Jungle

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Jungle Movie Poster Image
Lifeless approach to true survival story has iffy stuff.
  • R
  • 2017
  • 115 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Shows perseverance as key to overcoming challenges, although a little more preparation and a little less recklessness would also have gone a long way.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The real-life Yossi Ghinsberg is considered a humanitarian and inspires people with his books and motivational speaking. His survival can be seen as an act of heroism, but it can also be seen as an act of recklessness.

Violence

Disturbing imagery. Animals are shot, cooked, and eaten. Bird fetuses inside eggs are eaten. Squirmy worm-thing is dug out from under forehead skin with tweezers. Bloody, wounded feet. Arguing.

Sex

Characters are naked together but covered by a blanket. Kissing. Sex implied. Men bathe in a river, their naked bottoms shown. A female character undresses in a hallucination (nothing graphic shown). Brief sex-related talk.

Language

Several uses of "f--k" and "s--t." Also "hell," "stupid."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters take a homemade cactus-based drug. A drug trip scene includes colors and hallucinations. A character takes speed, which "makes him feel like Superman." Social drinking, beer. Brief cigarette smoking. Smoking with natives (possibly tobacco, possibly pot).

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Jungle is a survival drama based on the true story of Yossi Ghinsberg, who was lost in the Amazon for three weeks in 1981. The movie is more monotonous and uncomfortable than it is thrilling, shocking, or inspiring, but Daniel Radcliffe fans may find something worthwhile in his performance. Expect to see some disturbing imagery, including a monkey being shot and killed, bludgeoned, and eaten; digging a worm-like thing out from under human skin; eating a bird fetus; and some gory wounds. Language is strong, with several uses of "f--k" and "s--t." Characters take a cactus-based hallucinatory drug, as well as speed, and there are scenes of smoking and social drinking. A man and a woman are assumed to be naked under a blanket, and they're shown kissing; naked bottoms are seen when men bathe in a river.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAhmed A. December 27, 2017
Adult Written byBreaden Hoffmaster September 3, 2018

Daniel Radcliffe is brilliant in this film based on true events!

“Jungle” is the true story of Yossi Ghinsberg, who in the late 1980's was lost during a rainforest expedition and forced into the wild. There are edge-of... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byhenry_richa December 30, 2017

What's the story?

In JUNGLE, which is based on a true story, Israeli adventurer Yossi Ghinsberg (Daniel Radcliffe) heads to Bolivia. There, he meets Marcus (Joel Jackson) and Marcus' best friend, photographer Kevin (Alex Russell). After some gadding about, Yossi then meets explorer Karl (Thomas Kretschmann), who offers to take the others deep into the Amazonian jungle to observe a remote tribe of people and possibly find gold. Before long, Marcus starts having trouble with his feet, and Yossi and Kevin are left on their own. But an accident on a river separates them, and Yossi finds himself alone, without supplies. Kevin searches for him, but it's a big jungle ... can Yossi survive until rescue comes?

Is it any good?

Exploitation director Greg McLean chooses a numbingly middling approach to tell this true exploration story; the movie is too blunt to be sympathetic but also too careful to be thrilling. Even as Jungle begins with its most innocuous scenes, McLean adopts a short attention-span approach, cutting every couple of seconds and creating a monotonous rhythm, a blur of movements and events. It feels too controlled for anything to happen organically. It never slows down long enough for viewers to get to know the characters, nor does it speed up enough to achieve a decent pace.

Frankly it's surprising that McLean, whose previous movies (including Wolf Creek and The Belko Experiment) have pushed the envelope for gore, should tone down Jungle, as if attempting to respect its true story ... or trying to elevate his career to some degree of credibility. By the time the movie gets to its climax, with Yossi alone in the jungle and doing whatever it takes to survive, it fails to be either shocking or thrilling. It's merely uncomfortable. Give Radcliffe credit, though, for his demanding physical performance; post-Harry Potter, he continues to select challenging projects.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Jungle's violence. Does it seem less intense when it's depicted in terms of survival, rather than inflicting harm? Why or why not?

  • How does the movie depict drug use? Does it glorify drugs? Are there consequences? Why does that matter?

  • Is Ghinsberg a role model? Why or why not?

  • Is the movie's depiction of survival heroic? Is it less heroic when the characters are reckless to begin with?

Movie details

For kids who love drama and adventure

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