All Is Lost (2013) Poster


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Disappointing for sailors - but still a great performance
Yorick21 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
CONTAINS SPOILERS - Outstanding performance, beautifully underplayed, gripping. This works for me, mostly. It's great in its deliberate confinements. But, as a sailor, I am disappointed.

There are inconsistencies, but even more astounding is the lack of our man's seamanship. Pretending to be a seasoned sailor, he makes quite a fool of himself through horrible negligence: There is no "abandon ship bag", he carries an empty fresh water tank, he uses no sails or the engine during the storm, etc...

  • He never wears a PFD/life vest, or a survival suit later on. Interesting survival tactics. Our man goes overboard quite often - and even without drowning!

  • What an idiocy to hold your boat with one line while jumping on a container - no secured line, no PFD. Then instead of securing the line, he holds it with one hand while untying the sea anchor from the container (which was minutes ago strong enough to pull the container away). Then he walks both lines back to the boat as if they were chihuahuas. Argh! Honestly, he deserves to fall between boat and container and lose both lines due to rope burn...

  • No lever for the manual bilge pump at hand? He carves a piece of wood (probably his flagpole) to be able to pump his vessel empty? Puhleeease.

  • I understand his shaving ritual - a last trial to exert some control and composure before the sh%$t hits the fan. He seems to consider his options mostly pretty well, but how stupid is it to start switching sails when the storm is blowing already. The main sail - even when not up - seems to be reefed, but we don't see it really being used, and neither is it ever properly tightened to the boom. This costs him rightfully the mast later on.

  • Instead of using a fully reefed mainsail and a storm jib (or the engine) to keep control of his vessel, he just gets sloshed around and can't maneuver at all. No wonder that he gets the big waves fully on the beam.

  • He wears only one instead of two tether lines. No jack lines on deck or any click-in points close to the center line of the boat. He attaches himself to the lifelines! Another recipe for disaster. When you go overboard, you almost certainly hang under the water surface and have hardly a chance to get back aboard. Stoooopid. He could be happy if the stanchions broke and release him so that he could make it to the ladder on the stern. But that is probably tied up in a way that he can't release it from the water surface. Another reason to NOT make it.

  • Instead of a life-sling system he has just an old horseshoe buoy.

  • A hand-held radio would be very valuable when a ship comes right by. Much better than his cheap flares. BTW: Good try to clean his radio with fresh water, but why does he try to fix the antenna connection on the mast top AFTER his radio is toast?

  • He jumps (!) without provisions (!) or PFD into his life raft, but leaves it connected, closes the zipper and tried to sleep. If the boat sank, we would be gone, too.

In some details I beg to differ from comments I have seen in other comments:

  • A commenter complained that the boat had no self steering mechanism which would be necessary and crucial for a single handed ocean crossing. The boat definitely had one. You see the wind vane behind the stern pulpit, and you also see a line around the steering wheel axle. The vane breaks off after the first storm, the remnants are still visible.

  • A commenter complained that the boat had no EPIRB, an "Emergency Position Indicating Beacon". Once activated, it sends out a distress signal per satellite to alert coast guards and passing ships of a disaster at sea. I thought I saw one mounted to the stern pulpit before the first storm. But maybe it was just a man-over-board marker.

  • Someone said that there was no dodger to stay in the shade and being protected from spray. I thought I saw one - but it was definitely gone after the first storm.

Our man's radio skills are not exactly text book. The useless boat hook from Worst Marine, and the sextant being unwrapped in the life raft only, were nice details contributing to the characterization of our man. So even for sailors there were some nice hints of cutting corners, hubris and overconfidence. I assume the shortcomings in our man's seamanship were deliberately written into the script - otherwise we would have too much of a superman. If real development happens in this movie, it is probably his ruefulness that he never learned and practiced his stuff in time and went so poorly prepared out to sea.

Some situations get solved too quickly: Bringing down a furled head sail and pulling up a storm jib is a real bummer in a storm, especially alone. Jumping without live vest in a storm out of a life raft to right it? Easy peasy. Anyway, the movie showed sufficiently the exhaustion our man has to go through. Just his overboard experiences (twice from the boat, once from the life raft) are quite implausible. I nearly started laughing when he swam back underwater to his capsized boat and just held on in the cockpit until he was back up and in business.

At least he wore a knife at all times, tied to his pants. Good sailor! Still an interesting movie to see. But as movie with this realistic, not to say naturalistic approach it has certainly some flaws for sailors.
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The triumph of human spirit
cinematic_aficionado31 December 2013
Ocean sailing that went sour. Man wakes up in the middle of absolute oceanic nowhere to find he had collided with a container, causing damage to his boat as well as rendering communications totally ineffective.

