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Overall Rating
3.9

Awesome: 32.67%
Worth A Look41.58%
Average: 14.52%
Pretty Bad: 5.94%
Total Crap: 5.28%

18 reviews, 195 user ratings


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Cast Away
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by Greg Muskewitz

"It is given a dare, and 'Cast Away' meets the challenge."
4 stars

I have the feeling that I am slightly overrating Cast Away, or at least recommending it stronger than I think the audiences will care for. It isn't that I think audiences will not like Cast Away, but one of its impressive traits is something I think will annoy the audience: the silence and the uncompromised ending.

Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) is a no-nonsense mover and shaker for FedEx. As we see through his grueling schedule of being flown for Point A to Point Z, he doesn't have a lot of time to spend with his girlfriend Kelly (Helen Hunt), with whom he proposes to the night he leaves for another seminar only after being home for the night prior. Unexpectedly, the plane crashes, and Chuck barely makes it to a deserted island. The actual plane crash is quite taut and tense; the effects never over-exaggerating it or underplaying it. The scene rivals the plane crash earlier in this year's "Final Destination."

Stranded alone, with only some FedEx parcels that he collects, as if he was rounding them up to assure for an "interrupted delivery," it becomes his daily quest of survival. The only companionship he is allowed along the way is with "Wilson," a volleyball that was one of the FedEx packages.

With nothing personal but a pocket watch with a picture of Kelly, Chuck pushes on to make it, learning the island, drinking pee, and getting the act of hunting down. Four years passes; Chuck goes from paunchy, to log-thin. Along with his inanimate object that we similarly are drawn to, he builds a raft to tries and re-enter civilization, or be picked up somewhere along the way.

This is the second movie this year by director Robert Zemeckis. His previous movie was What Lies Beneath, if you wanted to remember, and clearly this was a much better movie. According to Cast Away's press kit, filming took 16 months, with a year break within that time. What really works for Cast Away is the realistic feeling that goes along with Chuck's perseverance to make it back, and the connecting feeling we have for him as only that picture of Kelly carries him along. A similar ploy was used in Proof of Life where David Morse kept a picture of Meg Ryan, and it had the same effect. There is a segment, one which seems to be the talk/buzz about this, where for about 45-minutes or so, the dialogue is very sparse. I'm a little worried that audiences may be turned off and bored by this. Not that I am underestimating them, but after hearing all the hypocrisy over how wonderful The Sixth Sense was despite its snail-pace, all those advocates were the first to bash on Shyamalan for doing the same thing with Unbreakable, which was actually a better developed movie.

By keeping the dialogue sparse, and his physicality on the go, it is an audacious move on Zemeckis' and writer William Broyles, Jr.'s part. Whether or not the audiences go for it, I like it because it is something unusual and challenging, like Jim Jarmucsh's Dead Man with Johnny Depp. The visuals, as photographed by Don Burgess are gorgeous and postcard-esque. The determination of Hank's Chuck is inspiring and minimally affecting (though I have to say the saddest scene is when he loses Wilson at sea), but as a distant viewer, this survival is far more involving than TV's "Survivor."

Another point of interest, to digress into spoiler territory, that I think will disappoint audiences, is the fact that Hanks and Hunt don't end up together. I do believe that the previews for Cast Away spoil some of the intrigue (just as the previews for What Lies Beneath almost ruined it --Zemeckis should think about firing his trailer-editor), it doesn't handicap this too much. By letting them realize on their own that there is no way they can just jump back into the flow of things, no matter how badly they want to, it lends this credibility. The way this ended (maybe minus the very end, which I guiltily did not mind), is a lot more mature to carry out on the filmmakers' end, but also more true to life in my view. It didn't sell out; no compromises.

