Cast Away

Rated 4.0

A Fed-Ex efficiency expert (Tom Hanks) stamps through life bellowing "Time is the enemy!"—until he survives a plancrash and is washed ashore on a deserted Pacific island with nothing but time on his hands. Written by William Broyles Jr. and directed with epic flourishes by Robert Zemeckis, the film is long and exhausting, even while gliding blithely over major developments ("Four years later …," "Four weeks later …"). But there are surprises, too—such as the fact that Hanks’ most interesting relationship is not with the girl he left behind (Helen Hunt) but with a face-painted volleyball named "Wilson." As the modern-day Crusoe, Hanks gives a performance that muffles the script’s flaws into insignificance; it’s a tour de force that would be astonishing if we didn’t already know he had it in him.