Adrift (2018 film)

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Adrift (2018 film).png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBaltasar Kormákur
Produced by
Screenplay by
  • Aaron Kandell
  • Jordan Kandell
  • David Branson Smith
Based on
Red Sky in Mourning: A True Story of Love, Loss, and Survival at Sea
Music byVolker Bertelmann
CinematographyRobert Richardson
Edited byJohn Gilbert
Distributed bySTX Films
Release date
  • June 1, 2018 (2018-06-01) (United States)
Running time
96 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$35 million[2]
Box office$59.9 million[2]

Adrift is a 2018 American romantic drama film produced and directed by Baltasar Kormákur, and written by David Branson Smith, Aaron Kandell and Jordan Kandell. Based on a true story and set in 1983, the film stars Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin as a couple who are stranded in the middle of the Pacific Ocean after a hurricane, and must find their way to Hawaii with a damaged boat and no radio.

Adrift was released in the United States on June 1, 2018 by STXfilms and received mixed reviews from critics, who praised Woodley's performance and the cinematography but criticized the familiar narrative.[3][4]


The film begins with Tami awakening on the sailing yacht Hazaña after being unconscious for some time. After regaining her memory that Richard did not come below with her, she searches the crippled yacht in hopes of finding her fiancé Richard and soon realizes he has been swept overboard after his safety harness broke during the hurricane. Tami screams in anguish and it is revealed that Tami is all alone, with no ships or land in sight.

Back to 1983 (five months before the catastrophic hurricane), Tami arrives in Tahiti on board the schooner Sofia and meets Richard Sharp, a British sailor. Richard then invites Tami for dinner onboard his boat, named Mayaluga. During a conversation, while having dinner together, Richard reveals that he experiences hallucinations while at sea.

Back in real-time, Tami is stranded on board a crippled Hazaña and finds out that all the electronic devices are ruined by water damage, preventing her from making distress calls. Tami spots the lost dinghy with Richard clinging onto it and tries to sail the ship towards Richard but to no avail. After falling off the yacht and almost drowning, Tami has no choice but to make repairs to the ship in order to get it moving. She makes a makeshift sail using a broken pole and a storm jib (a triangular sail). She also uses a pump to prevent the cabin from flooding and then makes her way towards Richard. After successfully saving Richard, Tami realizes that Richard has broken ribs and a shattered right shin. While searching for food supplies, Tami realizes that she has a severe head injury and stitches the wound with a sail needle and thread.

Back in 1983 (shortly before embarking on the ill-fated trip), Tami and Richard bump into Peter and Christine Crompton, owners of the Hazaña, a luxury Trintella 44 yacht. The Cromptons offer Richard $10,000 and a return first class ticket back to Tahiti to help them sail Hazaña to San Diego, California after a family emergency in London. Richard accepts the offer, with a condition that Tami comes along. Tami later explains to Richard that she isn't ready to return home yet but changes her mind. Richard proposes to Tami with a handmade ring, which Tami accepts.

Back in real-time, Tami finds out they are off-course and decides to change course to Hawaii. Tami awakens and sees a tanker heading straight for the Hazaña. She fires multiple flares but the ship sails right past them and disappears after. Tami realises she has been hallucinating. Richard begins to suffer from high fever but reminds Tami that the sky was red in the morning, which signifies a storm approaching. Tami prepares Richard and herself for the storm by creating a makeshift shelter.

Cutting back to shortly before the hurricane struck, Tami and Richard receive news of the impending Hurricane Raymond but decide to continue to San Diego, with a slight diversion northward to attempt to avoid the central area of the hurricane, which has the highest winds and the roughest seas. Tami tries to radio for help but to no avail. The storm alters course unexpectectedly and the yacht then enters the eye of the storm. The ship struggles to stay afloat, the mainsail tears and the after boom breaks. Richard and Tami have no choice but to lower the sails to prevent the yacht from tipping over due to strong winds. While returning to the cockpit, Tami almost falls off the yacht after the ship hit turbulent waves. Richard professes his love for Tami and demands that she go below where she would be safer. Hazaña is flipped multiple times after encountering a rogue wave. Tami is thrown about in the cabin, thus suffering her severe head injury, and Richard is thrown overboard after he is knocked unconscious by the mast and his safety harness breaks. Richard slowly sinks into the depths of the ocean, while the Hazaña continues to flip multiple times and floats back to the surface thereafter.