I don't know whether Hanks is expecting his annual Oscar Nod for this, but to be quite honest, I wouldn't mind seeing him get one, with the overall lack of spectacular leading male performances this year. Not that his is spectacular, but it is very convincing, and Hanks does invest a lot, visibly, into it. The unstoppable Hunt, with four movies to her name this year (along with this, Dr. T & the Women, What Women Want and Pay It Forward) gets two different looks during the movie, but is not around very much for the entirety of the movie itself. She isn't given enough time to do anything remarkable here, but even if she was, it would have been pointless in this movie. Wilson, blood-printed and all, was great. One of the best inanimate objects on screen in a long time. Know going it that it is 140-minutes, and be prepared for its austerity.

Two notes, one possibly important, the other not: There is a strobe effect used several times, and for brief periods, so epileptics may want to avoid this or be prepared, and the second is that many of the characters' names in the movie, as I noticed in the credits in the press kit, are the actors' actual first names.

Final Verdict: B+.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=4493&reviewer=172
originally posted: 12/30/00 08:27:10
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell good but a downer 4 stars
12/24/13 Michelle O WILSON!!Hanks is now DIABETIC from the extreme weight-loss to BECOME these characters!! 5 stars
2/20/11 Ark Wilson definitely needs an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor! 4 stars
9/30/10 brian To this day I call my basketball Spalding. (I know, but I don't have a Wilson.) 4 stars
8/10/10 Chad Dillon Cooper "Wilson" should have won an Oscar for his roll. 3 stars
6/16/10 ph perfect except for the ending, that was a bit blunt 4 stars
8/02/09 Samantha Pruitt absolutely riveting, Tom Hanks is AMAZING! 5 stars
4/18/09 Mena Definatly worth writing a paper about, for english class 4 stars
9/13/08 David No man is an island. -indeed 5 stars
9/02/08 Nikki Amazing how a guy and a volleyball can be so entertaining... 4 stars
8/30/08 Shaun Wallner Awesome storyline! 5 stars
8/04/08 Yoda A Hollywood movie with an excellent unHollywood-like ending. 4 stars
5/15/08 PAUL SHORTT THOROUGLY ENTERTAINING AND SKILLFULLY RENDERED 4 stars
3/28/08 Renzo Great! 4 stars
12/10/07 HANNAH WCKED MOVIE 5 stars
12/02/07 Bnorm Awesome movie...if you dont like it you're a clownshoe 4 stars
11/04/07 Guy Hoevenaars Little dialogue, yet still engrossing! 2 Toms, 1 fat and 1 bearded skinny bloke!!! 5 stars
8/22/07 wallace you wouldnt happen to have a match would you? best movie ever! 5 stars
5/16/07 R.W. Welch Hanks is good but Wilson steals the show. Enigmatic ending doesn't help. 4 stars
2/01/07 Matt Some missed opportunities, but Hanks can make any crap earn an extra * or 2. 4 stars
11/25/06 David Pollastrini an unoriginal concept turns out quite original 5 stars
8/26/06 Ryan Haha, fuck off Steve in Prague, theres no unknown islands because we don't know they exist. 4 stars
8/23/06 Quigley Incredible story that's on the road to being a classic. Hanks was superb and Wilson = Oscar 5 stars
8/05/06 nicolecrom2678 Made you think what it would be like to be stuck on an island alone 3 stars
7/13/06 EZ It's a great movie but it's kinda hard to watch the same guy by himself the whole film 4 stars
6/01/06 drydock54321 bravo tom hanks. played very well. 4 stars
5/23/06 Chuck Nolan After i bought the movie i wipped my ass with the dvd. 1 stars
4/20/06 Indrid Cold A unique, meditative experience. I found it very moving and beautiful. 5 stars