The film is made as a series of events aiming for this man to fail. Once restoration and improvement of conditions is achieved, a setback occurs. He is exposed, unprotected and threatened once again. Death is constantly around the corner.

The sequences are very realistic, accurately depicting the inherent risk of sea adventure. The calm is followed by a storm which is succeeded by another calm.

The success of this film lies in the fact that it is held well together, despite the complete absence of dialogue and this why only an actor of the stature of Robert Redford could pull this off and is in terrific shape despite his 77 years.

Ultimately, it is a tale of triumph of the human spirit that will not yield in the face of adversity and will fight to the very end to survive.
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Our Man is Sorry
David Ferguson1 November 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Greetings again from the darkness. In Cast Away, Tom Hanks makes friends with a volleyball. In The Old Man and the Sea, Spencer Tracy talks to the whale. In Harvey, James Steward chats it up with a tall imaginary rabbit! It takes Robert Redford to show us how to face isolation with dignity and silence (save one well-deserved F-word).

Writer/director J.C. Chandor brought us the very good Margin Call (2011), which was filled with many characters and significant dialogue. Here, he delivers a single character and no real dialogue - only the initial log entry and a couple of SOS calls into a short-circuited radio. This is one man's struggle for survival. It's that man vs nature. It's our man facing mortality and isolation.

So you are probably wondering how this can hold your attention for two hours. The real answer is Robert Redford. At age 77, his screen presence is remarkable. Having never been a "showy" actor, his performance and this movie depend on facial expressions, his body language, and mostly his ability to connect with an audience immediately. Technically, the movie is exceptional, especially in sound design and in creating a terrifying and believable situation.

Alex Ebert's music is subtle and effective, but let's get real ... Mr. Redford and his mop of red hair are the reason to see this movie. There is almost no back story on this character, other than what we infer from his opening log entry. We know his "I'm sorry" has many meanings to his family, but we soon realize his will to live probably comes from an internal drive connected to his apology. It's nice to see a role for an older actor that doesn't included stupid humor designed to make kids laugh. Not much humor in this one, but there's no reason to be sorry.
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All logic is lost
steve-27-25878314 June 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I grew up around boats and the ocean and was really looking forward to this movie. There are very few sailing movies and the reviews for this one where all great.

Unfortunately the holes in this movie are far larger than the ones that sunk the yacht. I am very happy to suspend belief in movies that are not meant to be technically realistic, but this movie is based on a real life situation and tries to be realistic but fails miserably.

The trouble starts on the very first scene, the 'sailor' wakes up to find his yacht full of water. It has hit a shipping container and is filling up with water through a large hole. He must have been on the whiskey the night before because apparently he slept right through the crash that tore the hole into the back of the yacht (odd that it caused a hole in the back of the yacht). He stands there looking at the hole in the side of the yacht with water pouring in, just one arms length away from the bilge pump button (a pump designed to work under water to pump water out of the yacht). Does he flick the switch ? No he doesn't bother lifting his arm up and turning on a pump to start pumping the water out of the boat. Of course when he does hit the switch some time latter the pump doesn't work. That would probably indicated a flat battery, but the battery wasn't flat as he used it to power the radio latter on. He never really bothered to try to work out what was up with the bilge pump, instead opting to pump the water out by hand, after having to make a handle for the manual pump (I guess the vandals took the original handle).

After removing the container from the side of the yacht, he then sails away but changes his mind and sails back to the container, leaning to the side of yacht where the hole is, thus letting more water flow in and then literally rams the shipping container that has already nearly sunk him ! Maybe he was still on the whiskey, but this guy really should not be in charge of this yacht.

Then there is the logic behind the broken radio. First up, it is a VHF radio, used for short range communication. At sea a yacht would use a HF radio, but anyway, he manages to get it working and hears voices, but the radio is going on and off. So he climbs the mast to find the antenna unplugged ! If the antenna was unplugged he would not have heard a thing on the radio, unless the transmitting station was right next to him and anyway an unplugged antenna would have nothing to do with the radio turning on and off, which is obviously a result of salt water damage to the radio ! So he plugs the antenna back in and while at the top of the mast notices a storm coming. When he comes back down, does he try the radio that he just spent a great deal of effort supposedly trying to fix ? NO HE HAS A SHAVE ! Where is the logic in it ! He could see the storm coming, yet he does not bother to try the radio again. OK, so the boat sinks, after suffering the huge unluckiness of getting yet another hole (even though the original hole is patched up) and after he makes several more very poor decisions, such as leaving it too late to put the storm sail up, going outside during the massive storm for no apparent reason, leaving the main hatch open etc. So he deploys the life raft, a good idea. He ties the life raft to the yacht and gets into the life raft. Does he cut the line, no. OK so he is going to leave the line attached to the yacht ... pretty dangerous, but I guess he thinks the yacht probably won't sink and he will keep a close eye on it on cut the line if the yacht starts to goes under .... oh no no no, he goes to sleep in the life raft with it attached to the yacht ! There is no point even being in the life raft, if the yacht sinks, he goes down with it. No sailor would ever ever do something so stupid. It just defies basic logic.

