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Adrift Review

The true story of a young couple’s 1983 ordeal in the Pacific Ocean after being capsized in a hurricane is terrifying, tense and inspiring. Contraband director Baltasar Kormakur’s movie version is competent and mostly engaging. Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games’ Finnick) are onscreen alone a lot, and the young actors stay afloat with charm, chemistry and a bit of grit. 

Adrift is the sort of adult movie that Woodley needs to distance herself from Divergent and Claflin needs to prove his leading-man potential. Still, a skilled documentarian may have exposed the story’s weepy reality with more dramatic heft and less transparent, cinematic trickery. Shot beautifully, Adrift is split too evenly between its romantic sensibilities and survival adventure for either to have a meaningful impact on audiences.