Back in real-time, Tami realizes that her perception of the injured Richard is nothing but a hallucination and surrenders to the reality that Richard has been lost at sea. Tami then sees islands in a distance and uses her binoculars to see better. She sees a Japanese research vessel in a distance and fires two flares in its direction. The research vessel then alters its course and heads towards Tami, rescuing her. Tami returns to Tahiti after recovering from her head injury and visits Richard's boat (the Mayaluga) and bursts into tears after seeing the wall of photos of Richard and her. Tami then goes to the beach with a frangipani flower and places her engagement ring from Richard around the flower and lets it go in the water.

It is then revealed in the credits that Richard Sharp was swept overboard and was never found, Tami Oldham was all alone aboard the Hazaña for 41 days and that she continues to sail to date.


Shailene Woodley Tami Oldham
Sam Claflin Richard Sharp
Jeffrey Thomas Peter Crompton
Elizabeth Hawthorne Christine Crompton
Grace Palmer Deb


Adrift was acquired by STX Entertainment in February 2017. The studio was set to produce and distribute the film, starring Shailene Woodley as Tami Oldham, and directed by Baltasar Kormákur from a script by Aaron & Jordan Kandell. The Kandells and Woodley also produced the film, along with Kormákur through his RVK Studios, and Ralph Winter.[5] In April 2017, Miles Teller entered into negotiations to co-star opposite Woodley, whom he had collaborated with four times prior.[6] However, in May 2017, Sam Claflin joined the film in the role meant for Teller, who had to pass due to "scheduling conflicts."[7]

Principal photography on the film began in July 2017 in Fiji, and lasted five weeks.[8][9] The cast and crew took two-hour boat rides into the ocean every day, and Woodley stated many members were seasick over the course of filming.[10]


"Where's My Love" by SYML was featured in the first trailer for Adrift, which was released on March 14, 2018. "Song For Zula" by Phosphorescent was featured in the final trailer, released on May 7, 2018.

Academy Award-nominated composer Hauschka composed the original score for the film. The film's soundtrack includes his original score, and a cover of Tom Waits's "I Hope That I Don't Fall In Love With You", by Emilíana Torrini. Also featured in the film but not on the soundtrack is "Picture In A Frame" by Waits, which is played during a montage scene of Tami Oldham Ashcraft before the end credits. The soundtrack has been released by Sony Classical and is available on Apple Music, Spotify, and Amazon Music.


Adrift was released on June 1, 2018 in the United States by STX Entertainment.[11] The film's $35 million production was mostly covered by foreign presales, totalling up to $20 million. STX accounted for $3 million out of the film's remaining $15 million budget (co-financed by Lakeshore Entertainment, Huayi Brothers, Ingenious), with an additional $25 million spent on promotion and advertisement.[12]

Box office[edit]

Adrift grossed $31.4 million in the United States and Canada, and $28.5 million in other territories, for a total gross of $59.9 million, against a production budget of $35 million.[2] In the United States and Canada, Adrift was released alongside Action Point and Upgrade, and was projected to gross $10–15 million from 3,015 theaters in its opening weekend.[13] The film made $4.2 million on its first day, including $725,000 from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut to $11.6 million, finishing third, behind Solo: A Star Wars Story and Deadpool 2; 62% of its audience was female, with 69% being over the age of 25.[12] The film fell 55% to $5.3 million in its second week, finishing sixth.[14]

Home Entertainment[edit]

Adrift was released by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, in collaboration with STXfilms, on Digital HD on August 21, 2018 and DVD and Blu-ray on September 4, 2018. Special features include deleted scenes, 3 featurettes, theatrical trailers as well as a feature commentary by director Baltasar Kormákur and leading actress and producer Shailene Woodley.[15]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 71% based on 164 reviews, and an average rating of 6.2/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Adrift sails smoothly between love story and survival drama, thanks in large part to a gripping central performance from Shailene Woodley."[16] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 56 out of 100, based on 29 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."[17] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale.[12]

