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MOVIE REVIEW

The Mountain Between Us also known as “ Más allá de la montaña,” “A Montanha Entre Nós,” “Depois Daquela Montanha,” “Hegyek között,” “Il domani tra di noi,” “Kalnas tarp musu,” “La montaña entre nosotros,” “Muntele dintre noi,” “Mägi meie vahel,” “Planina izmedu nas,” “Pomiedzy nami góry,” “Vuori välissämme,” “Zwischen zwei Leben,” “Το βουνό ανάμεσά μας,” “Гора мiж нами,” «Между нами горы,» «Планината помежду ни»

MPAA Rating: PG-13-Rating (MPAA) for a scene of sexuality, peril, injury images, and brief strong language.

Reviewed by: Jonathan Rodriguez
CONTRIBUTOR

Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Action Disaster Romance Adaptation
Length:
1 hr. 43 min.
Year of Release:
2017
USA Release:
October 6, 2017 (wide—3,088 theaters)
Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

FEAR, Anxiety and Worry—What does the Bible say? Answer

survival in very difficult circumstances

About despair, fear and hope

Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

What is Christian LOVE? Answer

TRUE LOVE—What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer

infidelity and sexual immorality

Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

ice and snow in the Bible

What causes the seasons? Answer—an illustrated explanation

Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Issue of pain and suffering

Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer

What about the issue of suffering? Doesn’t this prove that there is no God and that we are on our own? Answer

Does God feel our pain? Answer

ORIGIN OF BAD—How did bad things come about? Answer

Did God make the world the way it is now? What kind of world would you create? Answer

Featuring: Idris ElbaBen Bass
Kate WinsletAlex Martin
Beau BridgesWalter
Dermot MulroneyMark
Linda Sorensen … Pamela
Vincent Gale … Airline Customer Service
See all »
Director: Hany Abu-Assad—“Paradise Now”
Producer: Peter Chernin
Dylan Clark
See all »
Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

“What if your life depended on a stranger?”

There is a mountain located directly in the line of sight between the viewers of “The Mountain Between Us” and the movie itself. How one views that mountain will make all the difference in whether they completely give themselves over to this movie, or whether they call the mountain for what it is and totally write this movie off as nonsense.

Idris Elba plays Ben, a neurosurgeon trying to catch a flight from Salt Lake City back to the East Coast to perform emergency surgery on a 10 year-old the next morning, and Kate Winslet plays Alex, a photojournalist for The Guardian who is trying to catch a flight back for her wedding the next day.

Both are informed that their flights have been canceled due to weather, and since Alex overhears Ben on the phone discussing his dilemma, she approaches him with the idea of hiring a charter plane to fly them to Denver, where they can make their connecting flights. Beau Bridges is the pilot of choice, and so, along with his dog, he begins what should simply be a short little puddle-jump in a legit puddle-jumper.

If you’ve paid attention at all to the trailers, you know what happens next: the plane crashes on a snowy mountaintop and the 2 passengers (along with the dog) survive and are stranded in the middle of nowhere, forcing the 2 strangers to work together if they want any chance at survival.

The film is rated PG-13 for “a scene of sexuality, peril, injury images, and brief strong language.” The scene of sexuality is brief, between 2 characters that aren’t married, and contains no nudity, but it’s one of those scenes where the arms and hands are conveniently placed to (barely) cover things up. There is another brief scene of Alex in a see through top with no bra underneath, leaving nothing to the imagination.

The scene where the plane crashes may upset some younger viewers, but it’s not as intense a plane-crash scene as in, say, “Castaway.” A jump scene pops up at one point in the film, and it will likely startle everyone in the theater. There are scenes with blood and injuries.

Language—There is profanity: “J*sus Chr*st” (2), “J*sus” (3), “Oh J*sus,” “Oh my G*d” (6), “Oh G*d,” “G*d,” “Oh my L*rd,” “d*mn,” “h*ll.” There is also one very clear use of the f-word, and another time I thought I may have heard it, but it was mouthed—at the very least. There are 9 s-words and 1 a**.

The film does very briefly credit God for the way the human body is designed to withstand changes in temperature, and I thought 1 of 2 things would happen. I thought the other character would laugh at the mention of intelligent design. Or I thought it would lead the characters into a deeper conversation about life and existence and what might be coming if they don’t survive in the frozen wildness. Neither of these things happen.

