Magnolia Pictures | Release Date: October 24, 2014
7.6
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 119 Ratings
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Positive:
94
Mixed:
15
Negative:
10
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6
netflicNov 2, 2014
I would NEVER call this movie a comedy...
A married couple with two kids comes to a luxury ski resort in Alps. Something happens when a controlled avalanche goes a bit wrong. Instead of protecting his family in the face of danger, the
I would NEVER call this movie a comedy...
A married couple with two kids comes to a luxury ski resort in Alps. Something happens when a controlled avalanche goes a bit wrong. Instead of protecting his family in the face of danger, the father picks up his phone and runs away. In the end everybody is fine physically but happy vacation family mood is gone.
I found this movie too long and absurd at times. Some episodes are uncomfortable to watch. Good editing would definitely benefit it. Decent acting and spectacular cinematography.
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4 of 4 users found this helpful40
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6
historyman1969Nov 1, 2014
Examination of gender and class roles is stunningly photographed -- the cinematography of the French Alps is breathtaking -- but the characters and story eventually becomes boring and uninvolving, and the movie makes several illogical leapsExamination of gender and class roles is stunningly photographed -- the cinematography of the French Alps is breathtaking -- but the characters and story eventually becomes boring and uninvolving, and the movie makes several illogical leaps in the final stages, along with a few too many endings. Expand
3 of 3 users found this helpful30
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5
everettDec 12, 2014
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Spoiler Alert: This film had some terrific moments, and I would have given it a higher score if not for the ending, which seems contrived. I couldn't believe that the woman would've gotten off the bus without her children. The point is supposed to be that none of us knows what we'll do in a life-threatening situation, and it's meant to be ironic, after all her upset re: her husband's abandonment. But this woman has already proven what she would do under such circumstances, at the beginning of the film. The notion that, later, she wouldn't have turned around and summoned her children to get off the bus with her was completely out of character. It seemed an easy way out, which sacrificed credibility and character in order to make a rather smug point. I wish I could've seen what would've happened to this couple - and family - if the ending hadn't have been so pat. Expand
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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6
lasttimeisawMay 13, 2015
In Swedish writer/director Ruben Östlund’s fourth feature, a nuclear Swedish family takes on a skiing vacation in a luxury resort at the French Alps, Tomas (Kuhnke) and Ebba (Kongsli) with their two kids Harry and Vera, however as the titleIn Swedish writer/director Ruben Östlund’s fourth feature, a nuclear Swedish family takes on a skiing vacation in a luxury resort at the French Alps, Tomas (Kuhnke) and Ebba (Kongsli) with their two kids Harry and Vera, however as the title suggests, Tomas’ one instinct reaction during a "force majeure” - an avalanche which turns out to be a false alarm, and his further denial triggers the marital dissonance between them, and eventually puts their marriage through an unanticipated test.

