Rated PG-13, 120 minutes
The familiar yet compelling "Adrift" tells the true story of a couple lost at sea following a big storm. The survival story is one that's all too familiar ala "Unbroken" or even "Cast Away," but it's made better by a strong performance from its star, Shailene Woodley of the "Divergent" series.
Tami Oldham (Woodley) and Richard Sharp (the handsome Sam Claflin of "Me Before You" and the "Hunger Games") couldn't anticipate that they would be sailing directly into one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in recorded history. In the aftermath of the storm, Tami awakens to find Richard badly injured and their boat in ruins. With no hope of rescue, Tami must now find the strength and determination to save herself and the only man she has ever loved.
The well-acted true lost-at-sea story "Adrift" is a touching, thanks to Woodley, who anchors the film well as Oldham, and the warm chemistry she with Claflin carries the film through a meandering second act that goes on too long. The film is directed by Baltasar Kormakur ("2 Guns") and it's co-written by Aaron Kandall, Jordan Kandall and David Branson Smith, based on Oldham's book " Red Sky at Mourning: A True Story of Love, Loss, and Survival at Sea."
Even if you're familiar with Oldham's story I won't give away too many plot spoilers, but let's just say that it's one of those films that plays with your senses, blurring the line between reality and hallucinations. The film's narrative focuses on the love story, and spends considerable time going into Oldham and Sharp's love story; admittedly it's a bittersweet story, and Woodley and Claflin share some sweet moments, but it also drags the story down a little from its stronger lost-at-sea element, which is the more compelling heart of the film.
Even with its flaws, "Adrift" is held together by the tough, courageous turn from Woodley, and in spite of some rough waters, it's a ride you'll want to stay with because of her. On that note, Woodley makes "Adrift" an experience you won't soon forget. You'll also want to read up on Oldham's actual, remarkable story.