Blu-ray Movie Review: Adrift

Adrift is a story of love and perseverance amid chaos and danger. The film deals with a timely and unfortunate subject matter at the moment as Hurricane Florence is embarking on the East Coast of the United States. While, this is just a movie, it is based on a true story. It’s relevant.


If entertaining means being engaged and invested, then certainly Adrift accomplishes that. It’s a harrowing story of two sailors who journey across the Ocean from Tahiti to San Diego. What they encounter is a one of the fiercest hurricanes in history. Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin star as the free spirited lovers Tami Oldham and Richard Sharp. There are some genuine recurring intense and tension packed moments that will keep you on the edge.

The portrayal of the eery never ending vast landscape of the ocean is terrifying. The long shots of Woodley’s character standing on a wrecked boat in disarray looking out to the empty horizon is jarring. Shots and scenes like those instill genuine fear of the setting and compassion for the characters. It’s like Jaws mixed with Open Water with a pinch of Titanic.


Woodley and Claflin are in about 80% of this movie. Not only do they carry a heavy load of screen time, but they deliver constantly thrughout. Woodley is heroic in her portrayal of Oldham. The stakes are high and she projects it in every scene with a variation of feelings and emotions. Claflin is no slouch. He’s charming, but since his character is barely conscious for a big chunk of a movie, he succeeds with giving way to Woodley to shine.

These are tough roles to depict with characters in constant dire life and death situations. You can feel the energy Woodley spends, physically and emotionally as she delivers from scene-to-scene and doesn’t let up the urgency. Not to be omitted, the ocean IS a character in this film, a large one to speak of.


If you didn’t know the story of Oldham and Sharp, then you will see a true survival tale. The fine acting only enhances the already thrilling acting. Aside from the fight for survival narrative, there is a really nicely depicted love story between these two people. Their love for one another keeps them going. Sure, there have been films of this nature like The Mountain Between Us, where two characters attraction and love for another is wrapped in their desire for survival, but the authenticity and narrative of Adrift plays a lot more genuine and real.

Love and the will to survive is at the core of what you will see, but along the way you will be terrified, shocked, nervous and entertained. It’s a romance with a pulse raising thrilling backdrop. When you think about this actually happening, it adds more emphasis on what you are watching.


  • Deleted Scenes
  • Survival at Sea – An interview with the cast and filmmakers 
  • Braving the Elements – A behind-the-scenes look at filming in the open waters
  • Journey– Shailene Woodley takes viewers on a journey into Adrift
  • Theatrical Trailer #1
  • Theatrical Trailer #2
  • Feature Commentary with Director Baltasar Kormákur and Shailene Woodley

The bonus features come on the Blu-ray, DVD and Digital versions. The “Braving the Elements” was my personal favorite bonus feature. It really delves into the making and shooting of the scenes. It gives this neat perspective on shooting scenes in the open water and the challenges the cast and crew navigate through.

There are enough bonus features that add to the experience of the movie, so definitely watch them. Even though it’s not loaded with content, but the content included is relevant and interesting.

ADRIFT is out now on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD, Digital HD and On Demand

Written by Jim Alexander

Jim Alexander hails from Chicago where he started his journalism career as a film critic and founder of the Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle (CIFCC). He's a Rotten Tomatoes approved critic. Jim founded Reel Talker as a platform to share his love of movies and entertainment. Jim's favorite part of being a journalist is getting to meet and interview actors, filmmakers and entertainers. Jim is a host and on-camera personality for AfterBuzz TV. Aside from his work with Reel Talker, he's the site owner of the Bachelor Universe website, where he recaps and talks about all this ABC's 'The Bachelor'. He also runs the Reel Talker Podcast that can be found on iTunes. In his free time he enjoys attending sports events and playing in recreational leagues. He currently resides in Los Angeles.

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