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All Is Lost (2013)


Average Rating: 8/10
Reviews Counted: 214
Fresh: 200
Rotten: 14

Critics Consensus: Anchored by another tremendous performance in a career full of them, All Is Lost offers a moving, eminently worthwhile testament to Robert Redford's ability to hold the screen.

Average Rating: 8.3/10
Reviews Counted: 46
Fresh: 44
Rotten: 2

Critics Consensus: Anchored by another tremendous performance in a career full of them, All Is Lost offers a moving, eminently worthwhile testament to Robert Redford's ability to hold the screen.


Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 37,832


Movie Info

Academy Award-nominated writer/director J.C. Chandor (Margin Call) takes the helm for this tense adventure drama about a man (Robert Redford) who must fight for survival after being lost at sea. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

PG-13 (for brief strong language)
Mystery & Suspense , Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By:
J.C. Chandor
In Theaters:
Feb 11, 2014
Box Office:
Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for All Is Lost

All Critics (214) | Top Critics (46) | Fresh (200) | Rotten (14) | DVD (1)

Even Redford bailing water for 106 minutes can be a bit much.

Full Review… | December 16, 2013
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

This is an uncommonly absorbing movie.

Full Review… | December 10, 2013
Top Critic

We get the predictable plot points - storms, sharks, close calls with passing ships - but it feels like a uniquely handmade artifact.

Full Review… | November 7, 2013
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

All is Lost is a testament to a great actor, an experimental piece of cinema and a bit of a bore.

Full Review… | November 7, 2013
Miami Herald
Top Critic

All Is Lost is very much Redford's triumph. His turn isn't pure disappearance so much as a brilliantly human example of cresting and plummeting, cresting and plummeting.

Full Review… | October 25, 2013
Denver Post
Top Critic

The movie is rigorous, serious and well-crafted, with Redford holding the screen using only his economical emotional reactions and physical presence.

Full Review… | October 25, 2013
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Frank G. DeMarco and Peter Zuccarini, dual cinematographers, gather gorgeous imagery especially those captured from beneath the ocean's surface.

Full Review… | July 6, 2014

Chandor never overplays his hand, and in doing so he creates a worthy portrait of a man in a dire situation that resonates with us all.

Full Review… | May 5, 2014
Movie Mezzanine

once Robert Redford is on screen, his muted, exasperated, hopeful performance is an exemplar of the physical. Our Man seems a man of reckless wealth and expansive estrangement: why is he at sea? Begging the larger question, why are we all at sea?

Full Review… | April 5, 2014

A commanding performance by Robert Redford with nary a word spoken. It makes up for the somewhat tedious running time.

Full Review… | March 24, 2014
Cinema Sight

Superb, a brilliantly conceived, first-person masterpiece, totally immersive and compelling from first frame to last. It's easily one of the best survival films ever made, even with Gravity dominating everybody's praise.

Full Review… | March 9, 2014

O rosto envelhecido, marcado e expressivo (e ainda belo) de Redford comunica uma infinidade de ideias e sentimentos com o mínimo esforço.

Full Review… | March 7, 2014
Cinema em Cena

Mark his name down as one to watch. Chandor could potentially turn out to be as fresh and innovative a talent of the likes of Christopher Nolan and Spike Jonze in the near future.

Full Review… | March 6, 2014
Herald Sun (Australia)

This works just fine viewed as a stripped back tale of survival against the odds. The ending is the only moment where the metaphorical comes to the fore, and even then it's really just a matter of how literally you want to take the title.

Full Review… | March 5, 2014
The Vine

This film makes an excellent case that sometimes less can be so much more.

Full Review… | March 5, 2014
Impulse Gamer

A subtle meditation on mind, body and spirit that's imbued with an aching amount of futility and loneliness

Full Review… | March 4, 2014
The Popcorn Junkie

The low tech nature of All is Lost accentuates the primal (physical) nature of this struggle, while the technical prowess of Gravity emphasizes its more metaphysical (and less interesting) nature

Full Review… | March 4, 2014

All is Lost makes the familiar strikingly new. The filmmaker and his star hold their nerve, refusing easy outs and making you look - and listen - carefully to a starkly pure piece of cinema.

Full Review… | March 4, 2014
Sydney Morning Herald

If you're slightly intrigued by the premise, find the time to see All Is Lost. It's taking a chance and trying to give us something different.

Full Review… | March 2, 2014
ABC Radio Brisbane

Full of detail, the film is almost claustrophobic at times as we stay inside the cabin of the yacht while the ocean heaves outside, the wind howls, the boat shrieks... it's a unique work

Full Review… | March 1, 2014
Urban Cinefile

Uncluttered by narrative or dialogue, Robert Redford gives an astounding performance - spending most of the film literally and psychologically hanging on

Full Review… | March 1, 2014
Urban Cinefile

It's a rare example of pure cinema, and that, in itself, gives it a stature to which few Hollywood films these days aspire.