keep reading my review on my blog, please google: cinema omnivore, thanks
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1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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3
ariel84Jan 18, 2015
sigh...i'd like 1.5 hours out of 2 back. what started out as a fascinating examination of male/female dynamics very slowly devolved into a boring film. tight editing would've helped the story immensely. for once, i'm in total agreement withsigh...i'd like 1.5 hours out of 2 back. what started out as a fascinating examination of male/female dynamics very slowly devolved into a boring film. tight editing would've helped the story immensely. for once, i'm in total agreement with the Academy--the film def didn't deserve a nomination. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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8
LowbrowCinemaDec 27, 2014
Wow! FORCE MAJEURE is a total stunner that sneaks up on you. What starts off as a ski resort family vacation turns from a serious meditation on family and relationships to a blindingly brilliant and wicked comedy. The film is totally freshWow! FORCE MAJEURE is a total stunner that sneaks up on you. What starts off as a ski resort family vacation turns from a serious meditation on family and relationships to a blindingly brilliant and wicked comedy. The film is totally fresh and maniacally modern. So rare to see a film that feels like today and captures the complexity of modern relationships. FORCE MAJEURE is the kind of film that requires interpretation so see it with one or more friends, or a spouse. You won't stop talking for hours! A true wonder. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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4
Katahdin1Dec 4, 2014
This movie did not work for me. Shallow, uninteresting characters have a crisis and transform into shallow, uninteresting characters who whine a lot. The plot is contrived and manipulative. On the plus side, the acting is good and theThis movie did not work for me. Shallow, uninteresting characters have a crisis and transform into shallow, uninteresting characters who whine a lot. The plot is contrived and manipulative. On the plus side, the acting is good and the scenery is spectacular. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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10
smartmartSep 18, 2015
A constantly engaging art house film from Sweden, a country which has brought us plenty of great films in the past, most notably the films of Ingmar Bergman ("The Seventh Seal", "Wild Strawberries"). This film is a bit funnier than you'dA constantly engaging art house film from Sweden, a country which has brought us plenty of great films in the past, most notably the films of Ingmar Bergman ("The Seventh Seal", "Wild Strawberries"). This film is a bit funnier than you'd expect, mixing some subtle, darkly comedic moments with a lot of very dramatic stuff. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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10
ProteusNov 4, 2014
Brilliant movie. Even better than the critics say here. The movie is not about male ego it is about human frailty, fear, emotional sensitivity and family relations. The ending is amazing and perfect...it tells us what the movie is ultimatelyBrilliant movie. Even better than the critics say here. The movie is not about male ego it is about human frailty, fear, emotional sensitivity and family relations. The ending is amazing and perfect...it tells us what the movie is ultimately about - deep human reactions beyond our control. Expand
4 of 5 users found this helpful41
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10
jeanrenoir13Nov 26, 2014
Another genius sign of the brilliant zeitgeist in cinema internationally in 2014, when the best films have never been smarter. Though wildly different in so many ways, this film reminded me of the tour de force genius of Birdman. Both filmsAnother genius sign of the brilliant zeitgeist in cinema internationally in 2014, when the best films have never been smarter. Though wildly different in so many ways, this film reminded me of the tour de force genius of Birdman. Both films are so smart, both films are made with unbelievable precision in every aspect of their craft, both are gorgeous, both come very close to tragedy, and both films pull back from the edge, because going over would be a dumb cliche both films are too starkly smart, honest, and realistic about life to entertain. Expand
4 of 5 users found this helpful41
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2
paulusmillarusJan 29, 2015
Yet another anti-male movie. On a ski vacation, a man panics in the face of an avalanche, then won't admit it. His wife is angry at him and his denial, and exposes his cowardice to their friends. All of this on a scenic backdrop that isYet another anti-male movie. On a ski vacation, a man panics in the face of an avalanche, then won't admit it. His wife is angry at him and his denial, and exposes his cowardice to their friends. All of this on a scenic backdrop that is meant to reflect the coldness and sterility of their relationship, relentlessly until it is like fingernails on a blackboard. The men are portrayed as weak narcissists, the women as knowing and capable people who have to put up with the pathetic males in their lives. Expand
2 of 4 users found this helpful22
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9
DennisBowmanDec 22, 2014
A Swedish couple ( Johannes Kuhnke and Lisa Loven Kongsli) are on a week’s skiing vacation in the French Alps with their children. At the beginning of the trip, a frightening incident brings out the worst impulses in one of the familyA Swedish couple ( Johannes Kuhnke and Lisa Loven Kongsli) are on a week’s skiing vacation in the French Alps with their children. At the beginning of the trip, a frightening incident brings out the worst impulses in one of the family members. The remainder of the film is the fallout of this incident.

Director Ruben Ostlund does a great job with a fine cast in displaying tension below and above the surface. The beginning is the proverbial “dinosaur in the living room” situation where everyone pretends that nothing happened while trying in vain to hide their feelings. When feelings can’t be hidden any more, things get really interesting.

Kuhnke and Kongsli are great in their roles especially Kuhnke during a major meltdown scene.

“Force Majeure” shows that we may never know what our true instincts are until a major event happens. The pivotal event at the film’s beginning ripples into how it affects another couple who are informed of the situation and how one member’s instincts are also brought to the surface.

There were two events near the end of the film that might not have been necessary (or at least could have been shortened) though they still do add interesting information to the equation. The second last scene seems contrived at times; the last scene seemed to add unnecessary drama though a small crowd scene strongly shows the fate of two secondary characters.

But these complaints don’t stop “Force Majeure” from being one of the best movies of 2014.

RATING (out of four stars): * * * 1/2
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1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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0
snowcat81Apr 19, 2015
I don't understand why so many people refer to this film as a "comedy." It wasn't funny at all. I liked the premise of the film and I found some of the scenes compelling. I thought it had real potential. However, I'm sorry to say that aboutI don't understand why so many people refer to this film as a "comedy." It wasn't funny at all. I liked the premise of the film and I found some of the scenes compelling. I thought it had real potential. However, I'm sorry to say that about halfway through the film I found myself hoping a real avalanche would come along and put the whole family out of their misery because they were so boring and pathetic. Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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0
ManiacUKJan 9, 2016
There's an avalanche. Nobody gets hurt. Nothing happens for the following 2 hours. The end. Save yourself some time because you aren't missing anything.
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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7
DirigiblePulpFeb 1, 2017
I was on board with this for the most part. Its central premise is ripe and provides some fascinating digressions, dialogue and character moments -- languid pace and random scenes aside (what was that drone scene about besides being a prettyI was on board with this for the most part. Its central premise is ripe and provides some fascinating digressions, dialogue and character moments -- languid pace and random scenes aside (what was that drone scene about besides being a pretty shot?)

