Movie Review: ‘Force Majeure’ Climbs the Mountainous Male Ego


Cole Clay // Film Critic

FORCE MAJUERE | 118 min. | Rated R | Director: Ruben Östlund | Stars: Lisa Loven Kongsli, Clara Wettergren and Vincent Wettergren

FORCE MAJEURE skates the line between a drama and a comedy unlike any film in recent years. The title stems from a phrase Wikipedia defines as an “unavoidable accident.” So check that fact for what it’s worth.

The film follows a Swedish family on a five day long ski trip, where all is well until an avalanche metaphorically rips the family apart.

Directed by Swedish filmmaker Ruben Ostlund, who focuses his gaze upon the imploding male ego after the patriarch’s primal instincts fail to protect his family. The film is incredibly thought provoking and a frequently funny study of a floundering family dynamic. Ostlund captures beautifully framed long takes that employ both comedic and dramatic tones.

FORCE MAJEURE opens today.

About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction ( as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.