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2,187 Ratings

Force Majeure


Directed by Ruben Östlund
Sweden, France, 2014
Drama, Comedy


A Swedish family travels to enjoy a few days of skiing. The slopes are spectacular but, during a lunch at a mountainside restaurant, an avalanche turns everything upside down. Tomas and Ebba’s marriage now hangs in the balance as Tomas struggles desperately to reclaim his role as family patriarch.

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Force Majeure Directed by Ruben Östlund
So much of [Force majeure’s] volatile action remains just under the surface, in the form of flaws, misunderstandings, festering resentments. In this, and many other ways, it resembles that other Scandinavian phenomenon My Struggle, and I have to imagine that, if he saw this movie, Karl Ove Knausgaard must have enjoyed watching this perfect Swedish family disintegrate like so much rotten Ikea particleboard.
June 30, 2015
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[Beyond the Lights] has to fight for the spotlight in a strong week for arthouse releases, none better than Ruben Östlund’s wickedly pointed family-crisis comedy Force Majeure, in which the Swede’s preoccupation with the warped moral subtext of everyday human behaviour finds its most broadly entertaining narrative to date.
June 28, 2015
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This masterful drama piles complex emotions—shame, fear, embarrassment, anguish—on top of one another and then, amazingly, finds a way to somehow mine the most emotionally excruciating moments for a vein of rich, black comedy.
January 16, 2015
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What are people saying?

  • Ben Dooley's rating of the film Force Majeure

    A controlled avalanche at a skiing resort nearly goes wrong and the father of an IKEA-perfect family, rather than save his kids, runs away; this leads to a psychological ‘avalanche’ in the family. The film’s genius is that it plays so well on that knife’s edge where excessive melodrama builds scenes to their extreme comic breaking point. Similar to Joanna Hogg’s Archipelago but leans far more towards comedy.

  • vladd's rating of the film Force Majeure

    Rarely you'll witness a more thorough dissection of a family's core, when faced with matters like dissolving trust and unattended, ever-amplifying tensions. I can only think of Jonathan Franzen's book, "Corrections" as a worthy parallel. Force Majeure may be hard to watch at times, but that only proves its spot-on rendition of the human soul left without any defense at all.

  • El Biffo's rating of the film Force Majeure

    Many beautiful elements in this film, but doesn't quite add up. In fact, it almost put me to sleep, and I watched it in the middle of the day. The advert for the film called it "wickedly funny"; I wouldn't say that. It wasn't very funny at all. It was sad, in an everyday sort of way.

  • Mugino's rating of the film Force Majeure

    The razor thin ties that bind people come unraveling in a split-second instant of stark transparency. Whether by colossal force or merely a poor choice of words, when the veil of artifice flutters aside, we are left gawping at the house of cards we've built for ourselves. The austere cinematography is a cruel accomplice, framing our hapless protagonists with comically cool detachment. Bracing and droll.

  • Michael H. CLAES's rating of the film Force Majeure

    1/ As a woman you'll think "Guys? All cowards" 2/ As a man you'll think "Women? so complicated & never satisfied" 3/ You planned to skii this winter? Go to Morocco or Senegal instead. === 1/ Vous êtes une femme, vous penserez "Les mecs? Des lâches & des salauds" 2/ Vous êtes un homme, vous penserez "Les nanas? Compliquées & jamais contentes" 3/ Vous aviez envie de skier cet hiver? Allez plutôt au Maroc ou au Sénégal.

  • EdieEmm's rating of the film Force Majeure

    Half an hour too long for that fourth star, but it's so rare that a beautiful, big-budget entertainer is also a brutally dark satire that it's hard not to be forgiving. Incisive, clever script pulled off flawlessly by the actors, with consistent, understated comedic support from camera and editing (& hilarious accordion Vivaldi refrain). All with relevant, if not profound, commentary on masculinity. Highly enjoyable.

  • anarresti's rating of the film Force Majeure

    Sweden these days seems to reflect a lot about gender roles. I couldn't help watching the film thinking about that. The premise is quite interesting. But does it translate a Swedish angst (1), or is it more of an universal thing (2) about roles? If (1), did the Swedish get their first? The whole masculinist trend seems to put this film in a very interesting context. (Some) men, now, seem awfully aware of their roles.

  • Lights in the Dusk's rating of the film Force Majeure

    Östlund directs like a genial, less hectoring Haneke. His style is studied & controlled. Color, composition, editing & sound are impeccable, establishing a feeling of antiseptic middle-class anxiety; an empty going-through-the-motions depiction of modern life comparable to Archipelago by J. Hogg. Here the popular "comedy of embarrassment" trope merges with the spirit of Buñuel without becoming nasty or mean-spirited.

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