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All Is Lost (2013)

tomatometer

93

Average Rating: 8/10
Reviews Counted: 212
Fresh: 198 | Rotten: 14

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.

95

Average Rating: 8.3/10
Critic Reviews: 43
Fresh: 41 | Rotten: 2

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.

audience

63

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 34,414

My Rating

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,

Mystery & Suspense, Action & Adventure

J.C. Chandor

Feb 11, 2014

$6.3M

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All Critics (212) | Top Critics (43) | Fresh (198) | Rotten (14) | DVD (1)

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

December 16, 2013 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

November 7, 2013 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

November 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop 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.

October 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

October 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For all its formal austerity, All Is Lost also offers itself as a widescreen multiplex attraction, keeping all eyes glued on Our Man's dilemma, and every mind wondering if he'll manage to cheat death.

October 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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?

April 5, 2014 Full Review Source: Newcity
Newcity

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

March 24, 2014 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
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.

March 9, 2014 Full Review Source: 3AW

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

March 7, 2014 Full Review Source: Cinema em Cena
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.

March 6, 2014 Full Review Source: Herald Sun (Australia)
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.

March 5, 2014 Full Review Source: The Vine
The Vine

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

March 5, 2014 Full Review Source: Impulse Gamer
Impulse Gamer

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

March 4, 2014 Full Review Source: The Popcorn Junkie
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

March 4, 2014 Full Review Source: Cinemania

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.

March 4, 2014 Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald
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.

March 2, 2014 Full Review Source: ABC Radio Brisbane
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

March 1, 2014 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

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

March 1, 2014 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
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.

February 28, 2014 Full Review Source: The Australian
The Australian

Chandor has produced a minimalist gem.

February 28, 2014 Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald

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

February 21, 2014 Full Review Source: FILMINK (Australia)
FILMINK (Australia)

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

February 21, 2014 Full Review Source: Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

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

February 20, 2014 Full Review Source: Flicks.co.nz
Flicks.co.nz

Chandor clearly wanted to make something powerful and engrossing, but due to the simplistic nature of the film, what he ended up with was something dull and forgettable.

February 10, 2014 Full Review Source: Examiner.com
Examiner.com

The film attains an operatic grandeur in its closing moments, and surprisingly earns it: Chandor's intensely physical, experiential work has brought us right up to the perilous edge between life and death.

February 6, 2014 Full Review Source: Sight and Sound
Sight and Sound

Audience Reviews for All Is Lost

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
February 28, 2014
MrMarakai

Super Reviewer

An exceptional, near-masterstroke of a movie detailing the struggles of an old sailor (Robert Redford) and his efforts to survive after his ship is severely damages by a freight container and rough storms. Redford, in his finest performance in years, is completely arresting as a figure who we know nothing about, not even his name, but who has the audience's support given his tough-as-nails demeanor despite all the hardships he continually faces. Director J.C. Chandor does a terrific job casting the likelihood of survival for his lone character very much in doubt, with an ending masked in dread with a faint light at the end of the tunnel. It is one of the best films from 2013, another fantastic turn from Redford, and a movie that should be put into the same category as "Gravity" given the subject material.
February 13, 2014
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

Redford carries this one-man movie on his shoulders, proving what a harrowing and absorbing experience it can be to follow a man lost at sea and struggling for survival, and all his solid work is complemented by a haunting score and an impressive job in sound design.
January 26, 2014
blacksheepboy

Super Reviewer

Survival Dramas are rare to pull off due to the fact that there is not much to work with in terms of acting, story and overall pacing of the film. With All is Lost, we get a survivalist drama that moves at a fast pace because there is so much happening on-screen. Considering that the film only stars one actor, this is a truly engaging feature to the fact that Robert Redford is a standout talent who is able to sink you into the film's story by displaying an intense, magnetic performance. The story is simple and effective. While using basic elements, the film doesn't sugar coat anything and offers audiences a good old fashioned type of drama. To me, these films are much more satisfying because, they are straight to the point type of movies, and they don't try to over saturate the film's material by overdoing anything. All is Lost is as simple a story as it gets, it doesn't rely on an over the top performance and it's a brilliant film, one that proves you can do great things with the simplest of ideas. Survival films are nothing new, but this is one of the more impressive films in the genre because it relies on visuals and an effective performance by one actor. Redford displays his talents very well on-screen, and you are in the journey for survival with him from start to finish. Although not a perfect film, and people may not get into this one because at times it may seem a little tedious, All is Lost will definitely provide for an exhilarating hour and a half for genre fans. For a film with barely any dialogue, this is an impressive picture that is worth viewing.
January 23, 2014
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

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