Stranded after a tragic plane crash, two strangers must forge a connection to survive the extreme elements of a remote snow-covered mountain, pushing one another to endure and discovering strength they never knew possible.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )


Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2017
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 112 minutes
Genre: Drama/Thriller/Romance

Disc Format: BD-66
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.39:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Idris Elba, Kate Winslet, Beau Bridges, Dermot Mulroney
Directed by: Hany Abu-Assad
Music by: Ramin Djawadi
Written by: Chris Weitz, J. Mills Goodloe
Region Code: A

Release Date: December 26, 2017
"What if Your Life Depended on a Stranger?"
My Take:

After an incoming storm forces the cancellation of her flight to New York, talented photojournalist Alex Martin finds herself stuck in Idaho the night before her wedding. Scrambling to make it home in time, she hits upon a longshot idea and charters a plane to Denver in the hopes of catching the red-eye to New York that same night. Another stranded passenger, Ben Bass, a skilled British neurosurgeon due back on the East Coast to perform a critical, life-saving operation, tunes out his own misgivings about the plan and joins her.

As Alex and Ben fly ahead of inclement weather in a small Piper two-seater, their pilot suffers a massive stroke, and the small craft crashes in the deep snows of the Uinta Mountains in northeastern Utah. Trapped in the remote region with little hope of rescue, the two weary travelers embark on a terrifying and transformative pilgrimage across the unforgiving reaches of the vast, rugged terrain, fighting against the elements, animals and time. Under the most extreme circumstances imaginable, they gradually learn to trust one another, and a powerful connection grows between them—one that will reshape the course of their lives.

Based on the book by Charles Martin, The Mountain Between Us is a rather formulaic film, with a story of survival that pushes the plausibility scale quite far. That truly isn’t the point though. At its heart it’s a drama/romance about two people thrown into a struggle to survive, who find themselves reliant on the one and only thing they have, each other. The Mountain Between Ussucceeds, not so much due to the depth of its narrative, but more so due to the chemistry, and solid performances of its two stars. I’m a romantic at heart, so I probably give this film a bit more slack, where others may be put off by the, “oh brother/really?” factor.

If you generally enjoy character driven dramas/romances, and like Idris Elba and Kate Winslet, I suspect that The Mountain Between Us will prove entertaining enough to pass the time on movie night.

Replay Value:
Parental Guide:

The rating is for a scene of sexuality, peril/injury images, and brief strong language.

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

Audio: 86
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics: 
  • Low frequency effects: 
  • Surround Sound presentation: 
  • Clarity/Detail: 
  • Dialogue Reproduction: 
  • DSU Rating * (non-rated element): 

UHD Presentation: 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • HDR: Dark Highlights:
  • HDR: Bright Highlights:
  • HDR: Expanded Color:
  • Resolution: 
  • Visual Impact: 

The Mountain Between Us comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.6 Mbps.

For its presentation in Ultra HD The Mountain Between Us was rendered from digital sources and finished on a 2K DI.

I watched this film on Blu-ray one evening and Ultra HD the next. Each experience was fresh in my mind which helped when making comparisons. The film was shot with a specific visual aesthetic in mind and that comes through in both presentations. The Ultra HD presentation bests the 1080p version in every respect. With a discernible increase in detail and emboldened chromatic highlights the image appears noticeably sharper when compared to the 1080p version. Primary colors are pleasingly rich while whites appear gradational and punchy. This film is rarely lent to low lit environs and dark cinematography, but when present, those aspects looked great, featuring added depth in the grays, blacks and shadows. It should be noted that eye straining dynamic bright elements are nowhere to found. The film’s use of natural and artificial lighting appears very lifelike.

Comparing the Ultra HD rendering to the Blu-ray, I found them to be levels apart, but not compellingly so. I think that much of this is lent to the innate quality of the film’s elements. Fortunately, the Ultra HD version enhances the positives, making for a gratifying viewing experience.

The multi-channel lossless audio won’t test the limits of your surround sound system but it capably delivers the elements present in this soundtrack. Dialog is tonally rich with excellent room penetration and defining clarity. Dynamics are punchy and bass response is appropriate and provides extension where needed, such as the plane crash. The front channels handled the bulk of the audio and presented a wide two-dimensional soundstage with the surrounds supplying ambience detail that added depth. I thought the mix mated well with the source material and sounded just fine.

* Note: The jacket cover shows the sound mix as DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio. This is an error as the mix found on both the Blu-ray and UHD Blu-ray is DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio.*

For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Blu-ray Video:

Video: 92
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity: 
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail: 
  • Color Reproduction: 
  • Fleshtones: 
  • Compression: 

The Mountain Between Us comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 30 Mbps.

This is a solid high definition presentation that seems a perfect match for the source material. Colors are naturally rendered with eye pleasing vitality and warm accents. Fleshtones are rendered with lifelike tonality. Images are resolute, with stable sharpness, crisp detail and appreciable subtle refinement. Certain scenes appeared better resolved than others although this appears related to the photography and not the encoding. Contrast is stable and blacks are rich in depth with discernible detail in low lighting and shadows. I didn’t see any distracting signs of video related artifacts and thought that in general video quality was top notch.

Bonus Features:
  • Disc 1: The Mountain Between Us Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • Disc 2: The Mountain Between Us Blu-ray
  • Love and Survival: Creating Chemistry
  • Mountain Between Them: Shooting in Isolation
  • The Wilds: Survival Stunts
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Gallery
  • Digital HD Copy
Final Thoughts:

The Mountain Between Us has a tonal shift that may leave some viewers with bad taste in their mouths, but I found its inevitably cloying story to be easy to bear, thanks to the charisma and chemistry of its leads. It comes to Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox Home entertainment in this Ultra HD Combo Pack featuring gratifying Ultra HD video, excellent high definition audio/video quality and a fair supplemental offering. If you generally enjoy character driven drama/romances, and like Idris Elba and Kate Winslet, I suspect that The Mountain Between Us will prove entertaining enough to pass the time on movie night.

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from  Spectracal )
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
SVS SB-13 Ultra (Piano Gloss finish)
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems