Complete A-Z list

All is Lost


Stars: Robert Redford

Director: J C Chandor

We're in for the long haul here, with Redford as a lone yachtsman aboard the Virginia Jean in the Indian Ocean, some 1700 miles from the Straits of Sumatra.

Almost before the film is under way disaster strikes. The yacht is holed on the waterline by a floating container full of trainers. Redford bales frantically, does a patchwork repair job on the side of the vessel and attempts a distress call without success.

The yacht hobbles on for a few hours, but then a savage tempest brings down her storm jib and mast and she is completely crippled.

Retrieving what he can, Redford takes to the liferaft and watches the Virginia Jean disappear beneath the waves. From then on, it's man against the elements; ships pass him by despite the flares he's rescued from the yacht, and there's a savage blow when he finds his water vat contaminated.

This is a grim battle all right, both by Redford on the high seas, and director and scriptwriter as they strive to stretch the story to an hour and three quarters. Redford doggedly matches his best work here, although his aspect does sometimes vary from tanned to weather ravaged and back again, and does a sterling job of gripping our attention as much as possible.

David Quinlan

USA 2013. UK Distributor: Universal (Lionsgate). Colour by deluxe.
106 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 22 Dec 2013