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Brokeback Mountain Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… heartbreaking … Read full review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 5.0

    out of 100

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

  • 100

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    It's a heart-wrenching portrayal of unfulfilled Wyoming love, but this time, we don't mean Alan Ladd and Jean Arthur in "Shane."

    Read Full Review

  • 100

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Brokeback Mountain is that rare thing, a big Hollywood weeper with a beautiful ache at its center. It's a modern-age Western that turns into a quietly revolutionary love story.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Brokeback Mountain has been described as "a gay cowboy movie," which is a cruel simplification. It is the story of a time and place where two men are forced to deny the only great passion either one will ever feel. Their tragedy is universal.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Brokeback Mountain aspires to an epic sweep and achieves it, though with singular intimacy and grace.

  • 100

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Ray Bennett

    Anne Proulx's 1997 short story in the New Yorker has been masterfully expanded by screenwriters Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana to provide director Lee with his best movie since "Sense and Sensibility" in 1995.

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  • See all Brokeback Mountain reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Mature, emotionally complex film isn't for kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a mature, emotionally complicated film that isn't appropriate for kids. The movie is focused on a lifelong relationship between two male cowboys. Their meeting and discovery of mutual desire at film's start is pictured in a rough-seeming sex scene (with fairly explicit activity); from then on, their physical relationship is less overt. They argue, wrestle, and occasionally come to sexual-tension-filled blows. Characters curse (including use of "f--k" and homophobic slang), smoke, and drink hard liquor in a "manly" manner. Married couples also argue, as wives come to resent their husbands' "other" interests.

  • Families can talk about the film's treatment of Jack and Ennis' relationship. How do their lying and betrayal affect their wives and children? Also, families can talk about whether or not it was "brave" for Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger to take their roles.

The good stuff
  • message true-1

    Messages: Characters struggle with homophobia (internalized and directed at them).

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Sexual tension and homophobia lead to fights; a father describes for his son a terrible murder of a gay man; a scene near the end shows a character's beating death at the hands of brutal homophobes.

  • sex false5

    Sex: Gay cowboys' first encounter is rough and surprising to both; later trysts are more poetic, and mostly offscreen.

  • language false3

    Language: Cowboy talk, including slang (derogatory for "homosexual", genitals, and sex acts) and cursing (f-word).

  • consumerism false-1

    Consumerism: Tobacco and canned foods show labels.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Drinking, cigarette rolling and smoking; a brief scene where characters smoke a joint.