A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Encourages older people to get out and try things, and encourages people in general to see life in new ways -- i.e. that sometimes things aren't quite so black and white as we might think.
Positive Role Models
Characters are highly flawed, but it's admirable that they try something challenging at an age when they might be less likely to go outside their comfort zone.
Violence & Scariness
Angry man bangs on doors with a baseball bat. Falls from ledges. Chases. Pratfalls. Bears.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Strong innuendo, verbal sexual references, stories about sex. A couple kiss in a car; she disappears below the seat to give him (implied) oral sex. Flirting. Panties shown. A married man resists flirtations.
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Strong, fairly frequent language includes "f--k," "s--t," "p---y," "son of a bitch," "goddamn," "damn," "blow job."
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Products & Purchases
K-Mart is featured prominently in one sequence. A Google search is shown.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Minor characters drink and drive. A character is a recovering alcoholic. He has a bottle of whisky, but resists drinking it. References to getting drunk.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that A Walk in the Woods is a dramedy -- based on Bill Bryson's nonfiction book -- about two older men (played by Robert Redford and Nick Nolte) who decide to hike the Appalachian Trail. Language is the biggest issue, with frequent uses of "f--k" and "s--t," as well as strong sexual references/innuendo and stories of sexual exploits. An amorous couple kisses while driving a car, and she disappears below the seat to (it's implied) perform oral sex. There's some flirting, and a man gets in trouble with a married woman's husband, who wields a baseball bat. Characters fall off ledges, there's some arguing, and bears wander into a campsite. One character is a recovering alcoholic and tells stories of being drunk; he carries a bottle of whisky, but doesn't drink it. Minor characters are shown drinking and driving. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
While this movie could have been an overly earnest drama or an embarrassing slapstick farce, it settles somewhere comfortably in between. It's inconsequential, but it should please fans of codger comedies. Director Ken Kwapis, a veteran of TV series and lightweight comedies, mainly keeps things on an even keel. Even if Kristen Schaal (as an annoying hiker) and Susan McPhail (as a cheating wife) are witless diversions, the movie usually veers back on the trail quickly enough.
Potential dramatic pitfalls are handled lightly or simply left behind. The wonderful Mary Steenburgen plays a hotel proprietress who makes eyes at Bryson, and Katz has a close call with an alcoholic episode. The movie's strength is in the relationship between the two men, with Nolte's comically gruff performance providing the anchor. They sometimes argue and other times share memories, but their bond is largely unexplained and unspoken.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.