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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The girls desperately flee from an insidious orphanage master across misty, body-strewn battlefields and through inhospitable terrain. Underfed orphans make cheap sweatshop labor.
Violence & Scariness
There are many wartime deaths. A despicable man who threatens children with a gun takes a fatal tumble down a cliff.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this video portrays abused children, sweatshop labor, and wartime fighting. But it also presents heroine Heidi as a strong female role model: She's brave, good-hearted, and shows leadership to untangle a group of girls from several perilous situations. Girls especially will empathize with Heidi who, at that age between child and young woman, experiences love and loss and sets a brave example for her schoolmates. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
For young viewers, there are hints of a good story here. There's Heidi, a spunky girl who isn't afraid to stand up for what's right. There's also a loving grandfather, and a caring schoolmistress who helps Heidi adjust to her strange new surroundings and taunting schoolmates. Spice that up with a little love and war and a dangerous trek across the Swiss Alps, and it sounds downright palatable. But a hundred years ago, author Johanna Spyri probably didn't foresee her beloved children's character Heidi growing up, going to boarding school, breaking out of a Dickensian orphanage, and being pursued across the Swiss Alps by a gun-toting madman. Why somebody else did is something of a mystery.
The main issue in COURAGE MOUNTAIN is the implausible script, which is emphasized at times by some heavy-handed direction. The movie's villain is so vile, so dastardly, that he puts Around the World in 80 Days' Phileas Fogg and Babes in Toyland's Barnaby both to shame. His gruel-powered sweatshop of an orphanage would be funny if it wasn't so out of place. That he gets his comeuppance in a fairly gruesome manner is sure to delight children. For star power there's Charlie Sheen, who should be Swiss but makes no attempt to disguise his Hollywood accent. That's okay. This one's for the girls, who will find him dreamy in his Italian army uniform and impeccable haircut. Youth passes too quickly. Let them have their fun.
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Our Editors Recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate