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127 Hours Review

Movies.com Critics

4.5

Dave White Profile

Best hack-off-your-own-limb film of the year. Read full review

3.5

Jen Yamato Profile

Jigsaw’s new apprentice: Mother Nature. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 5.0
    82

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    A true-life adventure that turns into a one-man disaster movie - and the darker it gets, the more enthralling it becomes.

    Read Full Review

  • 100

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Only a truly visionary filmmaker could take a story largely set in a cramped canyon and give it a sense of openness and hope.

    Read Full Review

  • 90

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Stephen Farber

    All of the key creative personnel contribute to the movie's nail-biting tension and unexpectedly moving finale. Jon Harris's editing is matchless, and Rahman's score effectively heightens the emotion. Ultimately, however, it is the talents of Boyle and Franco that sock this movie home.

    Read Full Review

  • 90

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    It's exciting, stirring, often funny, sometimes lyrical and unusually thoughtful. And, with that one egregious exception, genuinely pleasurable.

    Read Full Review

  • See all 127 Hours reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 17 & under

True story of trapped hiker is intense, powerful, gruesome.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this intense drama from the director of Slumdog Millionaire is based on a true story about a hiker trapped in the bottom of a canyon for more than five days, his arm pinned between a boulder and the canyon wall. Although there's some very gruesome self-inflicted violence as the main character (who's played by James Franco) attempts to free himself -- some audience members reportedly passed out at preview screenings -- ultimately 127 Hours is a positive, life-affirming story about overcoming incredible odds. Those who have the stomach for the bloody parts can also expect some heavy language (not all that surprising, considering the movie's circumstances), and flashback scenes with drinking and sexual situations. There are also notable beverage product placements (Gatorade, Coke, Perrier, etc.) as the main character gets thirsty and dreams of something to drink.

  • Families can talk about the movie's gory parts. Were they absolutely necessary to tell the story? How did seeing those scenes make you feel? Could you feel the pain the character was going through? How was this accomplished?
  • Did Aron do everything possible to free himself? What could he have done differently? What would you have done differently?
  • Are movies based on real lives/true stories more interesting than those that are pure fiction?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: The movie has strong messages about triumphing over the odds and facing challenges with courage. Aron works hard to solve his problem, keeping his head and trying not to panic or give up.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: The movie presents Aron as a brave survivor and a hero, someone who faced incredible odds and won. He's not flawless; he swears a lot, and flashbacks show him in sexual situations and drinking, plus he probably could have avoided his situation entirely if he had been more responsible. But this event was a life-changer, and it clearly woke him up. During part of the movie, he engages in extreme survival techniques that may disturb some viewers, such as drinking urine.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Intense, gruesome self-inflicted violence; some reports say that audience members have passed out as a result of watching it. In the worst of it, Aron tries to saw through his own arm, which requires him to slice through flesh (blood is shown), snap the bone, and sever what looks like a nerve; the movie uses blasts of shrieking noise on the soundtrack to illustrate the pain. Close-ups and X-ray shots of the arm are seen. In an earlier, more carefree moment, Aron wipes out on his bike.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Flashbacks show Aron with a former girlfriend. They're seen under a blanket, possibly naked, presumably after sex. There's innuendo and sex talk. A carload of teens performs a "freeze-out," i.e. taking off all their clothes and rolling down the windows of a moving car on a cold night (very little actual nudity is shown). Aron goes swimming with two pretty girls; he later watches his video of the swim, with lust/desire implied.

  • language false4

    Language: Many uses of "f--k" and "s--t," plus "crap," "oh my God," and more.

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Gatorade makes a prominent appearance, and when his water runs low, Aron fantasizes about cold drinks -- and viewers see actual TV ads for Sunkist, Coke, and Perrier. Mountain Dew and Scooby-Doo are also mentioned.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Twenty-something characters are seen drinking beer at a party in an imagined flashback, and Aron drinks wine with his girlfriend (in a real flashback). No one is seen over-indulging.

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