However, the two endings resolution didn't work for me. I don't know what to make of the second one and the first one is almost like a shrug, a sly wink.
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0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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7
ScraperDec 22, 2016
Was Force Majeure trying to make a statement about masculinity and gender roles or was it simply about a coward and his futile desire to be better than that which is written on his soul? This movie said more to me about the desire to change,Was Force Majeure trying to make a statement about masculinity and gender roles or was it simply about a coward and his futile desire to be better than that which is written on his soul? This movie said more to me about the desire to change, the struggle to reestablish trust with someone after committing a mortal sin inside a relationship. The screenplay immerses you in the complicated roadblock that consume the couple. I really liked the script and the grinding premise it feeds it's characters into. Personally, I would've like to have seen Force Majeure take more risks and really ratchet things up towards the middle to end. A fine film none-the-less. Expand
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8
SpangleApr 18, 2016
Force Majeure is a very thorough look at marriage and patriarchal hierarchy. In particular, it provides an interesting look at masculinity and what it means to be a man after a family experiences a close brush with an avalanche. This look atForce Majeure is a very thorough look at marriage and patriarchal hierarchy. In particular, it provides an interesting look at masculinity and what it means to be a man after a family experiences a close brush with an avalanche. This look at marriage and family (especially the effect on the kids) is truly traumatic in many aspects. It really helps you to identify with these characters and when they are emotionally tormented, you are right there with them holding back tears. This film may not be comedic as it as been described by some, but it is a great example of drama in everyday life and, at times, pure thrills. Honestly, this film could be quite thrilling at times when you could cut the tension with the knife. Of course, these are always followed up with truly awkward encounters between these deeply broken characters. The direction by Ruben Ostlund was phenomenal, while the writing and acting were also very, very good. Overall, Force Majeure is really a winner that provides serious food for thought on the expectations placed upon men by women and by society. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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9
foxgroveApr 11, 2015
The durability of a marriage due to an act of cowardice on the part of the husband is put under scrutiny in this very absorbing drama that Ingmar Bergman would have been proud of. Set against the backdrop of the ski slopes where a familyThe durability of a marriage due to an act of cowardice on the part of the husband is put under scrutiny in this very absorbing drama that Ingmar Bergman would have been proud of. Set against the backdrop of the ski slopes where a family (including son and daughter) are enjoying a vacation, the occurrence of an avalanche whilst the group are about to have lunch on the resort’s terrace has repercussions for the rest of the 5 day holiday. Whilst not actually reaching the party the incident is disconcerting enough to cause husband, Tomas’s instinct for self-preservation to kick in and he unceremoniously abandons his wife and kids in the ensuing panic. Recriminations, silences, breakdowns anger and tears follow as the wife, Ebba, tries to deal with her unwanted responses to the incident.
The avalanche itself is impressively staged and is one of many metaphors used in a screenplay that may not be particularly subtle in its statements, but is certainly effective in keeping clarity in the unfolding drama. The film pinpoints the fragility of relationships, and the expectations and emotional differences between men and women. A visit from Tomas’s best friend leads to a sleepless night with his girlfriend where they debate how he would have reacted in similar circumstances.
The conclusion offers some redemption for Tomas, but an ironic outcome for the friends. The film is beautifully shot and the commandingly strident music offers a very effective accompaniment to events on screen.
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8
LeZeeJul 30, 2015
Family defines unity, in whatever circumstances.

A Swedish dark comedy film, about a family and their vacation on the French Alps. It is not my favourite flick, but liked it a lot because of the refreshing theme. A satisfiable storytelling
Family defines unity, in whatever circumstances.

A Swedish dark comedy film, about a family and their vacation on the French Alps. It is not my favourite flick, but liked it a lot because of the refreshing theme. A satisfiable storytelling with the beautiful visuals of white planet.

It does not feel like a dark comedy, I had some good laughs, I mean the louder ones. I was surprised how cleverly the phases changed in the narration. Starts off like a normal family on the trip, but slowly reveals their hidden natures of the individuals.

Sometimes, vacations are not to relax, it will change the course of your life. What we do, how we behave and presence of mind are the key factors. Being a member of a family requires extra alter, especially if you are a man of the family.