There are so many holes in this movie. Even the effects are bad, the rain is always vertical but if there was a storm that was making the sea so rough, there would be high winds and the rain would be more horizontal .. in fact there is really no wind effect anywhere in the movie. Even when he is trying to get the storm sail up it is hardly blowing around. When the storms clears by morning the sea returns to being flat, there is no left over swell, completely unrealistic.

The way the guy moves, so slowly all the time even in critical situation was also very annoying, there is no urgency or sense of panic in it, personally I think the acting was terrible. I have been aboard boats that are taking on water and believe me you do not think, you act.

I can only assume the sailor is either an alcoholic or senile, either way he should not be the captain of anything that floats. He doesn't even bother to equip the yacht with an EPIRB, something that is law in most countries, but common sense to have for anyone going to sea and is something that would have ensured his timely rescue.

A very disappointing movie, obviously made by people who have no idea about the subject matter and seemingly lack basic logic.
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Really shows how good of an actor Redford is. Nothing but watching him trying to stay alive but you really root for him.
Tony Heck7 January 2014
"This is the Virginia Jean with an SOS call...over." After running into a shipping container a relaxing trip in a boat turns into a fight for survival. Left with nothing more then what is on the ship and ruined equipment the sailor (Redford) must do everything he can to stay alive until he can be rescued. Going in I expected this to go one of two ways, either super boring or super intense. After seeing Gravity and how tense that was I was hoping for more of the same. I was let down by that expectation. I will however say that this movie really shows what a great actor Robert Redford is. Movies like Cast Away and Gravity while mainly about someone being alone did have other people in it and had a back story for the person. This one ONLY had Robert Redford and it starts as soon as he hits the tanker. No back story or anything about the character. There is also a total of about 20 words in the movie. All that said by the end you are really rooting for the guy and hope someone finds him. That is the sign of a great actor, being able to make people root for you and feel emotions without words. As good as he was in this though the movie isn't for everyone. It really is just watching someone trying to stay alive in the ocean alone for over an hour and a half. If you think you would be interested then go for it. If you don't then you may be too bored to care about what is going on. Overall, a pretty good movie but it isn't for everyone. I give it a B-.
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Very Lazy Writing Sinks this Film Early On
Leftbanker29 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers ho! Wow, the writers really screwed up this film which should have been a lay-up. Did they even bother to talk with a single person who has spent more than an hour on a sailboat or did they just wing it from their experience on some Catalina Island booze cruise? The first problem he faced was an act of god, as they say, and not his fault but just about every problem after that was the result of his own stupidity and very poor seamanship. The movie is like what not to do if you have an emergency in a small boat at sea.

So he hits a container putting a nice hole in his starboard side about 2 feet X 2 feet. No biggie. He has resin to patch it up which he does incompetently. For some reason he loses all electrical power. Why his engine doesn't work isn't explained (and no back-up outboard motor for a yacht this size?).

His sailing skills during the storm were basically non-existent. You don't wait until the excrement hits the fan to put up your storm jib and reef the living daylights out of your mainsail. Once again, what about his engine? To broach a boat of that size you really have to mess up royally, like letting yourself get hit right on the beam with a huge swell. Why would you go below during a storm in the first damn place? Ever heard the expression "All Hands on Deck?" I think that applies here. You can sleep and shave after the squall. In the end the fact that his vessel goes down had little or nothing to do with the hole from the container. He simply screwed up during the storm.

Rule number 1 through 99 is WATER! It's the most important thing to consider when you finally abandon ship. These days with all of the survival foods available you could last for months in a life raft and some people do. Read Adrift where the dude survived for 67 days and crosses the Atlantic after sinking almost immediately after hitting a container in the dead of night. I would imagine that most life rafts come with a solar still water purifier which is little more than a blow-up beach ball. Just why he didn't prep his life boat after he hit the container was something I was wondering about way before his ship sunk. His boat had plenty of fresh water and he can't carry 20 gallons on to the raft? They probably felt the dire water situation added drama but it made him look like a clumsy child. His crappy solar still wouldn't produce enough to keep him alive long.

I doubt that anyone has ever learned celestial navigation on their own in a life raft at sea. I don't think it works that way. And why even bother trying to find your position when you have no means of propulsion in the water. He had way bigger problems to worry about, like water.

