Average User Score: 8.6Feb 13, 2014I wasn't really expecting to like this movie, as films about auto racing in the past have left me pretty cold, but this movie was extremelyI wasn't really expecting to like this movie, as films about auto racing in the past have left me pretty cold, but this movie was extremely well-made, the casting was perfect, and the acting extremely competent. One is tempted to feel that the actors were so well selected that they almost didn't have to act, although that is most certainly not the case, but it does reveal the competence of the film-makers.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.3Feb 13, 2014I loved everything about this movie. It is well-acted, the script and direction are great. Continuity is flawless, to my eye, but I was soI loved everything about this movie. It is well-acted, the script and direction are great. Continuity is flawless, to my eye, but I was so taken with the acting and the story that I wasn't really looking for flaws of that nature. I like that McConaughey was not really presented as a hero, but at the same time he has tremendous strength and impressive personal resources. Leto was amazingly good in his role. I also felt that I learned a lot about the history of medications for AIDS, as well as homophobia, without the movie being tiresome or boring in the process. All in all, a very impressive piece of film-making.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.4Feb 13, 2014This 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.… Expand