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Adrift Movie Review

Love is a saving grace.

Reviewed by on Jun 01, 2018
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Kidzworld saw the new Shailene Woodley/Sam Claflin romantic adventure Adrift. Is it exciting as well as a great love story? Check our movie review.

By: Lynn Barker

In Adrift, when young lovers Tami (Shailene Woodley) and Richard (Sam Claflin) agree to sail a rich couple’s yacht from Tahiti to San Diego, Ca. they have no idea of the horrors they are sailing into. Can they survive a hurricane?

Tami (Shailene) and Richard (Sam) debate their tripTami (Shailene) and Richard (Sam) debate their tripCourtesy of STXfilms

Arriving in Tahiti

In the early 1980’s, Tami, an adventurous 23-year-old from San Diego, is determined to stay free and travel the world, mostly by boat since she is a decent sailor. She arrives in Tahiti and takes on odd jobs on a dock where she meets dashing Brit Richard who has built his own boat and sails it into port. The duo starts dating and fall head-over-keel in love. She is even more adventurous than he is. He gifts her a gorgeous dress.

Tami and Richard are in loveTami and Richard are in loveCourtesy of STXfilms

Should We Sail Away?

When old friends of Richard’s, headed to London, ask if he will take $10,000 to sail their luxury yacht from Tahiti to San Diego, he has to think twice. He’s in love with Tami and she isn’t ready to face the folks back home yet.  But, love triumphs and she agrees. Five months after meeting they are off on the couples’ ship to San Diego.

Richard sails the boat he built into portRichard sails the boat he built into portCourtesy of STXfilms

Nasty Weather

On the voyage, they get closer and Richard asks Tami to marry him, giving her a hand-made ring. She agrees. A bad weather warning turns gradually worse and the duo is caught in a huge hurricane. They fight every inch of the way until Richard finally tells her she must go below deck. She is basically knocked there and he is knocked overboard.

Tami struggles to get injured Richard to the boatTami struggles to get injured Richard to the boatCourtesy of STXfilms


Tami wakes to find the boat almost full of water and no Richard in sight. She tries the radio but gets no responses. The masts are broken and the sails are overboard and dragging the boat down. With binoculars, Tami spots Richard floating on a piece of wreckage and manages to haul him aboard. He has broken ribs, internal injuries and a badly broken leg. She sets the leg and gathers food, using a sextant, she sees that they are far north of San Diego. They should turn west and try for Hawaii. Richard gives her pep talks. She can do anything!

Richard is badly injuredRichard is badly injuredCourtesy of STXfilms

41 Days Adrift

Finding peanut butter, sardines, spam and some bottled water Tami might survive. Sam keeps giving her helpful advice although he is getting weaker. A Vegetarian, she tries to spear fish to eat but isn’t successful. It rains, increasing the needed water supply. She plays guitar weakly, remember a song Richard wrote for her. A huge tanker passes the small yacht and almost capsizes it but those aboard don’t see the adrift couple. Tami has almost given up. They are off course again. She sleeps but hears Richard’s voice telling her to get up!

Can Tami survive?Can Tami survive?Courtesy of STXfilms

Final Outcome?

Will the couple make it to land? Will Tami realize that she is much stronger and capable than she ever believed she could be? Is there a future for these young adventurers?

Can Tami make it to land?Can Tami make it to land?Courtesy of STXfilms

Wrapping Up

Adrift is more of a romance than a man vs. Mother Nature disaster adventure but it works. You can believe Shailene (Divergent series) and Sam (Hunger Games) as a couple in love and both give convincing performances but it is really Shai’s movie and she shines! You really feel her joy at falling in love as well as her fear and suffering, gradual loss of hope and eventual faith in herself.

Can Tami have faith in herself?Can Tami have faith in herself?Courtesy of STXfilms

The film cuts back and forth throughout between the past love affair and joy a young couple feels at falling in love to the harrowing scenes of going through a hurricane and trying to survive afterward. This sort of keeps you from really building up fear and apprehension. Scenes at sea are beautifully shot and the sound of the storm, boat hitting waves and the clanging of its metal parts and creaking of the failing ship is just as effective as the cinematography.  

During the hurricaneDuring the hurricaneCourtesy of STXfilms

Try not to go reading up on the real life story since what happens on the ship might not be what you expect. The “twist” is unfortunately telegraphed by something Richard says about his long days alone at sea early in the movie, however, Adrift is a bittersweet love story as well as a moving adventure. Great date movie appeal. We go four stars.

Adrift Movie Rating: 4

Adrift Movie PosterCourtesy of STXfilms

See Adrift in theaters now.

Have Your Say

Is the ocean wonderful or frightening to you? Can you picture finding “the one” in your life in a tropical setting? Do you think you would make a good sailor or get seasick? Comment below.