It was just a brief story that was divided into five episodes and each covers one whole day event of the family that spends. Each day was different than the others. All the good, the bad and the weird days sliced into the happy, emotional and embarrassing incidents of the day.

Most of the story is a debate over the matter that happened in the earlier part. How a happy middle class family affected and progressing to be a dysfunctional was told in the later parts.

The scenes take place either in the resort or in the skiing expedition. A couple of other characters join the family and makes much more interesting developments. There were some unwanted scenes, but it quite gives the vacation atmosphere.

"I spent two years in therapy... And it did not do a damn thing.
Then I screamed for five minutes and felt a hell of a lot better."

Whenever I thought it almost concluded, the new twists approached. The last quarter makes this film special for giving an unexpected decent solution. But all the laugh riot is in the opening half.

I will be happy if the family returns for a sequel that set somewhere on the other continent. Not without the character Mats, because I liked that role. Better to say the red-beard-man inside that character was awesome. It was a small appearance, but so good.

After seeing this film, I think, definitely men would be cautious for the similar kind of situation in their lives. It is a lesson to learn without being in the actual scene. Enjoyable flick, and again not for everyone due to the sluggish pace.

8/10
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8
Brent_MarchantJan 10, 2015
An incisively written black comedy about what can happen when everything comes tumbling down, just like in the avalanche that serves as the film's seminal event and sparks a host of reactions from those affected. Expectations and dysfunctionAn incisively written black comedy about what can happen when everything comes tumbling down, just like in the avalanche that serves as the film's seminal event and sparks a host of reactions from those affected. Expectations and dysfunction get put on trial, whether they arise from "legitimate" or "manufactured" origins, with biting wit and irony. It also makes us take a hard look at matters of perspective and management of our personal power, whether in our actions, responses to life circumstances and expected gender roles. Expand
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10
justsayingtruthApr 21, 2020
Tremendous movie. From the psychological effects of the music, suspense and far away scenes to the representation of the fragility of social institutions such as marriage and gender; this movie is going to fiercely represent the crisis of theTremendous movie. From the psychological effects of the music, suspense and far away scenes to the representation of the fragility of social institutions such as marriage and gender; this movie is going to fiercely represent the crisis of the perfect family and how the tiniest move can dismantle the cracks of men stablished institutions of thought. It's going to put nature against men questioning the idea of te control of oneself and the abillity to follow values in life-threatning moments. It's going to keep you revisiting this topics after it ends. Must see! Expand
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8
DeanomiteJan 28, 2020
The photography in the Alps is amazing, and worth the watch by itself. the comedy is also well done, like the Seinfeld episode with the fire alarm and George tramples the kids. The problem I see is that nobody is listening, the wife isThe photography in the Alps is amazing, and worth the watch by itself. the comedy is also well done, like the Seinfeld episode with the fire alarm and George tramples the kids. The problem I see is that nobody is listening, the wife is upset to see her husband as a coward, she does not need everyone calling him a coward, she needs her feelings to be acknowledged. I like that the husband is unable to put his ego in perspective to be honest. this is how people are, the ego defines reality, regardless of what the truth is. The wife keeping documentation is key when dealing with narcissistic delusions. I was impressed that the husband is a good guy because he did not gaslight his wife, he got scared and hated to see himself badly, but did not attack others for seeing it that way. It would be much better if edited down a bit, the scene of mistaken flirting was useless. Expand
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8
JLuis_001Sep 6, 2017
Force Majeure is a film with a rather interesting theme and presents it in a non-traditional way, the questions it raises are disturbing and impressive, you can not avoid asking yourself what you would do in such a situation, therefore itForce Majeure is a film with a rather interesting theme and presents it in a non-traditional way, the questions it raises are disturbing and impressive, you can not avoid asking yourself what you would do in such a situation, therefore it becomes a movie that I'll be with you after a while.
Although it has weak points and stagnates in moments, the film takes off and lands on good terms. Essential.
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8
JoeDeckardApr 8, 2019
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Utterly brilliant and chilling exploration of a marriage rotting from within. When a couple on a ski-ing trip are faced with an avalanche, the woman runs to save her children while her husband goes instead for his smart phone and iPad. While the writer-director clearly has strong feelings about marriage - the woman is undoubtedly the stronger character of the two (within the story terms) and as the man falls apart, it is clear that underneath it all he is merely a little boy - already crushed by the avalanche of trying to be a man. While this may or may not be director Ruben Ostlund's aim, his unconscious wins the day. Fabulous. Expand
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