David Ehrlich of IndieWire gave the film a "B–" and praised Woodley's performance, saying: "When all else fails, which it sometimes does, Woodley is there to right the ship. She's eminently believable as a whip-smart, hyper-capable, iron-willed human being who still finds a way to doubt herself... At its best, she wills Adrift into a moving story about a natural born wanderer who needs an anchor to know her own strength."[18] Variety's Owen Gleiberman also noted the film's flaws while praising Woodley, writing, "For long passages of Adrift, we're pleasantly engrossed without necessarily being riveted. The courtship, heartfelt as it is, has a glorified YA shimmer; the boat-adrift-at-sea sections are like All Is Lost without the ingenuity. But there's a hook, a surprise, a twist that carries you through."[19]


Year Association Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
2018 Deauville American Film Festival Rising Star Award Shailene Woodley Won [20]
Teen Choice Awards Choice Summer Movie Actress Shailene Woodley Nominated [21]
Choice Summer Movie Actor Sam Claflin Nominated
Choice Summer Movie Adrift Nominated
People's Choice Awards Drama Movie Star of 2018 Shailene Woodley Shortlisted [22]
Drama Movie of 2018 Adrift Shortlisted
21st Annual SCAD Savannah Film Festival Spotlight Award Shailene Woodley Won [23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "ADRIFT (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. June 4, 2018. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Adrift (2018)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  3. ^ Giles, Jeff (May 31, 2018). "Adrift Gets There Eventually". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  4. ^ Croot, James (June 1, 2018). "Adrift: Mixed early reviews for Shailene Woodley's partly NZ-shot drama". Stuff Limited. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  5. ^ Jr, Mike Fleming (February 6, 2017). "STX Boarding Shailene Woodley, Baltasar Kormakur Sea Survival Tale 'Adrift'". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  6. ^ McNary, Dave (April 7, 2017). "Miles Teller in Talks to Join Shailene Woodley's Drama 'Adrift'". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  7. ^ Kroll, Justin (May 23, 2017). "Sam Claflin to Star Opposite Shailene Woodley in Survival Drama 'Adrift' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  8. ^ Baleilevuka, Rusiate (July 10, 2017). "Hollywood stars Woodley and Claflin in Fiji to shoot movie 'Adrift'". Fiji Village. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  9. ^ Suva, Ashna Kumar (July 11, 2017). "Yacht Club Sets Platform For Movie Shoot". Fiji Sun. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  10. ^ Joest, Mick (May 26, 2018). "Shailene Woodley Said There Was Lots Of Puking While Filming ADRIFT". GeekTyrant. GeekTyrant Industries. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
  11. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (January 25, 2018). "Shailene Woodley & Sam Claflin Romantic Drama 'Adrift' Makes A June Date". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  12. ^ a b c D'Alessandro, Anthony (June 3, 2018). "Solo' Hits Asteroid With $28M+; 'Action Point' Condemned To $2M+: Post-Memorial Day Blues At The B.O." Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved June 3, 2018.
  13. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (May 30, 2018). "'Solo' Second Weekend To Induce Post-Memorial Day Slumber At B.O. – Preview". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  14. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (June 10, 2018). "'Ocean's 8' Steals Franchise Record With $41.5M Opening – Early Sunday Update". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved June 10, 2018.
  15. ^ Entertainment, Universal Pictures Home. "From Universal Pictures Home Entertainment: Adrift". Retrieved 2019-01-22.
  16. ^ "Adrift (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  17. ^ "Adrift Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved June 7, 2018.
  18. ^ Ehrlich, David (May 31, 2018). "'Adrift' Review: Shailene Woodley Rescues a True Life Survival Thriller from Drowning at Sea". IndieWire. Penske Business Media. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
  19. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (May 31, 2018). "Film Review: 'Adrift'". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
  20. ^ The Hollywood Reporter (August 23, 2018). "France's Deauville Film Festival to Honor Morgan Freeman, Sarah Jessica Parker". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  21. ^ E!Online (August 12, 2018). "Teen Choice Awards 2018 Winners: The Complete List". E!. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  22. ^ E!Online (September 5, 2018). "2018 People's Choice Awards: Complete List of Nominations". E!. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  23. ^ SCAD Savannah Film Festival (September 28, 2018). "SCAD Announces Honorees for 21st Annual SCAD Savannah Film Festival". Savannah College of Art and Design. Retrieved October 24, 2018.

External links[edit]