All Is Lost

 
Intense lost-at-sea tale with one actor and little dialogue.
  • Review Date: October 15, 2013
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 106 minutes

What parents need to know

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
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
Not applicable
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
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
The character drinks what looks like whisky in an early scene. No signs of drunkenness or dependency. 
 

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.

Parents say

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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?

QUALITY
 
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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:October 18, 2013
DVD release date:February 11, 2014
Cast:Robert Redford
Director:J.C. Chandor
Studio:Lionsgate
Genre:Drama
Topics:Adventures
Run time:106 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:brief strong language

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  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 17 years old Written byletztalkmoveez November 17, 2013
age 15+
 

"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 really well-made albeit ultimately relatively slight and inconsequential among the crowded awards season landscape.
Teen, 17 years old Written byB-KMastah November 16, 2013
age 13+
 

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 history, and has one actual line not including his three cries for help, but he does such a terrific job that the audience is holding their breath along with him. Almost nothing happens, but the filmmaking is so immersive that it feels like real life at times. The settings and shots are so bare that the film could be viewed so many ways, whether it's allegorical, metaphorical, or literal, or whether it takes place in 1993 or 2013. It doesn't necessarily demand several viewings nor would I want to view it again because I feel like the film is, admittedly, kind of a gimmick film, but it was still marvelous despite having one boring scene. 9/10, amazing, two thumbs up, far above average, etc.
Teen, 16 years old Written byasecoolish February 23, 2014
age 12+
 

All is lost

This is a great movie and very different and original. There is one use of the word f*** but since the character yells it loudly it isn't even clear what he is saying most people will just think he is just yelling and not even know that he said f***. There one scene where he eats his dinner and has a little bit of alcohol. The movie is very intense at times but most children wont be very frightened. Some kids may not appreciate this movie so i think children should be mature so they don't think its boring.

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