By Trina Boice


Based on a true story and adapted from the book by Tami Oldham, the movie reveals the romance and survival drama of a young couple whose boat is left to drift in the middle of the ocean after one of the worst hurricanes in recorded history.


Don’t read the book yet or research this true story so that you can enjoy the dramatic journey for yourself.  Shailene Woodley digs deep to give a gripping and believable performance. She plays Tami, who is a strong, capable woman who is able to overcome extreme challenges.  She is no damsel in distress and even shows how being good at math can actually come in handy! (Kids always complain in school that they’ll never use math in their future life, so parents will be happy to point that out.)  Shailene is best known for her role in the Divergent movie series. Her co-star in that franchise, Miles Teller, was going to play Richard in this film, but after he dropped out, Sam Claflin was cast.  At the end of the movie, you get to see pictures of the real Tami and Richard who experienced this horrific ordeal.

If you’re prone to sea-sickness, you just might get a little woozy. The majority of the movie was actually filmed at sea, so there wasn't as much CGI as you would think there would be.  Rumor has it that there was a lot of vomiting during the shooting.

The story moves back and forth in time from the romantic meeting of Richard and Tami to the nightmare they find themselves in.  The telling works well and you become engrossed in the drama. Richard Sharp names his boat “Mayaluga,” which means “one who crosses the horizon” in another language.  There are metaphors and poetic language that balance the ugly reality of surviving at sea for weeks.


Adrift is rated PG-13.  Things to be aware of:

  • Shailene Woodley is braless during the entire movie. She wears revealing swimwear and is shown, from a blurry distance, to be sunbathing in the nude.

  • Shailene smokes a joint.

  • Alcohol

  • Pre-marital relations (implied but not shown)

  • Some profanity, including 1 F-bomb.

  • Bloody, gory injuries

  • Scary storm


  • Inner strength

  • Hope

  • “You can do anything you put your mind to.” – Richard

    For a tale of survival at sea and true love that you can watch with the whole family, check out Disney's Swiss Family Robinson! Rent or buy it here

Trina Boice is an author of 23 books and teaches online for BYU-Idaho in the Pathway program.  She received the Young Mother of the Year honor in 2004, an award that completely amuses her 4 sons. She’s a popular international speaker in China and writes movie reviews at You can find her books on Amazon, and at

Never miss an article or review! Join our Your Family Expert Facebook group and like our page!

You Might Also Like...

Sharing is Caring!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on email