Adrift (2018 film)

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

Adrift is a 2018 survival drama film produced and directed by Baltasar Kormákur and written by David Branson Smith, Aaron Kandell and Jordan Kandell. The film is based on the 2002 book Red Sky in Mourning by Tami Oldham Ashcraft, a true story set during the events of Hurricane Raymond in 1983. The film stars Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin as a couple who are adrift 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]


Five months before the hurricane, Tami Oldham arrives in Tahiti on board the schooner Sofia and meets Richard Sharp, a British sailor. Richard invites Tami for dinner aboard his boat Mayaluga. The two of them spend more time together and begin to plan a trip to sail to Japan.

While downtown one day, Tami and Richard bump into Peter and Christine Crompton, owners of Hazaña, a luxury Trintella 44 yacht. The Cromptons offer Richard $10,000 and a return first-class ticket back to Tahiti to sail Hazaña to San Diego, California. Richard accepts the offer, on the condition that Tami come along and that they also give her a return ticket. Later, he proposes to Tami with a handmade ring, and she accepts.

The couple depart aboard Hazaña, and after many uneventful days at sea, Tami and Richard receive news of an approaching cyclone, Hurricane Raymond, but decide to continue to San Diego anyway. As the storm hits, Tami tries to radio for help, with no response. The storm alters course and the yacht enters the eye of the storm. Richard and Tami have no choice but to lower the sails to prevent the boat from capsizing. Tami almost falls off the yacht as she is hit by powerful waves. Richard professes his love for her and demands that she go below where she will be safer. Hazaña is repeatedly flipped as she is hit by a towering wave. Tami is thrown about, suffering a head wound. Richard is thrown overboard after being knocked unconscious by the mast and his safety harness breaks. He slowly sinks into the ocean, while Hazaña is flipped, rights himself and floats to the surface.

Tami regains consciousness and struggles to understand what has happened. She urgently searches the crippled yacht in hopes of finding Richard and realizes that he was swept overboard. Tami screams in anguish and it is revealed that she is all alone, with no ships or land in sight. Tami finds that the engine will not start, and no one hears her radioed distress calls. She believes she has spotted the lost dinghy with Richard clinging to it, and she tries to steer the yacht towards him. She falls off and nearly drowns as she swims to rescue Richard. After dragging him aboard, Tami realizes that he has broken ribs and a shattered right shin. She fashions a makeshift sail using a broken pole and a storm jib, allowing her to sail toward Hawaii.

One night, she sees a large cargo ship heading straight for Hazaña and fires multiple flares, but the ship sails on past them. Tami wonders if she has been hallucinating, and Richard begins to suffer from a high fever. As the sun rises the next morning, Richard reminds Tami that a red morning sky warns of an approaching storm. Expecting a storm to hit, Tami prepares by creating a makeshift shelter, though the storm turns out to be just a minor squall.

The next day, Richard has disappeared. Tami realizes that the injured Richard on board Hazaña was nothing but a hallucination and surrenders to the reality that Richard was lost at sea. On the 41st day, Tami finally spots land and a Japanese research vessel in the distance and fires off two flares, successfully attracting its attention. The vessel lowers food and water supplies to Tami and tows Hazaña to shore. Tami returns to Tahiti after recovering and visits Richard's boat, bursting into tears after seeing the photos of Richard and herself. She goes to the beach with a frangipani flower, places her engagement ring around the flower, and lets it go in the water.

It is revealed in the credits that Richard Sharp was swept overboard and never found; Tami Oldham Ashcraft survived alone aboard Hazaña for a total of 41 days before she was rescued. She continues to be an avid sailor. During the credits, a series of news articles, pictures and a video of the actual Tami and Richard are shown.



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.[citation needed]

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 prints and advertising.[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 Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 69% based on 202 reviews, and an average rating of 6.1/10. 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 31 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. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (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 October 10, 2021.
  17. ^ "Adrift Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  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.

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