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Overall Rating
3.9

Awesome: 32.67%
Worth A Look41.58%
Just Average: 14.52%
Pretty Crappy: 5.94%
Sucks: 5.28%

18 reviews, 195 user ratings


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Cast Away
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by EricDSnider

"FedExcellent."
4 stars

"Cast Away" aims at providing insight into weighty issues, and winds up scoring a direct hit ... several inches away from the bullseye. Up until those last few minutes, though, it's sensitive and wonderful.

Something we've long suspected turns out to be true: You really COULD put Tom Hanks on a desert island, film it, and wind up with an entertaining movie. He's JUST THAT GOOD.

I'm being facetious, but the fact is, 60 of "Cast Away's" 140 minutes feature no humans besides the genial Mr. Hanks -- and that hour is the best part of the movie. You put him back with the people, and things get weak.

Hanks -- who has now officially perfected the role of Everyman -- plays Chuck Noland, a bigwig in the Federal Express organization whose life is dictated by the clock. Everything is on time, on schedule, and according to plan. He travels so much with his work that he barely has time for his girlfriend, Kelly (Helen Hunt, making literally her fourth film appearance in two months), though their relationship is strong and mature nonetheless. (Kudos to director Robert Zemeckis and screenwriter William Broyles, Jr., for painting this crucial detail in just a few short strokes.)

On Christmas Eve, Chuck is called away on business, and after a truly harrowing plane crash -- the air-and-ocean equivalent of the marvelous train-wreck sequence in "The Fugitive" -- he finds himself the sole survivor of the disaster, and alone on an island in the Pacific.

Thus begins a remarkable hour of filmmaking. Putting anyone by himself for that long is risky, even if the guy is as likable as Tom Hanks. Zemeckis ups the ante, though, by including no underscore music and very little dialogue. Chuck isn't a guy who amusingly talks to himself; he speaks only when it would be logical to do so. Much of the time, he is silent, figuring out how to build shelter, start a fire, nurse his wounds.

FedEx packages from the plane crash wash up on shore, providing him with the elements of a few necessities (he uses an ice skate blade as a knife, for example). The FedEx angle in the plot is truly ingenious, as it not only provides a schedule-oriented contrast to Chuck's timeless isloation on the island, but it also allows for things like ice skates to show up without seeming like incredible conveniences.

One of the FedEx packages includes a volleyball, which Chuck names Wilson (after the ball manufacturer) and on which he paints a face with his own blood. Wilson becomes Chuck's only friend -- a pet, really -- and as loony as that sounds, nothing could be more logical in that context. Chuck needs to connect with someone, and the volleyball gives form to what would have otherwise been an imaginary friend; it's likely Wilson preserves Chuck's sanity (more or less: He does argue with the ball a few times). My friend commented that the volleyball should get a Best Supporting Actor nomination and in this bleak year of filmmaking, I'm inclined to agree. (The ball showed more life than Freddie Prinze Jr. does in any of his movies, for example.)

As the trailers for "Cast Away" have already told you, Chuck gets off the island. After four years there -- during which time he undergoes an extreme physical transformation that alone will probably get Hanks an Oscar nomination -- he finds a way back to civilization. And that's when, the film would have us believe, his REAL struggle begins. How do you pick up the pieces of your life when as far as everyone is concerned, your life ended four years ago?

Chuck and Kelly have a very good scene together, tightly written and well acted, that elicits some emotion. Aside from that, we really just see a lot of Chuck looking at things we take for granted, like ice cubes and cigarette lighters, and not taking them for granted anymore. We are told, in so many words, that sometimes you just have to keep going and never give up, because you never know what the tide will bring in the next day.

In an instance of none-too-subtle symbolism, Chuck winds up at a crossroads. What will he do next? What would YOU do, if you were essentially reborn and got to start over again? "Cast Away" aims at providing insight into these and other weighty issues, and winds up scoring a direct hit ... several inches away from the bullseye. Maybe Tom Hanks should have stayed on that island. Things only got worse when he came home.