In this day and age I find it very hard to believe that he would have no sort of communication. How about a two-way radio? Jesus, they go for about $20 these days and are a lot better for signaling a passing ship than a flare. Most ships these days won't even have anyone looking out at the sea. Why would they?

And then he sets his own craft on fire which might happen if you start a fire in a plastic container in the middle of your rubber raft. He doesn't deserve to survive. What a complete waste of what could have been a great movie. A great movie would have been the survival tale of a really experienced and highly resourceful seaman, not like this bungling fool.
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One Man in a Boat
Alan Chan12 October 2013
One man in a boat - no back story, no people, (virtually) no dialogue and no unnecessary exposition - just one man against the elements and what a gripping story it is. Robert Redford plays an unnamed yachtsman deep in a solo voyage in the Indian Ocean when he is hit by catastrophe. Why he is there is not explained but that is not important. What follows is an epic struggle for survival between man and the elements. Fans of Robert Redford will be shocked by his aging good looks and this is accentuated by the sheer physicality of the role, which makes you wonder whether he is too old for the part, but Redford carries it off with aplomb. You'll be blowing hard with him as he lifts, climbs, carries, pushes and pulls his way around the boat. For a man three years shy of his 80th birthday, Redford shows that he is still supremely fit.

The director, J.C. Chandor, is fast developing a reputation for lean, mean electrifying storytelling and like his first film, 'Margin Call', another fat free but thrilling examination of the demise of Wall St, 'All is Lost' wastes no time in telling a simple story with skill, verve and edge-of-your-seat tension. What 'Jaws' did for sharks this film will do for yachts. The underwater shots reminds you of the best cinematography of the BBC's finest wildlife documentaries such as 'The Blue Planet' and the camera work of the boat beset by storms are nothing short of miraculous and astonishingly, seemingly free from CGI effects.

The fact that Redford does not talk (with one exception which will have you empathising hugely with the character – 'when it rains, it pours') turns the film into an intense character study and makes his plight even more compelling as you start to care deeply about his fate, so much so that by the end of the film, you are desperately hoping for a contrived ending. Does Redford's character survive? You will have to see the film to find out but what I can tell you is that tears will be rolling down your cheek at the closing credits but sorrow or in relief?

With 'Gravity', another man versus the elements (albeit space) film, out in a few weeks time and gaining massive Oscar buzz as one of the best films of the year, 'All is Lost' can also be considered in the same breath as its more illustrious forebear and together with the imminent release of 'Captain Phillips', hearkens back to a time in the 70s when disaster films were all the rage with the triumvirate of 'The Towering Inferno', 'Airport 75' and 'Raid on Entebbe'.
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I hope Redford gets Oscar nomination
richard_rossi1 November 2013
Redford is great and this film shows how such a simple idea with one actor can work. As a filmmaker, it was interesting to see how a dialogue-free movie can work visually with a story that reminded me of Hemingway's "The Old Man and the Sea." For me, the story was a metaphor or allegory for life and our struggles. Cinematography was good, shot on the Arri Alexa, one of the hot cameras at the moment. The lack of dialogue and having only one actor made it a meditation for me on the visual elements. I hope Redford gets Oscar nomination. I'm inspired that a veteran like Redford had confidence in Chandor to go on this experimental film journey together.
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a remake of Dumb and Dumber?
Jon R30 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
As an experienced international offshore yachtsman for 30 years I was really looking forward to this movie - and I was sadly disappointed.

The opening scenes we are presented with the prospect of a 40' shipping container yacht striking a 40' yacht to such a degree that it creates a half metre hole in the yacht...but does not wake the skipper!!. To believe this you would have to accept that Redfords character was in fact in a coma, or without a pulse! This was immediately surpassed by Redford, when he awoke not immediately running the bilge pumps when the water is only just lapping the floor boards - no he waits until its waist deep and the has to use a hand pump, (with a hand made handle) as the batteries are now submerged. You only have to wait a little longer to witness further stupidity - he abandons ship whilst its still salvageable, and then without taking all the provisions that one must have stowed for such a big passage - and then of course runs out of food in the life raft!

The final act of lighting a fire in the life raft and burning the entire craft had me thinking this was perhaps a remake of Dumb and Dumber.

Just the fact we are expected to accept that such an obviously inept solo yachtsman, devoid of any seamanship, navigation or common sense, sailing a completely ill-equipped yacht could make it half way around the world, presumably from the USA to Indonesia before he strikes trouble is in itself implausible.

