- Starring: Robert Redford
- Summary: Deep into a solo voyage in the Indian Ocean, an unnamed man wakes to find his 39-foot yacht taking on water after a collision with a shipping container left floating on the high seas. With his navigation equipment and radio disabled, the man sails unknowingly into the path of a violent storm. Despite his success in patching the breached hull, his marinerâ… Collapse
- Director: J.C. Chandor
- Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Drama
- More Details and Credits »
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.
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.
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.
Dec 2, 2013A 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.… Expand
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.… Expand
Oct 18, 2013All 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.… Expand
Nov 11, 2013As 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.… Expand
Oct 22, 2013This 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… Expand
Nov 25, 2013All 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… Expand
Oct 29, 2013This 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).… Expand