Movie Review: The Mountain Between Us


The Mountain Between Us; photo courtesy of Fox Movies

Bita Zadeh, Photojournalist


You could probably sell tickets to a screening of Kate Winslet and Idris Elba doing about anything, so a survival/romance movie featuring the two definitely has some appeal. Directed by Hany Abu-Assad and adapted from a novel by Charles Martin, is the movie The Mountain Between Us. Will getting stranded on an icy mountain with Winslet and Elba be heartwarming enough to be worth your time?

The movie opens with two strangers, Alex and Ben, being told that their flights are canceled. Both eager to get to their destinations, they decide to let an independent pilot fly them to Denver so that they can catch actual flights once there. Immediately, the story cuts to the chase. We do not see their worlds before they meet each other, but we don’t really need to. She is a journalist and he’s a doctor, and both have a pressing desire to get to where they need to go. For Alex, it’s her wedding to a man named Mark, and for Ben, it is to his patient. And for the purposes of where they end up, that’s all we really need to know for the time being.

As expected, however, their flight does not take them to Denver but rather crashes and lands them in the middle of some very snowy mountains after their pilot has a stroke mid-flight and dies in the plane crash. With only each other and the pilot’s dog to rely on, Alex and Ben set out on a journey of survival, determined to make it through the mountains alive.

So why does this terrible situation feel so much like fantasy? Because almost every step along the way is another chance for Ben to heroically care for and nurture Alex, to always run back for her, to pull her out of frozen lakes and spoon soup into her mouth. Hampered with a leg injury, Alex gets to be the damsel in distress, always saved from certain death by her traveling companion. Winslet and Elba are so likeable and charismatic together that they really sell their romance. You want them to be together; you want them to get off that mountain and live happily ever after.

The Mountain Between Us was overall an amazing movie with fantastic actors, an interesting theme, great chemistry between characters and it did a great job of keeping you caught up in it. I do not tend to like a movie this much, but I would give it a 10/10 and definitely recommend it to anyone.