This movies final stages had me hoping the Redford character would not survive, thus proving Darwins theory and providing some hope for the worlds gene pool.
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Straight down the middle wonderful
redisle18 January 2014
At least one of the reviewers went into a long list of the sailor's failings. He missed the point (and he forgot to mention the use of a mirror, one of the most important survival items!) It would be like criticising Hamlet for not going to psychotherapy!

The strength of this film is that it neither focuses on the perfect sailor nor does it attempt to be epic. There is a stark simplicity and realism about this. I sail and I saw it with a group of six sailing friends. We were all impressed. We saw a few goofs in the film (which we simply forgave) and many sailing mistakes in the fictionary sailor (which we simply understood) ... but that made him and the story all the more real.

I'm not sure how this film will appeal to the non-sailor, maybe too much water, but I loved it!
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My blood pressure went through the fckn roof
Adu Asz23 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Hardly to tell anything about the movie. My mind melted and vaporized like the chocolate in the furnace. It's anything but realistic. I was truly sucked in at first, i was truly moved in the end when RR saw the light on the distance. I first thought it was the huge container, which caused the collateral damage in the beginning of the movie. The last scene came, and i just swallowed my table in front of me. The typical cliché came, and demolished everything on it's way. Inane and feeble as donkey's ass. How could this be possible? And why is this movie so overrated? Metascore: 87/100??? Was that another version I had been watching? Save your time, save your money and save your soul.
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john kendon20 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
i wish i could give this minus 100 ! it is so awful and i cannot understand how it has a rating of 7+..this is my first ever review, normally i do not bother, but i have been prodded by a very big "protestation" review is valid as i have sailed the oceans of the world for 20 years in all kinds of weather.....

1. a sextant in the emergency supply outfit on the life raft? what for? the life raft is not manually mobile so it does not matter where you are! you do not have ability to drive it to where you want to go unless you jury rig a sail..

2. use of the sextant involves very accurate stopwatch timing on a chronometer to ensure your position; i did not see him use a chronometer at any stage.

3. apart from local noon sun shot, sextant is used at dawn and dusk, not any time in the day when the sun only is shining.

4. where was his "grab bag" full of essentials that is water proof/float-able, and easily grabbed when you abandon ship? 5. he kept his life raft DOWN BELOW ???!! not on deck for immediate use??? 6 he cut out a piece of side of a plastic canister to use to collect fresh water, and immediately tosses the cut out piece over the side (save everything; no matter how stupid you think it is at the time) 7. the life raft did not have at least one plastic flotation water maker in the kit?? 8. the gaping hole caused by the container...? he could not use a spare sail and "wrap" this around the boats' hull to repair the damage? 9. he continually crawled inside the boat, especially during a storm, to NOT control the vessel? 10. sound track terrible! no sense of drama, no sense of what a real storm sounds like...

11. his acting just wooden and uninspiring.

12. gee, the storm strong enough to clear the stubble off his face so he never has to shave...?? 13. i did not do technical full analysis of this terrible movie, i am sure there is a host of mistakes...bloody crap or non-existent technical can this rate so high? if this is worth 7 then a movie like castaway is worth 10......for gods' sake....stop connections of the film from making glowing reports on rubbish!
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anonymous1-841-24580610 November 2013
Warning: Spoilers
After reading a slew of rave reviews I had really high hopes for "All is Lost," particularly Redford's performance. As much as I wanted to like it, I came away somewhat disappointed. With only one character it all depends on Redford. And that's where it falls down. In one sense I agree with Scott. It was Redford playing Redford. He showed grit, determination, skill, an unwillingness to give up, supreme confidence in his own abilities. What he didn't show was emotion. Except for the one moment of the screamed epithet, he showed no fear, anger, panic, sense of desperation, all logical, even likely, in the face of his extreme peril. Even near the end of the film when all seems lost, his face showed nothing except fatigue.

It was just a sense of an older, weather-beaten, journeyman actor going through the motions.

And the film itself displayed little sense of the likely terror of the situation. It was as though the author made a checklist of terrible sea situations and portrayed one set piece after the other, allowing "Our Man" to solve each new problem. Hole in the hull; repair it; check. Waterlogged radio, clean it; possible signal, oh, darn, we'll have to try something else. Terrible storm that threatens everything; work through it; check. And as if one isn't enough, let's do it again. Loss of GPS; let's not only get out that ancient sextant but I'll teach myself how to use it; check. Loss of provisions; just fish around underwater and pull out some cans; check. No water?; I'll create an evaporation system; check. Reel in a fish; oops, grabbed by a shark; check. And so on and on.

It's the Perils of Pauline revisited, but at sea. The photography and effects were cool so it rarely got seriously boring, but after a while I wondered what he would overcome and solve next.

