All Is Lost

All Is Lost Image
Metascore
87

Universal acclaim - based on 45 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 222 Ratings

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  • 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 violentDeep 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 Expand

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 45
  2. Negative: 0 out of 45
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

See all 45 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 81
  2. Negative: 27 out of 81
  1. Jan 28, 2014
    10
    This is an extraordinary and riveting film and deserves much more than nominations --and it has had far fewer than it should have --itThis 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. Collapse
  2. Jan 20, 2016
    9
    All is Lost is a tense, isolating and emotional experience, about a man stranded on a boat in the middle of the Indian Ocean. As things goAll is Lost is a tense, isolating and emotional experience, about a man stranded on a boat in the middle of the Indian Ocean. As things go from bad to worse, one cannot help thinking, as when watching a film like Gravity as well, "How would I feel, and react, in such a hopeless situation?" But what all holds this together more than anything is the performance of Robert Redford, who is completely believable and does a remarkable job at showing his emotions without largely the use of dialog. As one who doesn't sail I didn't always understand what he was doing, but always I understood the purpose of what he was doing it for, so never felt too disengaged. It's a pace film, but patient viewers will find great reward in this harrowing tale. Expand
  3. Oct 18, 2013
    8
    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
  4. Nov 11, 2013
    6
    As Our Man (Robert Redford) narrates the only monologue throughout a practically dialogue-free film, as the deck floods and the water beginsAs 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.
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  5. Feb 22, 2014
    5
    it will generally require a herculean effort on the parts of both the director & the single actor/actress to carry a single character story init 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
  6. Nov 7, 2013
    3
    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. ItI 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. Expand
  7. Feb 7, 2014
    0
    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

See all 81 User Reviews

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