The Light Between Oceans

Critics Consensus

The Light Between Oceans presents a well-acted and handsomely mounted adaptation of its bestselling source material, but ultimately tugs on the heartstrings too often to be effective.



Total Count: 223


Audience Score

User Ratings: 13,648
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Movie Info

DreamWorks Pictures' "The Light Between Oceans" is a heart-breaking drama about fate, love, moral dilemmas and the lengths to which one couple will go to see their dreams realized. Starring Academy Award (R) and Golden Globe (R) nominee Michael Fassbender, Oscar (R) winner Alicia Vikander, Academy Award and Golden Globe winner Rachel Weisz, Bryan Brown and Jack Thompson, the film is written for the screen and directed by Derek Cianfrance based on the acclaimed novel by M.L. Stedman. The producers are Academy Award nominee David Heyman, p.g.a. and Jeffrey Clifford, p.g.a. with Tom Karnowski, Rosie Alison, Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King serving as executive producers. In the years following World War I, Tom Sherbourne (Michael Fassbender), a young veteran still numb from his years in combat, takes a job as lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, a remote island off the coast of Western Australia. As the island's sole inhabitant, he finds comfort in the monotony of the chores and the solitude of his surroundings. When he meets the daughter of the school's headmaster, Isabel Graysmark (Alicia Vikander), in the local town of Partageuse on the mainland, Tom is immediately captivated by her beauty, wit and passion, and they are soon married and living on the island. As their love flourishes, he begins to feel again, their happiness marred only by their inability to start a family, so when a rowboat with a dead man and infant girl mysteriously washes ashore, Isabel believes their prayers may have finally been answered. As a man of principle, Tom is torn between reporting the lost child and pleasing the woman he loves, and against his better judgment he agrees to let Isabel raise the child as their own, making a choice with devastating consequences. DreamWorks Pictures' "The Light Between Oceans" opens in U.S. theaters on September 2nd.

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Michael Fassbender
as Tom Sherbourne
Alicia Vikander
as Isabel Graysmark
Rachel Weisz
as Hannah Roennfeldt
Florence Clery
as Lucy-Grace
Jack Thompson
as Ralph Addicott
Thomas Unger
as Bluey Smart
Jane Menelaus
as Violet Graysmark
Garry McDonald
as Bill Graysmark
John Anthony Hayes
as Sergeant Vernon Knuckey
Benedict Hardie
as Constable Harry Garstone
Emily Barclay
as Gwen Potts
Bryan Brown
as Septimus Potts
Stephen Ure
as Neville Whittnish
Peter McCauley
as Sergeant Spragg
Leon Ford
as Frank Roennfeldt
Jonathan Wagstaff
as Constable Bob Lynch
Gerald Bryan
as Captain Percy Hasluck
Caren Pistorius
as Adult Lucy-Grace
Elizabeth Hawthorne
as Mrs. Hasluck
Michael Wallace
as Reverend Norkels
Peter Hayden
as Dr. Sumpton
Gary Blackman
as Bernie Gutcher
Carmel McGlone
as Bertha Chipper
Jeffrey Thomas
as Cyril Chipper
Edwin Lancashire
as Piano Turner
Dean Morganty
as Drunken Soldier
Elsa May
as Mrs. Mouchmore
John Bach
as Mayor Jock Johnson
Kerrie Waterworth
as Fanny Darnley
Marshall Napier
as Mr. Coughlan
Miriam Noonan
as Maisee McPhee
Graham Warman
as Town Photographer
George Vozar
as Police Photographer
Georgie Gascoigne
as Lucy-Grace 12 Months Old
Imogen Wilmhurst
as Lucy-Grace 12 Months Old
Lucy Wilmhurst
as Lucy-Grace 12 Months Old
Emily Wilmhurst
as Lucy-Grace 12 Months Old
Elliot Newbery
as Lucy-Grace 3 Months Old
Evangeline Newbery
as Lucy-Grace 3 Months Old
Christine Foote
as Lucy-Grace Newborn
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News & Interviews for The Light Between Oceans

Critic Reviews for The Light Between Oceans

All Critics (223) | Top Critics (42) | Fresh (137) | Rotten (86)

Audience Reviews for The Light Between Oceans

  • Mar 29, 2017
    The film is at times emotional but for the better half it is a melodramatic painted in too much substance. The first half is terribly riddled with exposition and never captures the characters, this film needed to be longer to really drive home the story beats. They needed more time evenly split between the families and the struggles of the daughter returning home required more attention. The final scene was an emotional buildup that failed to really deliver, it was brilliant but without the remaining movie coming together it just feels a little lacking. There was a great film here, it seemed to have been lost with the lack of supporting characters and over the top direction. I think Terence Malick could've driven this film home, it really lacked a visual fest and atmosphere, you could nearly mistake this for a disney production. Great leads can't save an over baked drama film. 06-06-2017.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Dec 11, 2016
    Like a restaurant that advertises steak but rather serves hamburger.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Dec 10, 2016
    Absolutely beautifully shot. The location for this film is amazing. The same goes for the acting as a couple comes to terms with adopting a child that is not theirs. Superb music too wraps up the complete package. This may be too slow and long winded for most but, for those who stick with it, it's worth it.
    Ian W Super Reviewer
  • Sep 13, 2016
    Cianfrance has become an "expert" in corny melodramas, and this is like a shameless telenovela that suffers even more from the fact that there is no chemistry between the two bland leads and nothing in there to make us feel any sympathy for a couple of baby kidnappers.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer

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