I wasn't particularly troubled by the lack of a back story. A man alone at sea trying to survive against the elements could make – and often has made – a great story. Just not this one.

And I even found the music over the top and too loud, particularly during the calm moments when it apparently was supposed to convey emotion that the character didn't.

I don't want to spoil the ending but even that was pretty well telegraphed. Could it have been otherwise? All in all this is one film that clearly fails to live up to its billing. I'll be really disappointed if Redford gets an Oscar nomination for this poor performance.
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All is lost including your time.
Quietb-113 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Tired of dialogue driven movies here's a movie to consider. Other then a little narration of a goodbye note and one deserved expletive there is no dialogue. That makes sense as the one actor in the film, Robert Redford, has no one to talk to.

No back-story was noteworthy but the star power of Redford comes with his own back story. You know he is Jeremiah Johnson at sea.

There is some strange behavior that takes you out of the moment. Bob put on a life vest. Seemed odd he didn't even take the funky horseshoe buoy into the water or life raft. Taking time to shave solved a problem of an aging movie star dealing with a gray beard.

Redford battles the sea, that often felt like a tank in Mexico, to survive and get award recognition. Expect one out of two.

The movie becomes tiresome and redundant. If you only see one will he make it movie this year, try "Gravity" .
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The Emperor Has No Clothes
Tommy T2 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Somebody needs to say it.

There is no acting -- just a bunch of rather short camera shots run together. With a sufficient number of takes and some clever cutting, it would be have been possible to have filmed a dog doing all of this.

Assuming that the director is responsible for establishing the pace of the various episodes, the director has failed to create any sense of either accelerating action toward a big conclusion or of action dying away toward a quiet finish. I'm not sure how you turn ship wreck and storms at sea into something static, but the director managed to do just that.

Details of the story line are troublesome. For instance, the man has a lot of nice equipment but is lacking some basics, like an EPIRB (or even just a backpacker's PLB would have given notice that there was trouble and the rough location). It seems like the writer's didn't have a real good sense as to what ocean sailing is all about. Or this one: he has no radio, no control over his course, but he has a sextant, that he has apparently never used before, and a beginner's book on celestial navigation. He spends a lot of time mapping his drift across the sea.

The sailor should have died, but he lives and what's with the hymn at the end?

Save some money. Wait for it on Netflicks.
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Fight for Survival
Claudio Carvalho15 March 2014
A man (Robert Redford) is sailing alone in his yacht but during the night, his vessel collides with a container adrift on the sea while he sleeps. The yacht is flooded and she loses her navigation and communication equipment and heads to a violent storm. When the yacht sinks, the sailor embarks in the liferaft that is carried adrift by the currents to a shipping lane. His fight for survival begins.

"All Is Lost" tells the story of a skilled sailor fighting to survive stranded in the high sea. Robert Redford has stunning performance, the cinematography is impressive but the writer is lazy and should have researched more about navigation and lifesaving procedures. In addition, there is no character development and the viewer never knows what the man is doing in the Indian Ocean.

Vessels have bilge pumps and EPIRB and pleasure yachts usually have also portable bilge pumps. Robert Redford is shaved all the time and never wears lifejacket or immersion suit or even a hat to protect from the sun, maybe because he is the star of the movie and needs to show his face. The inflatable liferaft does not seem to have the usual survival equipment and the sailor does not have a survival kit ready on board for emergency situations. But despite the flaws, "All Is Lost" is not a bad movie. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Até o Fim" ("Till the End")
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It's a documentary about schizophrenia
carlos-garcia-98924 January 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Yes, I'm sorry for the great Robert, but I'm gonna tell you what this movie is about: a schizophrenic goes out on sailing on a parallel world where the laws of physics are different, also he doesn't know anything about sailing. Problems arise, spirits from parallel universes do disconnect cables that were previously connected and other tricky things happen. Then he decides to die, and he does as if he were going to collect the newspaper from out the door. Then he sees a torch above and in a split second he decides life is good enough if you don't sail, so it might be worth giving it another chance. So he swims up and the movie ends. Unless you are a schizophrenic or are into a heavy cocaine dose, you won't enjoy this movie. I watched Gravity which covers a similar topic but is FAR better than this nonsense. Acting and directing is plain wrong.
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A film of courage and will a man's determination to stay alive on board along the wicked sea!
Danny Blankenship31 October 2013
Robert Redford now an elder certainly in the final years of his acting time and life gives a performance to remember. And that's just a turn as a plain sailor man who without a name and really he has no words to say during the film! It proves that actions speak louder than words! Anyway "All is Lost" is a moving film of one man's will and determination to stay alive as the scenes show the forces of mother nature can put us at our strongest as a human will resort to many methods for the chance to live. The film is a tale of a sea collision involving a shipping container at sea. And Robert Redford is the sailor man at sea in the Indian ocean on the yacht when a powerful storm that's very violent hits the high sea. By watching you see how it's one character's struggle to survive and live. It proves that you should never give up it takes a lot of courage and will to live as just like the high sea life too is a violent storm many times. Overall this picture doesn't do many words it's actions of a struggle for life speaks the loudest and Redford in his wise age perhaps gives his strongest and smartest performance.
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Redford's minimalism sails perfectly in this adventure.
jdesando18 October 2013
"The rules of survival never change, whether you're in a desert or in an arena." Bear Grylls

