A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Don't let past pain close you off to love; loving someone is always worth it. Open, honest, and respectful communication leads to understanding and can help the healing process when you're grieving.
Positive Role Models
The Lowe family, and later the Anker family, are closely knit and have lots of adventures together. All family members model communication and empathy. Alex and Conrad especially model perseverance and teamwork.
Documentary about a White family and a White-dominated sport. A few scenes include sherpas in the background and show Tibetans attending community events and performing rituals.
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Violence & Scariness
Main story is about death from an avalanche. Bloody bandages and injuries are shown on an avalanche survivor. One person admits to thoughts of suicide. Indistinct parts of a corpse are shown from a distance. Brief scariness from fear of, and danger from, avalanches.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A few kisses and embraces between married people in archival footage.
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"F--king bitch," "f--k," and "goddammit."
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Products & Purchases
Lots of North Face logoed clothes and equipment. A few brief instances of other branded equipment are shown incidentally.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A photo shows adults drinking what seems to be beer in a partying atmosphere. An adult has a wine glass in hand. An interview subject takes a drink of unspecified brown liquid during an emotional moment.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Torn is a National Geographic documentary about legendary mountain climber Alex Lowe, his tragic death in 1999, and his family's grief and healing afterward. Losing a loved one, especially a parent, is a major theme. There are a couple of instances of "f--k," "goddammit," and "bitch." Bloody bandages and injuries are shown, as well as a part of a corpse shown briefly from a distance. One person mentions thoughts of suicide. A few instances show adults drinking, one in a party atmosphere implying excess, and a person who takes a drink of what seems to be alcohol after an emotional moment being interviewed. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Although there's plenty of footage of the near-mythical, mountain-climbing icon Alex Lowe, this is ultimately a touching story of a family's long journey toward healing and recovery. Torn was directed by Alex's son Max, who mainly interviews his mom, brothers, and stepdad while taking us through Alex's life and some of the processes involved in making the movie. Max Lowe treats his subjects with respect and care while sometimes asking painful questions, and his subjects respond with heartfelt honesty and openness. If it had been a documentary strictly about Alex Lowe's life, viewers might feel that some important people and parts of the story are left out, like the cameraman who also died in the avalanche. But Lowe's life and death are really the starting point for a story about love and loss.
Although there's lots of footage and pictures of Lowe's kids when they were young, they're all adults now and talking about their lives and memories of Alex from a mature perspective. Younger viewers may lose interest, and the brief instances of profanity make it best for teens and up who can handle the strong emotions shown.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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.