The Mountain Between Us Parent Guide
Nothing like an airplane crash to get you to overcome obstacles.
Parent Movie Review
It is the day before Alex Martin’s (Kate Winslet) wedding, and the bride-to-be is anxious to get home from a photo-journalist assignment in time to walk down the aisle. Dr. Ben Bass (Idris Elba) is just leaving a medical conference and needs to be back by morning to perform a complicated surgery. Both find themselves grounded at the airport due to a pending snowstorm.
Undeterred by the weather forecast, Alex puts her can-do attitude into high gear and charters a private plane to get around the problem. Having overheard Ben’s plight at the ticket desk, she offers the stranger the seconded seat on her flight. It is a creative, cost-sharing work-around that Alex is almost proud of – until the pilot (Beau Bridges) starts having a stroke while the trio (plus one dog) are soaring over a desolate stretch of mountain tops somewhere between Idaho and Colorado.
The spectacular crash that follows leaves the airman dead (we see his corpse), Alex unconscious with bloody injuries and a broken leg, and Ben with cracked ribs, scrapes and bruises. Drawing on his strong medical knowledge and best survival skills, Ben attempts to keep the living alive. It isn’t until Alex awakens that he discovers the biggest mountain between them may not be the snow covered peak they are stranded on.
It comes down to conflicting opinions. Alex thinks they should pack up and start walking towards civilization – even though she has no idea where that may be and she only has one good leg. Ben is sure it is smarter to stay put and wait for rescue – even though he knows the pilot never posted a flight plan. Yet as time goes by, and their meager food rations dwindle, his responsible approach begins to look less logical, and her reckless one more courageous.
Most of the movie depicts the pair’s harrowing and hobbling descent, where they encounter extreme temperatures, hungry wildlife, slippery slopes and thin ice. All the while Alex and Ben are contending with starvation and dehydration too. Despite their differences, one thing becomes abundantly clear: sticking together is the best chance either of them has for survival.
Family viewers expecting a wilderness endurance test won’t be surprised by the sense of peril evoked by the cliffhanger plot nor the few profanities (plus one sexual expletive) that escape during tense times. Of course, the audience also knows they will have cuddle together to stay warm. However, they may not anticipate this couple finding an opportunity for a long sexual interlude, nor the amount of detail the passionate portrayal includes. (You’ll see kissing, undressing, fondling and facial expressions that would have come with sexual sounds if the musical score hadn’t drowned them out.)
Giving as much screen time to the emotional journey as the struggle against the relentless elements, the story manages to stay engaging despite its manipulation of societal commitments (like engagement and marriage) and physical obstructions (like the rugged landscape). It puts the spotlight on Ben’s self-sacrifice and Alex’s dogged determination. For these characters, as well as in real life, these personal traits prove important ingredients for navigating natural calamities and affairs of the heart.Directed by Director: Hany Abu-Assad. Starring Idris Elba, Kate Winslet. Running time: 112 minutes. Theatrical release October 6, 2017. Updated October 6, 2017
The Mountain Between Us
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Mountain Between Us rated PG-13? The Mountain Between Us is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for a scene of sexuality, peril, injury images, and brief strong language.Violence:
A character has a stroke while flying a plane and the aircraft crashes and breaks apart. Due to the accident, characters receive bloody cuts (shown with some detail) and broken bones: one is killed and another unconscious. A frozen corpse is seen. A wild animal threatens a human, and then attacks a dog: the sounds of their struggle are heard. An animal is shot. Meat is cut from an animal’s carcass and then eaten. Medical first aid is administered, often with makeshift equipment. Characters battle extreme weather conditions, nearly fall off cliffs and break through ice into freezing water. Characters suffer from hunger, dehydration, crippling injuries and frostbite. War violence, rebel factions and death are discussed.
Characters mention a brief adulterous affair, an engagement and a marriage. A man and woman cuddle together to stay warm. In a lengthy scene, characters engage in sexual relations which include passionate kissing, undressing, fondling, lying on top of one another and sexual facial gestures. A woman’s bra and bare back are seen, and a man is seen shirtless. Later a woman is seen in a see-through shirt. Characters embrace and kiss. Some awkward remarks are made about a male doctor having to undress a female patient. On a couple of occasions a character urinates – this is not shown, but sounds effects are heard along with seeing the emptying of a metal bowl.
A sexual expletive is heard once. The script includes frequent use of terms of deity and scatological slang, and infrequent use of mild profanity and slurs.
Alcohol / Drug Use:
Alcohol is used in social settings. A character takes a non-prescription pain killer. A IV needle is inserted into a person’s arm and a sewing needle is used to stich up a wound. Various medical interventions are seen in a hospital setting.
Page last updated October 6, 2017
More parents' guide for The Mountain Between Us after the break...
The Mountain Between Us Parents' GuideBen considers himself to be logical and responsible. He accuses Alex of being reckless and selfish. Alex thinks she is being proactive and self-sacrificing, and describes Ben as scared and lacking courage. Are they both right and wrong at the same time? How can acting responsibly sometimes look like fear? How can being proactive sometimes seem reckless? How do they eventually work out their different approaches to their shared problem? How can varying protectives be a good thing in decision making? How might you work out and/or benefit from conflicting opinions with another person?
How can stressful situations bring out both the best and worst in a person? What good qualities do we see in Ben and Alex? When do they react poorly? How do you respond when things get tough? What can you do to find your best traits during trying times?
News About "The Mountain Between Us"
This movie is based on the book The Mountain Between Us, by Charles Martin. While the script makes some changes from the original story, the premise remains the same: two strangers must rely on one another after they survive an airplane crash and are stranded on a high mountain.
Have you ever wondered how you would do in similar circumstances? Improve your chances by reading theses tips about survival in cold weather.
From the Studio:
Stranded after a tragic plane crash, two strangers must forge a connection to survive the extreme elements of a remote snow covered mountain. When they realize help is not coming, they embark on a perilous journey across hundreds of miles of wilderness, pushing one another to endure and discovering strength they never knew possible.
Written by Twentieth Century Fox