sailing it’s definitely entertaining, but if you’re looking for a movie night with some friends you might want to pass on it. Overall I feel the film is just too over rated because it has Redford, if it was anyone else I feel like it would be panned and above all just average.

    Personally I am a big fan of Robert Redford
  60. Oct 18, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. No, it's not an original concept, but it's very well-done and inspiring. The movie begins with the accident that leads to the initial crisis a stray, floating shipping container strikes the 20 foot Newport, blowing a hole in the side. The rest of the movie is a methodical striving for survival. Redford does a fine job, and the cinematography is phenomenal. The music is also excellent. It's a stripped down movie. I wouldn't recommend seeing this movie the night after 12 Years a Slave (which is what I did...) Tough viewing, but both very solid films. Break them up with a nice comedy in the middle. Expand
  61. Oct 18, 2013
    All is Lost is a predominantly realistic movie about a lone sailor's struggle to stay alive on the Indian Ocean across multiple days, and through very plausible moments of good and bad luck. It is a far more unique foray into what a movie can do than most of us have seen in a long time. It's an antidote to both fluffy sentimentality and heartless, mindless effects movies.
    This is a
    one-character movie where we know very little about that one character's life on land, just enough to capture our imagination and curiosity as to who he is when he's not fighting for his life on a 39' sailboat, alone at sea, in a tempest. The metaphoric nature of those last phrases are brought out in the movie subtly enough for us to carry them with us through the movie, and never in a heavy-handed or sophomoric manner. Furthermore, the man's a good sailor but not a great one, which lends to both the realism and the subtle and assured storytelling virtues of the movie.
    Lastly, it's also one of the few movies where if you like the trailer, you will certainly like the movie.
  62. Oct 18, 2013
    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.

Universal acclaim - based on 45 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 45
  2. Negative: 0 out of 45
  1. Reviewed by: Kevin Harley
    Dec 23, 2013
    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.
  2. Reviewed by: Chris Hewitt
    Dec 23, 2013
    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.
  3. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Nov 7, 2013
    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.