No need to be stranded in the Indian Ocean in your sailboat because writer/director J.C. Chandor has masterfully provided the experience for you in All is Lost. In fact, you can be an Ancient Mariner retelling your story and never have starved or cursed an albatross. It's that good, that authentic a feeling, that pared down to the basics of survival.

"Our Man" (read "Everyman"), played with his signature cool by Robert Redford, is a rich, handsome, aging, expert sailor (he is probably a professional something when not sailing), whose back-story is unknown except for a few bits such as his voice over at the beginning lamenting he has not been all he should to his family and does not look at a gift card in a box for a new sextant, which he is reduced to using after almost all is lost in the storm.

The special effects are as fine as you might expect from such a high-end production—shots from depths upward to the boat are lyrically contradictory to the danger he is experiencing topside. The tumult inside the boat feels real as water takes its inevitable toll.

All is Lost serves as appropriate metaphor, among others, for the commercial forces that interfere in one's life and the end of life fight to survive in the face of inevitable death. The dignity Our Man displays, his resourcefulness, mostly lack of resentment, and his rare moments of anger at himself are how I hope I would react and probably wouldn't (I'd be a big baby because I don't favor the idea of leaving this beautiful world).

Redford's well-known minimalism lends just the right touch of gravity and loneliness to a role Hemingway wrote for his Old Man and Joseph Conrad could have fashioned for one of his brooding narrators. The New York Times' A.O. Scott reminds us you can hope to gain a Conradian truth from this vicarious adventure, "that glimpse of truth for which you have forgotten to ask" (Conrad's "Nigger of the 'Narcissus'," 1897). The other truth is, Redford is so believable as to deserve an Oscar nomination, his finest role on screen in a career for which he has constantly underplayed. He's still doing it, but this time he has no one else to distract us.

All is Lost leaves me with a small dissatisfaction because I'd like to know what his life has been so I can understand his possible death. Of course, Chandor seems to wish we would generalize the story to all men, and he's right to demand it. For me, surviving is what I always want to do—this film puts me right there:

"The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival." Aristotle
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Redford Commands Our Attention
Greg8 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I'm going to call it "The Artist Effect". In 2011, director Michel Mazanavicius brought a black and white silent film called The Artist to the Cannes Film Festival. The film dazzled the French crowd, but bringing a silent film into the trend-setting North American market was anything but a safe bet. Released domestically in January of 2012, the film went on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture proving that American audiences were willing to accept films with limited speaking roles. As a result of the critical success of The Artist, we have seen some daring and spectacular projects of scripts with limited dialogue. Ang Lee's Life of Pi was basically a boy on a boat talking to a tiger with little verbal sparring after their ship capsizes. And this week, Alfonso Cuaron opened Gravity to $55 plus million despite the film having but two characters drifting alone in space with limited conversational communication. Both films proved to be both a critical and commercial success and The Artist Effect may have paved their way to box office glory. The Artist Effect is next to be realized in J.C. Chandor's All is Lost. Starring Robert Redford (and ONLY Robert Redford), All is Lost showcases the story of a sailor who after a freak collision with a floating shipping container must use his resources to stay afloat and alive against both the odds and the elements that harshly attack survival. With the ship taking on water, Redford's character must use his resourcefulness as a seasoned boatman to counter the inevitability of his sinking vessel. With limited tools and a survival kit that can provide for a single person a handful of days on the ocean, we watch engrossingly as the elements take their toll both physically and mentally on the deteriorating sailor. With food dwindling, fresh water unavailable and a life raft being torn apart with each impending storm, all is but lost for the seaman and a message in a jar seeking forgiveness tossed to the sea might be the only lasting connection to the loved ones left behind. J.C. Chandor showed that he could handle the complexities of multiple characters in a complex financial market with 2011's Margin Call. With All is Lost, Chandor strips away subplots, multiple character developments and compounded locations for a simpler story that rides the back of the credible Redford who commands the screen in a dazzling performance that will be considered one of his best. The script, also penned by Chandor, stays away from many of the usual clichés and easy jump scares or moments of awe that would be easily picked from the Stereotype Tree by a less confident director. The story is not fed to its audience with narration or a man talking to himself to education the audience on his thought process. Instead, All is Lost trusts that the audience will be able to understand the decisions and actions of the protagonist and in this venture the film succeeds admirably. Robert Redford shines as the sole actor on the call sheet and only once before Academy nominated actor (for 1973's The Sting), might finally get his due with his riveting portrayal of a man that slowly loses hope in his survival. Simple and without plot edges, All is Lost was worth the excursion.
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Boring and dreadful to watch
Paul CF26 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I should have asked for my money back. Compared to Castaway with Tom Hanks, this is totally ineffective. It doesn't built any compassion for the idiot sailor who is woefully unprepared for solo sailing and if a disaster at sea should occur.

