All Is Lost (2013) was written and directed by J.C. Chandor and stars Robert Redford as an unnamed sailor.
Redford’s character’s just lying in the cabin of his boat minding his own business when he notices water getting into parts of his boat where you wouldn’t normally want water to be. Stupid water. Upon inspection, the sailor finds a big hole on the side of his vessel where it struck a freight container that happens to be floating in the middle of the ocean. That’s just the beginning of his troubles.
Netflix describes the movie as one “which has no dialogue,” which isn’t entirely true. Mr. Redford gives us a few sentences right at the start and utters a single curse word somewhere in the middle. Other than that, though—yeah, there’s no dialogue. Unlike a certain other film about survival (which I previously ragged on in my review of Moon and the comments), you don’t need expository backstory to understand the desire to live and the temptation of giving up.
Through no fault of the film, I spent the first thirty minutes simultaneously reading Yelp reviews on my phone. Eventually, I set the phone aside and gave the film 100% of my attention—I might go as far to say it was because the film demanded it of me by being so darn compelling.
Plus, Robert Redford.
I’d highly recommend it.