A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Put to the test, humans are capable of more than they might think. Survival can require emotional toughness as well as physical strength.
Positive Role Models
The survivors of a plane crash work together to prolong their existence, against all odds. They demonstrate teamwork and perseverance, helping each other through the worst of circumstances. When one loses confidence or gets injured, the others help. They make decisions together and respect each other's choices. Some risk their lives even further for the benefit of the group.
Set in Uruguay and the Andes Mountains and filmed in Spanish. The story is based on real events that took place there in 1972. The cast is made up of South American actors.
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Violence & Scariness
We see people praying and crying as their plane starts falling, then bodies folded together and crushed or thrown from the vessel during the crash. Sound and visuals are realistic, distressing. When the survivors awaken, they are bloody, disoriented, and surrounded by dead bodies, including those of loved ones. People are crying and screaming; some stay alive for a while and die later from injuries. The men who survive the longest are forced to grapple with injuries, freezing weather, a lack of food. They wind up forced to subsist off the bodies of the dead; we see men eating (human) meat after having a difficult discussion about whether they should. An avalanche buries the survivors and kills more people. An infection leads to the death of a key character. When finally rescued, the men look skeletal, haunted.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Men discuss the appearance of women. A couple kisses. Male frontal nudity is shown in shower scenes.
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"Jackass," "idiot," "dummy." The film is in Spanish with English subtitles.
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Products & Purchases
The film is based on a true story and on a book about it. It could inspire interest in the book as well as prior versions of the tale on-screen.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Men drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there are some disturbing scenes in the true story-based Society of the Snow, from graphic images of a plane crash to starving men forced to eat human flesh to a variety of injuries and deaths. The Spanish-language film has mild language, drinking and smoking, and sexual content (full-frontal male nudity is glimpsed), so the biggest issue is how much physical and emotional suffering a viewer can withstand. The men who survive do so through perseverance and teamwork. There are discussions about the morality of what it takes to survive, as well as the meaning and value of surviving a seemingly meaningless tragedy. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This true events-based film's impressive production values compensate for a two-and-a-half-hour ordeal of disaster, death, and survival. Society of the Snow focuses on the realistic horrors of what the passengers aboard a crashed Uruguayan jet suffered to survive for months in the remote Andes mountains, including cannibalism. Though director J.A. Bayona and co-scripters Nicolás Casariego and Jaime Marques weave in themes questioning the meaning of life and death in the face of meaningless tragedy, the movie centers on the calamities more than the characters.
The script offers a limited backstory and development of the individuals' lives and personalities. We care about their survival because they are the ultimate underdogs, and fewer and fewer keep making it through the unthinkable. We watch them struggle against every possible odd and want there to be purpose to their suffering. Bayona throws disturbing images at us—starting with the realism of the crashing bodies when the plane goes down, and ending with a stripped-down view of their battered physiques and psyches. He relies on effects, including an impressive sound design and intermittent extreme wide shots and close-ups, to convey the psychological and physical trauma of these men. The feat is sure to win the team technical recognition, but it won't be for all audiences.
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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.