Tom Hanks continues to be one of our greatest actors, and this movie could not have survived without him. In fact, it's at its best when it's just him and a volleyball, fascinating us.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=4493&reviewer=247
originally posted: 01/06/01 15:04:28
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell good but a downer 4 stars
12/23/13 Michelle O WILSON!!Hanks is now DIABETIC from the extreme weight-loss to BECOME these characters!! 5 stars
2/19/11 Ark Wilson definitely needs an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor! 4 stars
9/29/10 brian To this day I call my basketball Spalding. (I know, but I don't have a Wilson.) 4 stars
8/09/10 Chad Dillon Cooper "Wilson" should have won an Oscar for his roll. 3 stars
6/15/10 ph perfect except for the ending, that was a bit blunt 4 stars
8/01/09 Samantha Pruitt absolutely riveting, Tom Hanks is AMAZING! 5 stars
4/17/09 Mena Definatly worth writing a paper about, for english class 4 stars
9/12/08 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
8/29/08 Shaun Wallner Awesome storyline! 5 stars
8/03/08 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
12/01/07 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
8/21/07 wallace you wouldnt happen to have a match would you? best movie ever! 5 stars
5/15/07 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
11/24/06 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
8/22/06 Quigley Incredible story that's on the road to being a classic. Hanks was superb and Wilson = Oscar 5 stars
8/04/06 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
4/19/06 Indrid Cold A unique, meditative experience. I found it very moving and beautiful. 5 stars
4/12/06 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
12/28/05 CWO BOBBY J. FREEMAN USN RETIRED A real life like story second to none - Well done by Tom Hanks 5 stars
10/02/05 CWO BOBBY J. FREEMAN USN RETIRED SIMPLY A WONDERFUL PICTURE 5 stars
8/21/05 Mohsin Ali Leghari Very Good 4 stars
8/19/05 ES It's a movie about one guy trapped on a deserted island and it was great= tom you rock 4 stars
7/27/05 Quigley Tom Hanks was incredible as usual. Visual effects were good, story was good (Wilson)! 5 stars
7/27/05 Wc 10 times watch it, 10 times cry... 5 stars
7/20/05 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
10/29/04 island gurl well i didnt like the bit with the skate how he did his own dentice work that was just eeww 3 stars
10/29/04 HL Only Hanks Could Pull This Off..But Why the Ending? 4 stars
10/23/04 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
8/03/04 Katie This movie is great,but some scenes were hard to watch,like when he pulled out his tooth.Ow 4 stars
7/19/04 AlaskanReviewer I think that Tom Hanks deserved the Oscar for his performance in this movie. 5 stars
7/11/04 Daveman Such a minimalist idea is pompous when it's just a product of soulless Hollywood artifice. 2 stars
6/18/04 Denise Duspiva worth a look 3 stars
6/11/04 Raymond Lee wow talk about survial 5 stars
5/30/04 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
5/18/04 y2mckay Or as I like to call it, "The 80 million dollar Fed-Ex commercial" 3 stars
3/10/04 ghghfhgfhf grwat 5 stars
2/18/04 john island sequences are excellent - feels completly real - entertaining 4 stars
1/06/04 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
10/26/03 John Bale Hanks has a remarkable range as his tour de force in this survival flick shows 4 stars
10/22/03 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
7/25/03 Scuba Worst 2 boobless hours ever. 1 stars
7/11/03 Indrid Cold Understanable that many find it boring, but I loved this quiet, simple-yet-profound movie. 5 stars
4/06/03 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
3/01/03 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
11/15/02 Big Ted Tom Hanks' Oscar is in the hands of a drunken Kiwi. 5 stars
11/09/02 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
7/26/02 karen goldstein Great Flick but Helen Hunt Is a Major BITCH for not going back to him - ruined the ending 4 stars
7/26/02 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
5/20/02 Veronica Foxx Yes, cannibals would have made this a thousand times better! As it is, average if that good 3 stars
4/16/02 Wilson Totally brilliant! Filmaking at it's finest. 5 stars
4/05/02 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
2/24/02 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
1/16/02 Andrew Carden A 3-Hour Long Episode Of Survivor With A Dude Named Wilson. 3 stars
1/14/02 CI This is one of my very favorite movies! It's one of the best films I've ever seen! 5 stars
1/14/02 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
9/28/01 meshaely mooore best movie I had seen in while And i am such the critic. 5 stars
8/20/01 tnt Entertaining film all the way through...beautifully acted by Hanks and Hunt 5 stars
8/16/01 hilary worth a look 4 stars
8/07/01 Mr. Hat Original, creative, funny, & scary. Tom Hanks and Helen Hunt R great. 4 stars
8/06/01 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
8/05/01 badfish Great film making..Great sound..Great picture..Hanks is a real pro!! Loved Wilson!! 5 stars
7/27/01 S.Coppa Very Good...but the ending felt sort of incomplete! 4 stars
7/27/01 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
7/17/01 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
7/03/01 Piz Hanks was mesmerizing, a great movie idea wonderfully brought to life 4 stars
6/23/01 The Bomb 69 good stuff, no way he lasts 4 years tho, ending was kind of vague 4 stars
6/20/01 Tzila Seewald It was sucked! It's so boring! it's pretty much same everyday until the end! BORING! 2 stars
6/18/01 Monday Morning Underwhelming in spite of Hanks. Ending was incredibly heavy-handed. 3 stars
6/09/01 Turtle Tom Hanks' best performance and one of my favorites. 5 stars
6/01/01 zeitgeist by far the best fedex commercial ever made 4 stars
5/30/01 MOVIE bestes movie on all big world 5 stars
5/26/01 Connoisseur great movie folks, best of 2000! 5 stars
5/23/01 zeitgeist the most elaborate FedEx commercial ever made. Top that, UPS. 3 stars
3/25/01 bumfluff this rocked! i love wilson! 4 stars
3/23/01 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
3/11/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) Like a 1-man Survivor without the prize money, TV crew, and BULLSHIT. 4 stars
3/08/01 Hatta Hakimi awesome film, but the ending could have been better 5 stars
3/03/01 Sytse Faber As long as you like films with good stories, which have got some comedy, this is perfect!!! 5 stars
2/27/01 The Evil Penguin this film would have been awesome, if it weren't for the ending. 4 stars
2/25/01 fabio just technical 3 stars
2/14/01 Mac I liked the end. Putting others ahead of your own feelings is becomimg unique in movies 4 stars
2/12/01 LAZY Wilson - NOOOO! HA HA HA. Tom Hanks can't act his way out of a nut sack. 4 stars
2/11/01 Richard Wright An amazing central performance. The middle act was absorbing,start and end were just O.K. 4 stars
2/10/01 charles The Biggest FedEx Advertising 2 stars
2/09/01 Bobby I Highly Recommend it, just bring a box of tissue 5 stars
2/07/01 Mitja Podgajski Very realistic and deep story 4 stars
2/05/01 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
2/02/01 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
1/31/01 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
1/29/01 S Lefebvre A close view of human perseverance at an emotional sometimes frightening level. Excellent 5 stars
1/28/01 Lori Makes one wonder what they would do in the same situation. 4 stars
1/25/01 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
1/24/01 neil tierney uhhhh........ awesome movie! see it! 5 stars
1/23/01 Jil Mustard inspiring, frightening, loving, sad 5 stars
1/22/01 Doug Hull Why was the Texas-bound package from Russia on a flight to Malasia? 4 stars
1/22/01 Don Adcock Gilligan's Island is much better! 2 stars
1/22/01 tom coleman excellent, great special effects 5 stars
1/22/01 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
1/21/01 Uncommon Sense FedEx Infomercial, outbid UPS? Blown ending. What about the RING? 4 stars
1/21/01 neil bartlett brilliance for most of the way, but why the crappy ending? 4 stars
1/16/01 RAINBOW I thought it was definately worth watching!! Loved every minute of it! 5 stars
1/16/01 Matthew Bartley The crash and Island scenes were great but the ending was very weak 4 stars
1/15/01 lulany Hanks is indeed great but too much storyline missing especially toward the end. 4 stars
1/15/01 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
1/13/01 RWL Hanks was good, Helen Hunt is awful, and the ending was disappointing 3 stars
1/12/01 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
1/10/01 Matt69 Last 20 minutes kept it from being fucking awesome. Tom Hanks is superb 4 stars
1/10/01 Movie Watcher Could have been better,ending needs work 3 stars
1/10/01 Joe That's the longest fedex commercial I've ever seen. Hackneyed, boring and worthless. 1 stars
1/09/01 Tdis72 Descent movie with not much dialogue. Ending sucked but Hanks was great! Can you say Oscar. 4 stars
1/09/01 Lurch Hellaz High Quality Fosheezy 5 stars
1/08/01 Ystergarde This is worth a glut of Oscars. Some people are just unimaginitive morons. 5 stars
1/07/01 tom coleman excellent film-did he go with the new girl? 5 stars
1/07/01 fattyankles Actual title: CAST........AWAY. "I love that you missed me." Help us. 2 stars
1/07/01 Lucia Chambers See it on the BIG screen. Plane crash is worth the trip alone-5 friends rate it 5 stars too 5 stars
1/07/01 zeitgeist spectacular until the last 20 minutes or so. Get a dialect coach there, Helen. 4 stars
1/06/01 Murgatroyd Wait 'til the video 3 stars
1/06/01 Chuck Smith Fed Ex Is A Non-Union Company. No wonder Chuck was stressed. 1 stars
1/05/01 Janine Lay, RN Absolutely fantastic!!! 5 stars
1/04/01 Philm Phreak From the plane crash to the rescue- phenomenal! 5 stars
1/04/01 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
1/03/01 Miss Molly Good right up until the end. 3 stars
1/03/01 peachick hanks is simply an honest "actor", the oscar should go to whomever chooses his scripts. 4 stars
1/02/01 Karen Henke Pretty amazing. 5 stars
1/02/01 Tdis72 Great movie with no dialogue. Hanks was superb. Rack up another OSCAR! 4 stars
1/02/01 Collegebrat19 Great film making effort. Tom was wonderful but you can wait to rent this one on video. 4 stars
1/02/01 Nessus MUST...USE...FEDEX... 4 stars
1/01/01 joe Hanks was great on the island, but the ending was crap 2 stars
12/30/00 John Petersik Best plane crash scene I've ever seen!!! My heart was pounding so hard afterwards!! 5 stars
12/30/00 Greyjack Best new film I've seen in months. Erik spiked this one--read his review. 5 stars
12/30/00 kevin A good movie, could have been so much more. Hanks is superb in first 2 hours after it suck 3 stars
12/30/00 kgl Good flick. Hanks is a great actor, but I'm sick of Hunt. 4 stars
12/29/00 Rod Tom Hanks does a fantasitic job. 5 stars
12/29/00 Doctor Collosus well constructed, but forgetable movie. Nothing special. 3 stars
12/28/00 ZKK 1 hour of genius 3 stars
12/28/00 Brent Young Not bad --tried for Critical Awards too much. Hanks is pretty good, and Hunt is pretty hot. 4 stars
12/28/00 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
12/27/00 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
12/24/00 kohawk Really good movie. period 4 stars
12/24/00 Chris Trader Disappointment of 2000 1 stars
12/24/00 Dp Great apart from the ending. 3 stars
12/24/00 Jose Vicente Matutina Hanks dished out an Oscar winning performance 5 stars
12/23/00 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
12/22/00 Jose Frayed Damn good movie. What better actor can make you emotionally attached to a VOLLEYBALL??!!! 5 stars
12/22/00 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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