The Light Between Oceans (Theatrical Version)

 (2,581)7.22 h 12 min2016X-RayPG-13
When a lifeboat bearing precious cargo washes ashore, a lighthouse keeper (Michael Fassbender) and his wife (Alicia Vikander) face a dilemma that will engulf their world, and that of a stranger (Rachel Weisz), in a love story about a fateful choice.
Directors
Derek Cianfrance
Starring
Michael FassbenderAlicia VikanderRachel Weisz
Genres
Drama
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English
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4.5 out of 5 stars

2581 global ratings

  1. 72% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 16% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 7% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 2% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 3% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

vsajewelReviewed in the United States on September 27, 2017
4.0 out of 5 stars
A Somewhat Surprising and Captivating Movie We Weren't Prepared to Love
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We ran across this movie when we were researching travel to Tasmania. This was shot there and we thought it would serve as an interesting travelogue of the area. We were wrong in that premise because most of the movie is shot on one very small island. But the scenery there is breathtaking!

About the movie itself...We'd read a lot of so-so reviews. Their main reason for not liking it more was the implausible premise the storyline takes. So, we went into it thinking that...and maybe that's why we ended up loving it more than we expected. Yes...the longer term storyline does have some difficulties. But the rest of the plot was well thought out, the characters were well developed, the acting spot-on and in general we found the movie to be captivating.

It's really hard to predict how someone takes to a specific movie. Movies we think we'll love, we don't...and ones like this we thought we were watching for one reason end up becoming loved for an entirely different reason. So I can't really write much more without ruining the story for someone else except this. Perhaps, the plausibility of the characters and their love story was so real because we read that the 2 leads actors really did fall in love while shooting this movie. Whatever the reasons were, we're happy we rented this and would do so again. In terms of reviewing movies, I think that we tend to fall on the more critical end of the spectrum...if that helps any.
20 people found this helpful
William R. FosseyReviewed in the United States on January 30, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Superb movie, but read the novel before you see the screen version
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This is a lovely movie. All three starring actors--Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander and Rachel Weisz--are superb. The movie is a bit long, however. I also think viewers who have read the novel may enjoy the movie more than people who did not; the novel contains nuances that are not present in the screen version.
39 people found this helpful
Sandra K. KefferReviewed in the United States on October 19, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
One of the best romance films I've seen in years!
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I don't watch many modern romance films because they're too melodramatic and unbelievable in their portrayal of what real love is. They focus too much on the physical attraction and are riff with sex scenes. There is SO much more to love then that!
This film is an excellent example: Two people who love each other dearly, seen in many ways and not just in the bedroom. It shows sacrifice, selflessness, putting someone else before you. It shows two people who love each other for more than their looks, but their personality and who they are, even as they change, grow and see things that hurt them.
The actors are wonderful. I will see Michael Fassbender in anything, he's THAT good (and I don't watch many modern films). It adds an extra dose of realism that the two lead actors met on this film set, fell in love and are now apparently married. Congratulations! Makes me see their scenes together in a whole new light since acting in love probably wasn't much of a stretch for them ;)
16 people found this helpful
R. DelPartoReviewed in the United States on June 10, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
The undercurrents of telling the truth
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If one has seen a movie filled with emotion to the point of heart wrenching, “The Light Between Oceans” may be considered close to describing the film directed by Derek Cianfrance and adapted from the novel written by M.L. Stedman. The story centers upon a lighthouse located on Janus Island and involves the pivotal main characters Tom Sherbourne (Michael Fessbender) a veteran of World War I who returns home to Australia and finds work at the lighthouse and meets the daughter of Tom’s boss Isabel Graysmark (Alicia Vikander). What appears to be play out obvious and predictable within the storyline immediately takes a turn once the couple marries and attempts to conceive a child. It is from this point that the film and story becomes extremely dramatic and at times slow-pace but with immense intensity.

The story is the core of the film but its strands of themes that emerge that are portrayed by the characters and the landscape in which they dwell. It is exceptionally captured by the cinematography and camera work that is not necessarily spoken within the dialogue but through their facial expressions and gestures. It is evident that Tom and Isabel experience challenges, especially attempting to establish a family of their own and after several attempts reaching to the point that it will never happen. And when all appeared hopeless, a dingy appears that may have come from a shipwreck and buried within the boat a man and a baby; one can guess what happens after that, Tom and Isabel are overjoyed. But before they can completely be at ease, other events transpire within the film that includes Rachel Weisz who plays widow and mother that had recently lost her child Hannah Roennfeldt, and the story further spirals as a mystery. And what looms in the balance one day, putting all of the pieces together to where the child came from and Tom confronting the truth while dealing with his own demons as a result of the war.

