Rolf’s review published on Letterboxd:
Robert Redford's boat hits a container in the ocean which sets in motion a series of events which leads to him fighting for survival...
J. C. Chandor is such an underrated director. His portrayals of struggling men are compelling stories set in a diversity of environments. From Wall Street to corrupt businesses to the South American jungle to the sea.
ALL IS LOST is a classic man vs. nature scenario in which shit really, really piles up on our protagonist. Mostly known for not talking very much in this Robert Redford gives a fantastic performance as a man who gives his all and is competent enough to make good decisions without being your typical movie hero. We don't really get to know him apart from some lines he writes about himself as he faces his death but still spend the whole movie with him. And only with him. His struggle evokes empathy which really grows as he's increasingly kicked in the ass by nature, fate and bad luck. He is physically and mentally completely worn out in the end without ever losing his cool (that one 'fuuuck' moment was earned in that regard) and it's always interesting to watch him in survivalist mode.
ALL IS LOST is basically all about procedure, so it never becomes boring, repetitive or frustrating.
Adding to that is Chandor's stellar direction, interesting camera work, some good (sound) effect work and a haunting yet beautiful score by Alex Ebert.
I know Chandor himself explained the ambiguity of the ending which I like but didn't find visually completely satisfying. Still it's a minor complaint in one of the finest survivalist movies I've seen so far.
Make or Break Scene: First storm.
MVT: The procedure element.
Score: 8/ 10