Redford should return to his mountain retreat and film something better like Jeremiah Johnson instead of trying to convince (fool) us into thinking he's seaworthy.

It was time that I won't get back and an experience that didn't connect to me emotionally or factually whatsoever.

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Alternate title says it all
movielogic30 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This movie really should have been named "Unbelievably, Moron Survives" The continuous string of stupid actions which should have made his death inevitable, made the movie nearly unbearable. That string of ludicrousness in motion was only surpassed by the final one. I want my two hours back.

Unfortunately, the review bot won't let people review the way that they want to, forcing ten lines of text, so I have to add more. About the only other thing that I can say of value is that I was surprised that Robert Redford was in a movie this bad. Yes, it had its moments, but overall, nearly unwatchable. As I recall, in the entire movie, there is only one line of dialogue, if you can call it that. In a moment of desperation, Redford yells "Fxxk!" That about sums up my sentiments as well.
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Poor Writing Sinks All is Lost
inkslayer28 August 2015
An elderly man, played by Robert Redford, is cast adrift after a metal shipping container puts a hole in the side of his boat. His predicament goes from bad to worse when he is forced to climb aboard his small, rubber boat.

Simply put, All is Lost is boring and poorly written.

All is Lost lacks backstory - no photo in his wallet, no photos on the shelves in the boat? (Then what is the point of the voice-over in the beginning?)

All is Lost lacks suspense. We do see sharks in the water. But all they are doing is nothing but looking National-Geographic-pretty in the writer/director's one artistic shot.

Because there is no backstory and no suspense, why should we care whether this individual lives or dies? We don't.

Disappointing is the lack of emotion Redford's character shows. I blame that on the director, not Mr. Redford. And the couple of times Redford's character does show emotion, it is very wooden. Again, I blame that on the director. If you don't have the balls to direct your actors - whether they be movie stars or newbies - then don't direct.

As far as whether or not the character is an inept seaman is up to the experts. However, I couldn't help but wonder why the character didn't have any rescue beacons on board - personal or otherwise.

And finally, for the ending, the writer/director uses a scene similar to another movie's that was a blockbuster hit. See above: poor writing.

If you want to watch a well-written, suspenseful movie with more than one person adrift in the sea in a small boat, watch Hitchcock's Lifeboat. You won't be disappointed.
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Bad Bad Bad
windjammer55165 October 2014
What a ridiculously horrible movie. The nearly total silence throughout the film was awful. Most people will vocalize thoughts even when alone, or shout for help, or even grunt in pain. I was starting to think the guy was a mute.

And okay fine, so the guy was old, but could he move any slower? He slowly wandered around like he was lost in the Alaskan Wilderness or something. You're on a boat, your boat in fact, why do you look so darn confused like you don't know where anything is. He should know it inside and out.

When he's gathering food and things he may need in the raft he stops to fix his cut...just take the mirror (which could make a good signaling device) and your first aid kit and go.

Also for someone with a huge amount of time on his hands do you think maybe his life raft could have been a little more organized so that when he needed a flare he could actually find one?

Oh and what's the deal with the hat? They kinda make this show of him grabbing his hat but he never wears it? Really??

There were just too many horrible points in this movie to list.

Just bad all around. A complete waste of time.
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swrjr00725 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This is without a doubt one of the dumbest movies ever. Anyone with the education and means to embark on a trip such as this is going to be fully prepared. Redford 's character has hand-held road flares and a couple of cheap hand fired rockets. They prove to be useless; duh? He also is without suitable power reserves or watertight self contained communications or radio equipment. Anyone stupid enough to be able to imagine such an idiotic predicament may enjoy this. I was jaw dropping disgusted throughout. It's truly laughable. The only reason I'm continuing is so they will post this review. I truly want to help fellow intelligent movie goers avoid this catastrophe of a movie. You would think that Redford would even know better, but perhaps he has no experience in such adventure.
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