Parents' Guide to

Force of Nature

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Flaws outweigh attributes in violent action-thriller.

Movie R 2020 91 minutes
Force of Nature Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

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Is It Any Good?

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Kids say (1):

An odd mix of snappy and silly, of culturally aware and culturally clueless, this thriller may pass muster with a few viewers, but others will likely find it problematic in more ways than one. Directed by indie veteran Michael Polish, Force of Nature is, on the plus side, a compact, tense little B movie, using the storm and its (mostly) lone location to cook up a lightly effective cat-and-mouse game. The prize -- a multimillion-dollar painting -- brings a sense of history/mystery to the proceedings. The movie also shows at least some empathy toward Black character Griffin, acknowledging the evils of prejudice. And Jess, who's Latinx, is an admirable character.

On the other hand, many have taken the movie to task for its naive depiction of heroic White characters (who also happen to be portrayed by two controversial actors) in a movie set in Puerto Rico, with Latinx villains. Moreover, the movie also depicts the cruel treatment of an animal, a big cat that goes largely unseen (perhaps a tiger?), but which is kept in a locked, windowless, dark room. Those things, coupled with moments of sheer disbelief -- one notable line is "those stairs only lead up," and there's some head-spinning dialogue about shooting frozen turkeys -- push Force of Nature just over to the negative side. It's too bad; just a little more forethought might have yielded a fun thriller.

Movie Details

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