By Steve Greene | Criticwire May 22, 2013 at 1:29PM
"All is Lost"
Category: Out of Competition
Director: J.C. Chandor
Starring: Robert Redford
Synopsis: "Deep into a solo voyage in the Indian Ocean, an unnamed man wakes to find his 39-foot yacht taking on water after a collision with a shipping container left floating on the high seas. With his navigation equipment and radio disabled, the man sails unknowingly into the path of a violent storm. Despite his success in patching the breached hull, his mariner’s intuition and a strength that belies his age, the man barely survives the tempest. Using only a sextant and nautical maps to chart his progress, he is forced to rely on ocean currents to carry him into a shipping lane in hopes of hailing a passing vessel. But with the sun unrelenting, sharks circling and his meager supplies dwindling, the ever-resourceful sailor soon finds himself staring his mortality in the face."
"'Margin Call' showed impressive formal control on Chandor’s part, and despite the looseness and immediacy of the handheld camerawork here, his direction feels polished and assured in every respect."
"Disappointingly, while he creates one realistic peril after another, Chandor's screenplay does not give Redford much of a character to play with."
"The film is a grim and rather relentless analogy for the slow, inevitable march towards the grave."
"Among its other attributes, 'All Is Lost' is a fascinating attempt to eschew the conventions of the battle-for-survival genre."
"An impressively realized work of minimalist storytelling that foregrounds Redford's physicality more than any other role in his celebrated career."
"It’s to Chandor’s credit that he contrives an ending that is both graceful and dramatic without lapsing into melodramatics."
"Redford, who can’t avoid exuding charisma, plays this role with utter naturalism and lack of histrionics or self-regard."
"Chandor resolutely avoids stage tricks…that might, in less rigorous films, have been deployed to supply backstory or facilitate emotional empathy."
"Chandor's Margin Call follow-up ALL IS LOST answers the question 'Do we rly need another lost at sea film?' With 'Meh, not really.'"
"All is Lost - A stunning work of art. Grueling, thrilling, meticulous, moving. Redford is extraordinary, filmmaking is remarkable."
"All Is Lost, JC Chandor's follow-up to Margin Call, adds up beautifully: Robert Redford+sinking yacht=elemental survival drama."
"ALL IS LOST (2013, Chandor): a one-man survival-at-sea tale. Maybe elemental to a fault, but Robert Redford is tremendous."
"There's no denying star power. While the filmmaking is splendid, Redford makes ALL IS LOST. This ranks among his career highlights."
"Joining the choir for ALL IS LOST. Robert Redford joins Oscar Isaac in the coming Best Actor race a few months from now."
"Robert Redford is pretty darn great in All Is Lost. Hardly says a word but his solitary fight for survival is emblematic & iconic."
"Alex Ebert of Magnetic Zeroes provided the tremendous score to All Is Lost. Was like a musical elegy, both epic & soft."
"ALL IS LOST (B+) Astonishing, expertly crafted story of one man alone, trying to survive. A very emotional journey worth taking."
"Redford's All Is Lost is that rare, affecting film creature: minimal storytelling with maximal metaphor."