A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Movie is all about solving problems, overcoming challenges. It also demonstrates empathy, selflessness.
Positive Role Models
Main character is impressive. We don't know how he got there (or what mistakes were potentially made), but he's clever and wise, and he sets out into the wilderness full of knowledge yet ready for challenges. Certain decisions are made based on whether main character should save himself or try to save both himself and the injured woman; he always chooses the latter.
Violence & Scariness
Helicopter crash. Character dies; dead body shown. Character injured; bloody stomach wound, which is stapled closed. Jump scare involving polar bear. Bleeding, injured leg; spatters of blood in snow. Catching fish, whacking fish's head to knock it unconscious. Moments of intense peril, screaming.
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Two uses of "f---ing."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Arctic is a survival thriller about a stranded man (Mads Mikkelsen) who must decide whether to take a dangerous trek to save an injured woman's life. It has moments of very intense peril and danger, as well as some blood: a stomach wound is stapled shut, and an injured leg leaves a trail of blood in the snow. A minor character dies, and there's a helicopter crash. A polar bear is involved in a jump scare, and a man catches a fish and whacks its head to knock it unconscious. Language includes two uses of "f---ing." Sex, drinking, drugs, smoking, and consumerism aren't issues. This lean, minimalist film is expertly made and rises well above many other examples of the genre; plus, it's all about solving problems and overcoming challenges. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
With a refreshing lack of exposition or padding, this lean, minimalist survival thriller rises far above the genre's usual examples, with much credit going to the sturdy, determined lead performance. The feature debut of writer/director Joe Penna and co-writer Ryan Morrison, Arctic avoids a lot of the genre's unpleasant hand-wringing by skipping all the stuff that leads up to Overgård's situation. There's no plane crash and no information about who he is, how he got there, or who else might have been involved. It jumps right in to the bare essentials, the core of surviving.
It's somewhat comforting to follow a character like Overgård, who's already quite smart about what measures to take in order to survive. We're in good hands, and we don't have to wait for costly mistakes to be made. The screenplay is compact and briskly paced, with an interesting array of unexpected obstacles. The movie still has its woozy moments -- as when frostbite begins to set in -- but Mikkelsen, who's perhaps best known for playing bad guys in Casino Royale and Doctor Strange, as well as TV's Hannibal, is commanding and immensely appealing. All in all, Arctic should make most audiences break out in a cold sweat.
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.