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Movie Review: The Mountain Between Us

The stranded, shipwrecked or marooned survival story is nothing new for movie audiences. Cast Away, Alive and Swiss Family Robinson all dealt with tales of people being left with no hope, but finding a way to fight for their lives and risk it all to get back home. The Mountain Between Us isn’t very different from those others films mentioned in terms of themes it presents to viewers, but what separates this movie from being just another man vs nature story are the two leads at this center.

The Mountain Between Us could have easily been the equivalent of a made for TV movie, but the talents of Kate Winslet and Idris Elba prevent that from every happening making a been there, done that film better than it should be. Winslet and Elba play two strangers Ben and Alex who after having their flights cancelled, decide to split the cost of a small private plane out of Idaho to make their flights in Denver. The plan seems to be going fine, until the plane get into trouble in the air, which leaves them stranded on the side of a mountain with no hope in sight.

As an audience member, you know the drill in this type of drama. The two unlikely travelers go through all the typical movie motions and emotions in The Mountain Between Us. They can’t believe they survived, they bicker about staying put and finally realize help is not coming for them. This leads to the hurt and hungry pair to make their way down the mountain in order to avoid starving or freezing to death. If you’re looking for an original tale of battling the elements, you won’t find it here.

The only reason the generic film The Mountain Between Us is worth watching on a rainy day is the on-screen chemistry between Idris Elba and Kate Winslet. The two actors lift the weak material on their backs during the desperate trip back to civilization and turn Alex and Ben into two people you care about. The Mountain Between Us is a testament to the acting skills of Winslet and Elba, who turn an ordinary disaster film into an intimate study of survival that helps you ignore the Lifetime Movie aspects of the film.

Overall, I give The Mountain Between Us 2.75 out of 4 stars.

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