4/13/06 CWO BOBBY J. FREEMAN USN RETIRED Great opening... Tom Hanks sets the stage for this movie and he does a great job of it! 5 stars
12/29/05 CWO BOBBY J. FREEMAN USN RETIRED A real life like story second to none - Well done by Tom Hanks 5 stars
10/03/05 CWO BOBBY J. FREEMAN USN RETIRED SIMPLY A WONDERFUL PICTURE 5 stars
8/21/05 Mohsin Ali Leghari Very Good 4 stars
8/20/05 ES It's a movie about one guy trapped on a deserted island and it was great= tom you rock 4 stars
7/28/05 Quigley Tom Hanks was incredible as usual. Visual effects were good, story was good (Wilson)! 5 stars
7/28/05 Wc 10 times watch it, 10 times cry... 5 stars
7/21/05 Brandy Harrington Wilson? WILLLLLLLSSSOOOONNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ...I cried. 5 stars
3/07/05 Dan Loved it. 5 stars
1/04/05 ALDO GREAT film....Especially the first time you watch it. 5 stars
10/30/04 island gurl well i didnt like the bit with the skate how he did his own dentice work that was just eeww 3 stars
10/30/04 HL Only Hanks Could Pull This Off..But Why the Ending? 4 stars
10/24/04 UMER deniro is the only other actor on this planet i could think of who could pull this roll of 4 stars
9/26/04 tao sa gubat soobrang galing!!!!!!! 5 stars
8/06/04 Anthony G this movie was pretty good 4 stars
8/04/04 Katie This movie is great,but some scenes were hard to watch,like when he pulled out his tooth.Ow 4 stars
7/20/04 AlaskanReviewer I think that Tom Hanks deserved the Oscar for his performance in this movie. 5 stars
7/12/04 Daveman Such a minimalist idea is pompous when it's just a product of soulless Hollywood artifice. 2 stars
6/19/04 Denise Duspiva worth a look 3 stars
6/12/04 Raymond Lee wow talk about survial 5 stars
5/31/04 Frazier Very creative and well executed, was very much pleased considering lack of dialogue 5 stars
5/19/04 Jack Sommersby Nothing new or particularly interesting (and the scenes with Hunt are just awful). 2 stars
5/19/04 y2mckay Or as I like to call it, "The 80 million dollar Fed-Ex commercial" 3 stars
3/10/04 ghghfhgfhf grwat 5 stars
2/19/04 john island sequences are excellent - feels completly real - entertaining 4 stars
1/07/04 your worst goddamn nightmare damn good movie... it was quiet but definitely not boring 5 stars
11/22/03 ross hendrick worth buying, if you can find it cheap enough 4 stars
10/27/03 John Bale Hanks has a remarkable range as his tour de force in this survival flick shows 4 stars
10/23/03 A. Knight I didn't care about getting popcorn. 5 stars
9/09/03 Dawn You know there's a problem when the character you feel for the most is sporting equipment. 2 stars
7/26/03 Scuba Worst 2 boobless hours ever. 1 stars
7/12/03 Indrid Cold Understanable that many find it boring, but I loved this quiet, simple-yet-profound movie. 5 stars
4/07/03 Eduardo excellent movies 5 stars
3/23/03 Winthrop J Applesmythe III why do people on this site give low reviews for a movie being "sad"? 4 stars
3/02/03 Jack Sommersby Here, here, Charles! A great skewering of a most overpraised film. 2 stars
11/29/02 Jay Hey, I Can't Swim, if you're a male, stop fucking your mother and get a fucking clue!!! 5 stars
11/16/02 Big Ted Tom Hanks' Oscar is in the hands of a drunken Kiwi. 5 stars
11/10/02 moviemachine I Can't Swim can suck my ass!!! Tom Hanks is great, but he didn't win the Oscar. Sadly. 5 stars
10/18/02 Charles Tatum Manipulative trash, Hanks lost weight, big deal 2 stars
7/27/02 karen goldstein Great Flick but Helen Hunt Is a Major BITCH for not going back to him - ruined the ending 4 stars
7/27/02 I Can't Swim Justin-HE DIDN'T WIN! Know why? Cuz this was a borefest! A volleyball?! 1 stars
6/06/02 Jeremy Im sorry but this is a sad movie DONT SEE IT 1 stars
5/21/02 Veronica Foxx Yes, cannibals would have made this a thousand times better! As it is, average if that good 3 stars
4/17/02 Wilson Totally brilliant! Filmaking at it's finest. 5 stars
4/06/02 Justin I'm so glad that Tom Hanks won an Oscar! 5 stars
3/06/02 Jono SAnders An excellent survival story 4 stars
2/25/02 Jenny Tullwartz Good when out to sea; STUPID when on land 4 stars
2/25/02 Butterbean Pretty cool! Who knew that a movie about a man stranded alone would be so good? 4 stars
2/21/02 Xaver It was an entertaining and good-feeling kind of film 4 stars
1/21/02 Spencer Lent Ending sucked but the rest kicked ass 4 stars
1/17/02 Andrew Carden A 3-Hour Long Episode Of Survivor With A Dude Named Wilson. 3 stars
1/15/02 CI This is one of my very favorite movies! It's one of the best films I've ever seen! 5 stars
1/15/02 Sparky Polastri The perfect cure for insomnia; cringed when he kept talking to the ball 1 stars
10/15/01 ElephantShoes interesting, loved it 5 stars
9/29/01 meshaely mooore best movie I had seen in while And i am such the critic. 5 stars
8/21/01 tnt Entertaining film all the way through...beautifully acted by Hanks and Hunt 5 stars
8/17/01 hilary worth a look 4 stars
8/08/01 Mr. Hat Original, creative, funny, & scary. Tom Hanks and Helen Hunt R great. 4 stars
8/07/01 Chance Great! If you understood that his whole experience was to bring him to Bettina 5 stars
8/06/01 E-Funk I'm wishing cancer on this movie! (I begin to twist my hands back and forth) 1 stars
8/06/01 badfish Great film making..Great sound..Great picture..Hanks is a real pro!! Loved Wilson!! 5 stars
7/28/01 S.Coppa Very Good...but the ending felt sort of incomplete! 4 stars
7/28/01 delmer daves very good, but i felt that the development of wilson's character was a little soft. 5 stars
7/24/01 SJKelley Script is dull and repetitive. MsAsh's review misses it yet again. 3 stars
7/18/01 Basil Did anyone else notice instead of yelling Chuck she yelled Jack at the end? 4 stars
7/16/01 Matt Taglia Tom Hanks comes out with his best performance in his career, as well as Helen Hunt. 5 stars
7/04/01 Piz Hanks was mesmerizing, a great movie idea wonderfully brought to life 4 stars
6/24/01 The Bomb 69 good stuff, no way he lasts 4 years tho, ending was kind of vague 4 stars
6/21/01 Tzila Seewald It was sucked! It's so boring! it's pretty much same everyday until the end! BORING! 2 stars
6/19/01 Monday Morning Underwhelming in spite of Hanks. Ending was incredibly heavy-handed. 3 stars
6/10/01 Turtle Tom Hanks' best performance and one of my favorites. 5 stars
6/02/01 zeitgeist by far the best fedex commercial ever made 4 stars
5/31/01 MOVIE bestes movie on all big world 5 stars
5/26/01 Connoisseur great movie folks, best of 2000! 5 stars
5/24/01 zeitgeist the most elaborate FedEx commercial ever made. Top that, UPS. 3 stars
3/25/01 bumfluff this rocked! i love wilson! 4 stars
3/24/01 Aaron Cornell One of the best Tom Hanks movies 5 stars
3/18/01 Del R I was really broken up when Hanks' character lost his friend "Wilson" the volleyball 5 stars
3/14/01 bobbuttons The resolution with Kelly is appropriate; Texas scene at the end, however, is too sappy 4 stars
3/12/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) Like a 1-man Survivor without the prize money, TV crew, and BULLSHIT. 4 stars
3/09/01 Hatta Hakimi awesome film, but the ending could have been better 5 stars
3/04/01 Sytse Faber As long as you like films with good stories, which have got some comedy, this is perfect!!! 5 stars
2/28/01 The Evil Penguin this film would have been awesome, if it weren't for the ending. 4 stars
2/26/01 fabio just technical 3 stars
2/15/01 Mac I liked the end. Putting others ahead of your own feelings is becomimg unique in movies 4 stars
2/13/01 LAZY Wilson - NOOOO! HA HA HA. Tom Hanks can't act his way out of a nut sack. 4 stars
2/12/01 Richard Wright An amazing central performance. The middle act was absorbing,start and end were just O.K. 4 stars
2/11/01 charles The Biggest FedEx Advertising 2 stars
2/10/01 Bobby I Highly Recommend it, just bring a box of tissue 5 stars
2/08/01 Mitja Podgajski Very realistic and deep story 4 stars
2/06/01 Classicdog Great flick. Tom Hanks at his best! 4 stars
2/04/01 Avenger girl I enjoyed this movie even though its a little unrealistic 4 stars
2/03/01 brentley very well done flick. the crash scene alone was worth the admission. 4 stars
2/01/01 ludolecorse fucking great film!!! how surprising! Don't judge what you don't even want to see 5 stars
2/01/01 looloo looloo gooog 5 stars
2/01/01 Johnny Figaro Too much product placement and a heavy-handed story. Without Tom would be just bad. 3 stars
1/31/01 Jason Holt The script and production were troubled, but the film will still have an impact unique to U 5 stars
1/30/01 S Lefebvre A close view of human perseverance at an emotional sometimes frightening level. Excellent 5 stars
1/29/01 Lori Makes one wonder what they would do in the same situation. 4 stars
1/26/01 GSammie Thought-provoking; slows viewer's pace so that personal reflection is possible. 4 stars
1/25/01 Craig wilson stole the show and helen hunt in a wet white shirt were the best things about this 2 stars
1/25/01 viking Hanks and Zemeckis steer clear of the usual desert island cliches. an enjoyable experience 4 stars
1/25/01 neil tierney uhhhh........ awesome movie! see it! 5 stars
1/24/01 Jil Mustard inspiring, frightening, loving, sad 5 stars
1/23/01 Doug Hull Why was the Texas-bound package from Russia on a flight to Malasia? 4 stars
1/23/01 Don Adcock Gilligan's Island is much better! 2 stars
1/23/01 tom coleman excellent, great special effects 5 stars
1/23/01 matthew smith Tom Hanks gives a courageous performance in what could be his third oscar 5 stars
1/22/01 Justine Hardy The was fantastic 5 stars
1/22/01 Uncommon Sense FedEx Infomercial, outbid UPS? Blown ending. What about the RING? 4 stars
1/22/01 neil bartlett brilliance for most of the way, but why the crappy ending? 4 stars
1/17/01 RAINBOW I thought it was definately worth watching!! Loved every minute of it! 5 stars
1/17/01 Matthew Bartley The crash and Island scenes were great but the ending was very weak 4 stars
1/16/01 lulany Hanks is indeed great but too much storyline missing especially toward the end. 4 stars
1/16/01 tiffany! it was a little slow but overal really good 5 stars
1/15/01 Krystal Great movie, believable rather than contrived ending 5 stars
1/14/01 RWL Hanks was good, Helen Hunt is awful, and the ending was disappointing 3 stars
1/13/01 ADJ on a 1-5, give it a "4". Hanks is a great actor, and one of a few who could carry this. 4 stars
1/11/01 Boy In The Designer Bubble I like Tom as much as the next fellow, but this movie wore out my last nerve. 2 stars
1/11/01 Matt69 Last 20 minutes kept it from being fucking awesome. Tom Hanks is superb 4 stars
1/11/01 Movie Watcher Could have been better,ending needs work 3 stars
1/11/01 Joe That's the longest fedex commercial I've ever seen. Hackneyed, boring and worthless. 1 stars
1/10/01 Tdis72 Descent movie with not much dialogue. Ending sucked but Hanks was great! Can you say Oscar. 4 stars
1/10/01 Lurch Hellaz High Quality Fosheezy 5 stars
1/09/01 Ystergarde This is worth a glut of Oscars. Some people are just unimaginitive morons. 5 stars
1/08/01 tom coleman excellent film-did he go with the new girl? 5 stars
1/08/01 fattyankles Actual title: CAST........AWAY. "I love that you missed me." Help us. 2 stars
1/08/01 Lucia Chambers See it on the BIG screen. Plane crash is worth the trip alone-5 friends rate it 5 stars too 5 stars
1/08/01 zeitgeist spectacular until the last 20 minutes or so. Get a dialect coach there, Helen. 4 stars
1/07/01 Murgatroyd Wait 'til the video 3 stars
1/07/01 Chuck Smith Fed Ex Is A Non-Union Company. No wonder Chuck was stressed. 1 stars
1/06/01 Janine Lay, RN Absolutely fantastic!!! 5 stars
1/05/01 Philm Phreak From the plane crash to the rescue- phenomenal! 5 stars
1/05/01 Kirsten Kicked my ass. Appreciated not having every moment explained to me (very rare). 5 stars
1/04/01 Rick compelling, convincing and the audience didn't talk during this one 5 stars
1/04/01 Miss Molly Good right up until the end. 3 stars
1/04/01 peachick hanks is simply an honest "actor", the oscar should go to whomever chooses his scripts. 4 stars
1/03/01 Karen Henke Pretty amazing. 5 stars
1/03/01 Tdis72 Great movie with no dialogue. Hanks was superb. Rack up another OSCAR! 4 stars
1/03/01 Collegebrat19 Great film making effort. Tom was wonderful but you can wait to rent this one on video. 4 stars
1/03/01 Nessus MUST...USE...FEDEX... 4 stars
1/02/01 joe Hanks was great on the island, but the ending was crap 2 stars
12/31/00 John Petersik Best plane crash scene I've ever seen!!! My heart was pounding so hard afterwards!! 5 stars
12/31/00 Greyjack Best new film I've seen in months. Erik spiked this one--read his review. 5 stars
12/31/00 kevin A good movie, could have been so much more. Hanks is superb in first 2 hours after it suck 3 stars
12/31/00 kgl Good flick. Hanks is a great actor, but I'm sick of Hunt. 4 stars
12/30/00 Rod Tom Hanks does a fantasitic job. 5 stars
12/29/00 Doctor Collosus well constructed, but forgetable movie. Nothing special. 3 stars
12/29/00 ZKK 1 hour of genius 3 stars
12/29/00 Brent Young Not bad --tried for Critical Awards too much. Hanks is pretty good, and Hunt is pretty hot. 4 stars
12/29/00 J Good... not great. 4 stars
12/28/00 Mike Noland Erik the Movieman articulated every one of my thoughts perfectly. Extraordinary movie 5 stars
12/28/00 TomServo pretty cool... 5 stars
12/28/00 Jules Great visuals, flawed story, but still amazing to see. 5 stars
12/27/00 Thor Aackerlund from Dallas, TX Man .. I loved this movie .. something unique and timeless about it 5 stars
12/27/00 Jenny-My-Fur hanks rocks my world, wonderful performance! amazing, killer, fantastic! 5 stars
12/26/00 Sara Thanks for not ruining the ending by resolving EVERYTHING!! 4 stars
12/25/00 poetchuck Not bad for a mostly silent film 4 stars
12/25/00 kohawk Really good movie. period 4 stars
12/25/00 Chris Trader Disappointment of 2000 1 stars
12/25/00 Dp Great apart from the ending. 3 stars
12/24/00 Jose Vicente Matutina Hanks dished out an Oscar winning performance 5 stars
12/24/00 Diehard Very emotionally compelling, well done movie. 5 stars
12/23/00 Mikey Good story, great analogies at the end but I wouldn't watch it again. 4 stars
12/23/00 Greyjack Just make sure you're in the mood for a slower pace. Excellent film--wow! 5 stars
12/23/00 Jose Frayed Damn good movie. What better actor can make you emotionally attached to a VOLLEYBALL??!!! 5 stars
12/23/00 Bob shomb KrApPy! 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  22-Dec-2000 (PG-13)
  DVD: 14-Oct-2003

UK
  N/A

Australia
  18-Jan-2001 (M)




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