Robert Redford in All Is Lost.

In a movie that features almost no dialogue, Robert Redford delivers some of his best work ever as a man trying to survive a shipwreck in the Indian Ocean.

While sleeping in his yacht, Redford’s character (simply called “Our Man” in the All Is Lost credits) is abruptly awakened when a floating cargo bin crashes into his boat’s side. What follows is more than 100 minutes of Redford solving problems and fighting to stay alive.

Much credit goes to the legendary actor, as well as relative newbie writer-director J.C. Chandor (Margin Call) for making this compelling from start to finish. You’ll be surprised how gripping the sight of a man simply trying to repair his boat can be.

Redford looks like he put himself through the ringer in this one, and the results are well worth it. His character gets no real back-story; other than one loud expletive, a couple of radio-transmission attempts, and some quick narration at the beginning, we never really hear Redford’s voice. However, there’s no need; Redford does it all with his face in a performance for which he will always be remembered.

All Is Lost is playing at the Camelot Theatres (2300 E. Baristo Road, Palm Springs; 760-325-6565); and Cinémas Palme d’Or (72840 Highway 111, Palm Desert; 760-779-0430).