Full Review… | February 28, 2014
The Australian

Chandor has produced a minimalist gem.

Full Review… | February 28, 2014
Sydney Morning Herald

This is the most compelling tale of nautical peril since Steven Spielberg's Jaws.

Full Review… | February 21, 2014
FILMINK (Australia)

'Captain Phillips' wasn't the only see-worthy vessel of 2013.

Full Review… | February 21, 2014
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

We (and he) know he's screwed. The tension comes from establishing just how badly.

Full Review… | February 20, 2014

Audience Reviews for All Is Lost


All Is Lost is a great example of how to make a good film. The premise is simple, the dialogue is minimal and for all intents and purposes nothing really happens, at least when you look at it as a whole. The reality is that without words, action, formula etc you are left with the bare bones of a great idea and a fantastic performance. You can fill in the gaps yourself, Chandor releases that the audience doesn't need to be spoon fed anymore. Isolation and pure loneliness is a hard concept to film but to make a vast ocean seem claustrophobic is a triumph from both the cinematographer and Redford. The sequence of events isn't as contrived as it is in many films of this ilk which was a relief but the final addition of Sharks did make my sigh somewhat but this is only a minor complaint. It's the perfect Lost at Sea film. The ending is brilliantly open to interpretation too but either way I think it was a fine conclusion.

Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer

Review at

Alexander Diminiano

Super Reviewer

Redford is really good in this dialogue-free film, but I gotta say my hat's off to the director. As I was watching, I noticed I was holding my breath at times. Really, an exceptional film.

Christian C

Super Reviewer


In dealing with the financial meltdown of an investment bank, J.C. Chandor's directorial debut "Margin Call" in 2011, was an impressively handled, fast paced and very dialogue driven film. It also had a who's who of familiar actors as they wheeled and dealed their way out of their crisis with a spot of verbal jousting. Now, in only his second feature, Chandor has left all that behind and delivers a film that couldn't be further from his debut. There's only one actor and you're lucky if you get a couple of lines of dialogue in the entire film.

In the Indian Ocean, a man (Robert Redford) wakes up on his yacht to find that a shipping container, that has been left adrift in the seas, has collided with him. It's ripped a hole in his hull and he's quickly taking in water. He manages to patch it up but a violent storm brings yet more problems and soon, time is running out for him.

As the film opens we are told that it is 1700 nautical miles from the Sumatra straits. That's about all we get in determining where our protagonist is. He's never actually named either - referred only as 'Our Man' in the end credits - so we don't know who he is or why he's there, other than some brief voiceover dialogue informing us that he's sorry for something. Again, we don't know what he's done or who he's apologising to - possibly his family. Either way, he's alone on his yacht and we don't know where he's heading to. That's about as much information as we are given and it doesn't get any clearer. It's this very ambiguity that sets the films tone; it doesn't concern itself with details or backstory or even much dialogue for that matter. This is a meditation on human resilience and determination. Anything else other than that leaves us just as alone as our nameless protagonist. Chandor's intention is to obviously keep things at a minimum and force us to look for the film's themes. Finding these themes, though, is just as elusive as our characters chances of survival. Maybe I missed the point, but all I could find here was the was he was going through some form of penance for his past misdeeds or that the story is an allegory for mortality. Other than that, I felt as lost as him and could fully relate to the film's appropriate title.

That being said, there's still much to admire here. Chandor's minimalist approach manages to balance the vast open space with a real sense of claustrophobia and Redford's paired down performance is absolutely captivating. He has such a comforting and recognisable presence that it's easy to adapt to his character and his isolation. It takes a great actor to be able to hold your attention when they are practically saying nothing and completely carrying a film on their own. Redford's work here is reminiscent of Tom Hanks' exemplary and Oscar nominated performance in "Cast Away" and it's hard to accept that he missed out on an nomination himself, when many expected him to feature. His performance is a very physical one and all the more impressive considering he's now at the tail-end of his 70's. It's a lonely and gruelling journey and despite the lack of dialogue, Redford's subtlety speaks volumes. It's almost as if we we can hear his internal dialogue and the conversation he's continually having with himself. There is much to recommend this film but if there's only one reason to see it, it would be for Redford.

Most of the ingredients are here for a potential modern classic. Chandor's direction is impressive, as is Redford's outstanding central performance. Alex Ebert also conducts a wonderfully ethereal music score that compliments the powerful cinematography.
However, as much as I enjoyed "All Is Lost" for these attributes, I struggled with it's relentlessness and couldn't really see the point of it all.

Mark Walker

Mark Walker

Super Reviewer

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