Movie Review: “The Mountain Between Us”


Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

The Mountain Between Us stars Idris Elba and Kate Winslet. The movie was released in October of 2017.

Sarah Brooks, Reporter

In the last few years, many new films have revolved around people being stranded and left to fend for themselves. From the thriller, The Shallows, starring Blake Lively to the horror film, Don’t Breathe, the idea of survival is often seen. It was no surprise that yet again the concept would be used in the new film, rated with 43% on Rotten Tomatoes, The Mountain Between Us. Rather than the main characters escaping a shark or a serial killer, they are involved in a plane crash and are left alone to survive the wilderness.

The movie revolves around a surgeon on his way to give a child brain surgery and woman on her way to her own wedding, both in an Alaskan airport. The planes are delayed due to an incoming snow storm, resulting in Dr. Ben Bass (Idris Elba) and Alex Martin (Kate Winslet) meeting and catching a small, private plane. The pilot has a stroke during the flight, leading the plane to crash into an unknown Canadian mountain range with just Ben, Alex, and the pilot’s dog left alive. The pair lands where the mountains are covered in snow and there is no sign of anything man made around them. Towards the end of the movie, the plot changes from an adventure to a love story when the two fall in love despite the fact that Alex was supposed to be married the day after their departure. This doesn’t seem very realistic since they have only known each other for a few weeks. Stuck with little food and survival undetermined, the two strangers, along with the dog of the pilot who survived, must use the few skills about survival they know to try to survive.

The change to a love story was quick, and not necessary for the plot, the ending was overall very cliche. There is a small chance that the only two people who survive a plane crash fall in love. The movie is well done and interesting, but predictable due to its classic storyline. A successful version of the movie would have either kept the movie consistent without any elements of a love story, or could have shown signs that the movie would turn into a love story early on. This caused confusion to a viewer and the quick storyline change never gave someone watching a warning. To make it even less predictable, writers could have added more action elements altogether as well as steering away from a cliche ending, making it so one of the main characters did not survive. Overall, the story could have been told in just a few sentences rather than two hours in a movie theatre.  

The acting was well done for the changing storyline they had to deal with. The actors made it believable due to their past acting experiences such as Kate Winslet as Rose in Titanic and Idris Elba having performed in several horror and action movies. Elba’s performance added depth and mystery of not knowing his past, which is seen through their communication when he holds back from telling Alex about what happened to his family. Winslet added meaning to a blank storyline by truly caring about Ben and wanting to know about his life before they were stranded. Watching the movie, the viewer could feel connected and care for the characters which at times helped the love cliche, but did not avoid it.

Although the movie did follow a very cliche storyline and the ending could’ve been guessed before entering the theatre, the acting truly made up for the holes in the plot. If you are into a cliche movie with a happy ending, The Mountain Between Us is a perfect movie to watch.