“The Light Between Oceans” is enlightening as it is thought provoking and is worth an afternoon or movie night to watch.
13 people found this helpful
Brash & Sassy Southern BelleReviewed in the United States on March 21, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
The Light of His Love!
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So I am just one of those romantic’s from another time. I simply loved this movie! I thought it was beautiful and wished the story had gone on for much longer. I loved the directing and imagery, the scenery was beautiful. The island was such a wonderful place for newlywed lovers. And I would have liked to see more of Isabelle after the truth is revealed. Tom’s actions while wrong and unfortunate were to me a beautiful portrayal of true love-it was the wrong way of trying to do a good thing for the one that you love. Tom’s love was the over-arching theme he loved her even to the end, taking all the blame and only wanted to make her happy. That we could have but a bit of that in life, we are blessed.
15 people found this helpful
D. RobertsReviewed in the United States on April 18, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
An unconventional love story
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Tom (portrayed by Mike Fassbender) has just returned from fighting in WWI. Suffering from PTSD (what they called shell shock back then), he wants a nice, quiet occupation, preferably in solitude. He gets his wish as he is offered the post as a lighthouse keeper on a remote island. It suits him perfectly as nobody else is on the island to haggle with him.

Tom has the most unbelievable luck with women of any man who ever lived. While he planned to be a hermit, he falls in love with a young lass from the mainland named Isabel (Alicia Vikander). She gladly moves to the island with him & the two are very happy together as a couple. He is a protective husband & she is a loving wife.

The one thing missing is their ambitions to start a family. After suffering 2 miscarriages, Isabel is depressed. In a twist of fate, their yearning to have a child seems to be fulfilled. However, it might not be altogether ethical.

Such is the backdrop of the current film. While most love stories are about couples, this one is different in its focus on a married couple's desire to have children. For Alicia Vikander, this role demonstrates her acting range as the demure Isabel is on the opposite end of the spectrum from the martial arts wielding character of Lara Croft whom she portrayed in TOMB RAIDER.

While this is most assuredly what would be called a "chick flick" I believe it would appeal especially to people who have tried to have a child of their own. In a way, the lighthouse itself becomes a way of "lighting the path forward" to them to parenthood. For Alicia fans, as always, this movie is a must see!
neaReviewed in the United States on August 7, 2021
3.0 out of 5 stars
It was good up until the ending.
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I like happy endings, so was this a good movie, not by my standards? The ending was hurried, two hours was spent in developing the story, then way too much time was spend on him being in jail, and the tug of war over the little girl, and then in the last 10 min they ended the show with having Isabell die and the girl come back to visit. To me that was an extremely sad ending. They were not allowed by the author to have a child of their own. I liked the first half of the movie, but I wanted a love story with a happy ending and I was sadly disappointed. I paid 20. for this movie, now I am sorry.....because it did not leave me happy. They are always trying to make some kind of dramatic point, did they succeed? I would prefer to be entertained, most of us have enough drama in our lives already. One thing, there are two movies......and I am not sure which one has all of the cuts that I am not seeing in this version. There was no scene of her trying to throw herself off the cliff, there was no first birthday? So what happened to those. And how does one know which movie to purchase......
Jack E. LevicReviewed in the United States on May 22, 2017
3.0 out of 5 stars
SLOW-MOVING LOVE STORY THAT NEVER REACHES ITS POTENTIAL
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A dynamic cast featuring Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander and Rachel Weisz can't save the viewer from boredom in this very slow-moving film.
THE LIGHT BETWEEN THE OCEANS is certainly a well-intentioned story about an overwhelming love story and tragedy.

Tom Sherbourne (Michael Fassbender) lives along on a windswept island as a lighthouse keeper. Except for the boat that comes with supplies, he has no human contact, but on visits to the town, he meets beautiful young Isabel (Alicia Vikander). Yes, she is willing to marry him and live a stark life on the desolate island. Maybe being with your true love and soulmate is all you need but why not bring a baby into the picture? Here is where the story changes as Isabel tragically miscarries. But after her second miscarriage a miracle arrives as a lifeboat washes ashore with a dead man and a very alive baby. Tom knows he needs to report the incident but Isabel convinces him to raise the baby as their own.

It's an interesting premise and the drama begins when Tom meets the grieving woman not knowing the fate of her husband and baby. It's a moral dilemma on an epic scale. Fassbender and Vikander are a real life couple and their chemistry is strong. Fassbender is one of my favorite actors and he never fails to deliver whether it is a Hollywood block buster or a smaller film such as THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS. Vikander is am amazing young star with great potential. Of course, Rachel Weisz never disappoints so we have a great cast in a mediocre film. The film needs to have been tightened as far as story and length. How much time do we need to spend on a man alone on an island and then alone with his wife and finally alone with his wife and "daughter." Of course, the tone changes when Tom that another woman is in deep pain over their "innocent" deed. The scenery and the views of the turbulent ocean are breathtaking. There is a lot to praise about this film but in the end it is disappoints on so many levels.
6 people found this helpful
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