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All is Lost (2013)

All is Lost Poster

All is Lost (2013)

Usually you cannot go wrong watching a Robert Redford movie.  All is Lost is like no other Redford film because he is the only person in the entire movie.

Of Course, the concept of only one person in a movie has been done a few times before.  Usually movies like this one give the actor the opportunity to show what they are really made of.  Movies like this are risky because one person has to literally carry the whole film on his back.  In Redford’s case, it is up to him whether he sinks or swims.

All is Lost Redford wheel

All is Lost is about a lone sailor who rips a hole in his boat after crashing into a shipping container in the middle of the ocean.  He is forced to use whatever he has on board to try to stay afloat in order to survive.

The film was written and directed by J.C. Chandor and as I mentioned before, Redford is the only person in the movie.

Redford has been behind the camera more often in recent years than he has been in front of the camera.  All is Lost is the second film that he has been in this year.  The first one was The Company You Keep (2012).  Redford is now 77 years old.  It is almost like he has realized that he is not getting any younger and has decided to try to go out with a bang.  What better way to do this than to be the only star in a film and showcase all of your acting skills for the world to see.  He did exactly that in All is Lost and in my opinion, it was his best performance since the film The Natural (1984).  It may also, quite possibly, have been Redford’s best movie overall since The Natural.

All is Lost Redford doorway

All is Lost is not a feel good movie, but it is a movie that might make you feel better about life after watching it.  It is definitely a film that will stick with you.

Because the film is a one-man-show, there is not a lot of talking.  Not just anyone could have starred in this movie, and to me, it was more meaningful that it was Robert Redford who did.  It is a hard story to tell and an even harder part to act.

I think that All is Lost is Redford’s third best movie behind The Sting (1973) and The Natural.  It is hard to beat those two films, and given that they were made 29 years ago and 40 years ago, you really can’t compare them.

All is Lost Redford hanging there

Fans of Redford will not be disappointed with All is Lost.  I think that it is one of the best films of the year.  He deserves an Academy Award nomination for best actor and the film should be nominated for best picture.

I rate this movie a 9 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Buy.

If you liked All is Lost, then you will most likely enjoy the following films:

Wrecked (2010)

The Company You Keep (2012)

Brubaker (1980)

127 Hours (2010)

Buried (2010)

Brake (2012)


Brubaker (1980)

Brubaker Poster

Brubaker (1980)


I have been a fan of Robert Redford ever since I watched the film The Sting (1973) for the first time when I was a little kid.  Brubaker is a Redford movie that I had not seen, until now.

Brubaker Redford inmate

The movie is about Henry Brubaker (Robert Redford), the new warden of a prison in Arkansas who initially poses as an inmate to try to figure out just how corrupt the system is before revealing his true identity as the new warden.  Brubaker is a hard-nosed man who will stop at nothing to reform the deteriorating prison.

The film was directed by Stuart Rosenberg and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Murray Hamilton, Jane Alexander, David Keith, Matt Clark, Morgan Freeman, Yaphet Kotto, M. Emmet Walsh, Albert Salmi, Everett McGill, Noble Willingham, and Wilford Brimley.

The movie was a little hard to follow in the beginning.  It was all over the place showing what it was like inside of the prison.  The film took a turn for the better when it started focusing on Redford’s part of the story.

For a prison movie, it was slower than I expected.  This turned out to be a good thing because it allowed for plenty of character development.

It was refreshing to watch a movie for the first time that has Robert Redford in his prime.  He gave a convincing, solid and powerful performance of a stubborn man trying to do the right thing no matter how much trouble he gets himself into.

Freeman’s part was very minor, but it was fun to see him much younger than he is now.  He seemed to have a few less freckles, too.  I know that is completely random, but I found it interesting.

Being that the film takes place in a prison and it is rated R, I expected there to be a lot of cussing, and there was a good amount.  However, for a movie that was made in 1980, I was surprised at how many F-bombs there actually were.  It wouldn’t be considered a lot by today’s standards, but it felt like a lot for a movie that was made 33 years ago.  Actually, if the film had been released today, it would only take a little bit of minor tweaking to give it a PG-13 rating.  All they would have to do is edit out the 5 seconds of nudity and some of the F words.

Brubaker Redford Warden

Overall, the movie told a unique story of right vs. wrong.  If you are a fan of Redford, then you will most likely enjoy Brubaker.

I rate this movie a 7.5 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Rent.

Note: I couldn’t help but think of Morgan Freeman’s other prison movie, The Shawshank Redemption (1994).  In The Shawshank Redemption, Freeman’s character has been in prison for a long time.  Brubaker was made 14 years before The Shawshank Redemption.  Each character that Freeman played in those films is not a big stretch from one another, except for the fact that his role was very minor in Brubaker.