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Parents' Guide to


By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Misguided, sour "comedy" about cowardice isn't very funny.

Movie R 2020 86 minutes
Downhill Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 8 parent reviews

age 18+

Doesn’t Have to be a Comedy Just Because Will Ferrel is in it

Wow! So glad I read the reviews AFTER watching this movie; otherwise I might not have given it a chance. As my title indicates, this is not a comedy just because the two lead actors are known for their comedic chops. There certainly were some sardonic moments. You will not be rolling in the aisles with this one. Now that the issue of “comedy” has been put to rest, we can move on with the story and how it was brought to life by Will, Julia and the rest of this very good cast. If you know anything about the acting careers of Ferrell and Dreyfus, you will know that they both have some serious acting cred. Ferrell in, among other things, “Stranger Than Fiction” and Dreyfus in “Enough Said”, come to mind. In this movie, they bring the same sensitivity to their characters. Of note, the bewilderment of their partner’s reaction to the same experience was perfect. Dreyfus’s character’s rage and disappointment in her husband was so finely wrought. This is a movie about a family realizing it might be in crisis. Not wanting to give too much away, but Dreyfus’s character is incredibly inspiring in the end in how she deals with her disappointment in her husband with grace and compassion. I am a big fan of Nate Faxon and Jim Rash. They always make movies with grace and a little bit of humour (for relief) and always leave you with a feeling that, although things may seem dire, they can always improve as long as love and empathy are present. I rated this 18 and up for a couple of mild sexual scenes but mostly because this is an adult movie about marriage and commitment, not something most kids under 18 are interested in. Speaking of kids - it was really refreshing to see a movie that had rather privileged 12 year old kids (they go skiing in the Alps as a family) who were not brats. They were just nice, normal kids who didn’t have foul mouths and atrocious behaviour issues like so many kids in movies these days. If you like well-acted, adult focused movies about realistic scenarios, then please give this a shot. As long as you are not expecting a “comedy”, I think you will be pleasantly surprised. So many people gave this movie such low ratings because they went in with pre-conceived notions of what they were going to see. Don’t fall into that trap.
age 18+

A waste of talent

A couple with two children (why the children are even involved in this mess is beyond me) at an adult-only ski resort become upset after an avalanche. Do not bother. I beg you.

This title has:

Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (8 ):
Kids say (2 ):

An odd, misguided remake of a 2014 Swedish movie, this sour, muddled comedy seems to have missed the original's point. Here, it's 86 minutes spent with detestable people who argue and make excuses. Force Majeure was an excruciating black comedy so deliberately level and deadpan that it forced viewers to ask themselves the unanswerable question: What would I have done if it were me? Downhill, on the other hand, draws all of its attention to its unlikable characters -- and it's likely that many viewers' only thought will be: How soon can I get out of here?

Ferrell and Louis-Dreyfus are great performers, and both try their best here. Ferrell is, frankly, miscast. Much of his comedy comes from a sense of childlike arrested development juxtaposed with a big man's body. He's never been about masculinity or bravery. And poor Louis-Dreyfus mainly shrieks and fusses and looks pinched and angry, except in one strange slapstick sequence during which she nearly sleeps with a sexy ski instructor. Co-writers/co-directors Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, whose wonderful The Way Way Back did seem to have a grasp on human behavior, simply can't decide on what they want to say in Downhill, or how to say it. They settle on a bizarre, semi-humorous ending that borrows a little from the Swedish film but misses its ambiguity.

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