The film seems mostly targeted to adults (and possibly older teens). One mom in the theater had her son with her, and he didn’t look to be more than 10. As always, parents are urged to exercise strong caution and discernment before taking kids.

Will adults want to see the movie? Well, there’s no denying the charm and appeal of both Elba and Winslet. I honestly don’t think it’s possible for either of them to deliver bad performances, and they certainly don’t here. Because of the nature of the film, there is a very obvious direction these characters could have taken, but Elba and Winslet both give us something much deeper.

I found myself drawn (perhaps because there are so many close-up shots) to the eyes of both of the leads in this film, because so much of their emotion is displayed on their faces and in their eyes. One scene, in particular, finds Elba listening to something he hasn’t heard in a really long time, and the look that washes over the actor’s face almost makes him look like a completely different person. I honestly don’t know if there are many other actors who could have carried a movie like this the way they do.

The locations are stunning and enormously daunting. I’ve read there wasn’t any green screen usage once the actors were on the mountain; they were dropped off by helicopter right on the top of the mountain. This does give the film an even more authentic, bleak feel. But, unfortunately, that feel doesn’t really translate into stress or tension of any kind. There are a few scenes at the start of their survival journey that are played as moments where we are supposed to be afraid for the characters. Unfortunately, we live in an age where half the movie is given away in the trailers, and since we know other scenes have to happen, those initial scenes lose a little of their impact. That didn’t necessarily bother me, per se, but increased tension would have made for a more thrilling movie experience.

The problem that some people may have with this film is the existence of something I call Cheese Mountain, which is the aforementioned mountain located directly between the viewer and the film itself. The Cheese Mountain between is incredibly cheesy, completely predictable, and impossible to miss. From the minute they meet, we pretty much know exactly what’s going to happen, and we are right. The amount of plot holes and contrivances along the way are enough to fill half a dozen spring movie releases. And I can’t imagine how many times viewers will be asking themselves “But wait… how did… ?” I won’t even get into how many questions I have about the dog.

Viewers are either going to recognize Cheese Mountain and choose to ignore it and give themselves over to the movie, or they will be too overwhelmed by it and will spend the whole time rolling their eyes.

I have gone into certain movies and just felt a little more cynical that day than usual and have mentally ripped those movies apart. And maybe, if I had been in a cynical mood today, I’d have done the same. But I wasn’t, and I wound up really enjoying this movie, in spite of itself. I was completely won over by the performances, the emotions, the scenery, and the brief moments of humor.

I had so many questions, but, when the credits rolled, I honestly didn’t care about any of them. I was too wrapped up in the final shot. But, I absolutely know that not everyone will feel the same way. If you can handle the cheese, you may want to give “The Mountain Between Us” a shot. If you don’t think you can, and you see this movie anyway, Cheese Mountain is the only thing you’ll notice.

  • Violence: Moderate
  • Profanity/Vulgarity: Heavy
  • Sex/Nudity: Moderately Heavy

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Neutral
Neutral—I thought it was a good story that had several moments of real tension regarding survival. Excellent photography. But alas, as in 99.9% of Hollywood films, faith is nowhere to be seen. Yes, there is one brief mention of God creating a marvelous human body—but that was all. Sadly, there was not one prayer for God’s assistance in their survival efforts, and not one mention of faith helping them get through “The valley of the shadow of death.” Nada, zip, nothing!

But that’s like many today who try to get through life all on their own.… and they often wonder why life feels so meaningless?
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Leonardo, age 75 (USA)

PLEASE share your observations and insights to be posted here.

Comments from non-viewers
Negative—I’ve watched the trailers of this movie and the behind the scenes clips. There’s something that looks appealing about this film, but not as good as to watch in it’s entirety. I’m not a fan of Kate Winslet, and I dislike every single one of her movies. I was actually thinking about going to see this motion picture, but, judging by the trailers, one of the biggest things that annoys me already about this cine is the 100% unrealistic aspect, in reality they would get snow blindness, there’s no way they would be running and walking around the white mountains and snow like that.

Plus there’s a very small clip in the trailer of a confrontation with a wild animal; now, as an animal lover I do not want to see any horrible outcome with that particular scene.

The overall movie just doesn’t look that great, there are not many good existing survival thriller films, at all. I can only think of one decent film similar to this, and that is “Vertical Limit”. I’ll wait for “The Mountain Between Us” movie clips on YouTube, and I use that term loosely, because I don’t think i’ll even be able to cope with THAT.
—Nadine, age 34 (United Kingdom)