All Is Lost

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
All Is Lost Movie Poster Image
Intense lost-at-sea tale with one actor and little dialogue.
  • PG-13
  • 2013
  • 106 minutes

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 6 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages
A lone character is faced with a supreme challenge when his ship is damaged in the middle of the ocean. He battles storms and other adversities, using all of his knowledge and skill in an attempt to survive. A subtle message about global consumerism as a shipping container full of sneakers damages the man's boat.
Positive Role Models & Representations
Very little is revealed about the main character. He has no name, and we don't know where he works, who is family is, or anything. All we know is what we can see: that he's a skilled sailor and that he will keep trying to survive against all odds.
Violence
The character receives a bloody head wound after a brutal storm at sea. He treats and bandages himself. Overall, the movie is fairly intense, with violent storms thrashing at the poor, crippled ship, and the promise of death looming at every turn.
Sex
Language
In a movie with barely any dialogue, the character yells "f--k!" -- one time -- at the heavens. There's also a moment when he mutters something under his breath that starts with "sh--," though the entire word is not audible.
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The character drinks what looks like whisky in an early scene. No signs of drunkenness or dependency. 
 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that All Is Lost is a lost-at-sea survival movie with only one actor (Robert Redford) and barely any dialogue. It has one pointed use of the word "f--k," which, in addition to the intensity of the main character's peril throughout the movie, is the main concern for parents. We see a bloody head wound, which the character treats and bandages himself, and we see the character drinking what looks like whisky in an early scene.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bytheemeraldgolem/ August 30, 2015

Good

It is good but no real dialouge. It has the f word but is not innaprpriate.
Adult Written byDolf S. September 23, 2017

Why all lost

As a veteran sailor and sailing the deep blue all the time I wasn't aware of this film however now I have seen it and read all the reviews I am somewhat di... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byletztalkmoveez November 17, 2013

"All is Lost"

If the first five minutes captivate you, you're going to absolutely adore "All is Lost". If they don't, you'll probably still find it r... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byB-KMastah November 16, 2013

It's almost enigmatic.

This is so minimalist that it essentially reaches the level of complexity. Robert Redford's character is literally the only person shown, has no name, no h... Continue reading

What's the story?

ALL IS LOST begins with our main (and only) character, called "Our Man" in the credits and played by Robert Redford, reading a letter to unnamed loved ones. Eight days earlier, we begin his story. His yacht has crashed into a shipping container, puncturing the side. He repairs it, but before he can get to land, a violent storm further damages things. Eventually he is forced to abandon ship and takes to his life raft. He tries to head for a nearby shipping zone, hoping to be picked up by a large ship, but his luck and resources begin to run out.

Is it any good?

Written and directed by J.C. Chandor, whose last movie was the brilliant and wordy Margin Call, All Is Lost is surprisingly spare, almost the polar opposite of its predecessor. It's a highly skilled and impressively unique movie, making use of only about a page of dialogue (the narration of a letter, an attempt to radio an SOS, and one four-letter word), and one single actor (Robert Redford). Redford is onscreen at every moment, and he effortlessly pulls off this very physically demanding, commanding performance.
 
On the downside, the movie recalls two other, similar, lost movies, Life of Pi and Gravity. Unlike the former All Is Lost  contains no moments of wonder, and unlike the latter it contains no thrills. It's all business and remains rather grim throughout. It seems more determined to impress than to entertain. However, it succeeds wildly on the first count, which may make it worth seeing for many adventurous teens and parents.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the movie's intensity and level of violence. What is the tone of this movie? Is it thrilling or disturbing? What does it show and not show?
  • How is this movie different from other kinds of movies about men struggling against the odds? What is different or similar about it?
  • How does an actor act without dialogue? What kinds of things does Robert Redford do onscreen to convince you that he's playing a character?

Movie details

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