Wesley R. Ball’s review published on Letterboxd:
This is my second viewing of Force Majeure and I have to admit that I am more than impressed by this incredible achievement. Director Ruben Ostlund critically examines a marriage tiptoeing on the brink of crumbling, and sets it in the awkward environment of a family vacation in the French Alps. Some artistically driven shots showcase the beautiful landscape of their vacation getaway, cleverly displaying that even when we try to example our problems, they follow us along. Tomas clearly shows that he has severe interior signs of weakness, and yet he continues insisting that he would never abandon his family in a crisis. We see it as clearly as Ebba- he ran away from his family as an avalanche approached their dinner table. Yet he continues to insist that wasn't how it was. His masculine duties are brought into question by his wife, even in front of friends, and we can tell it affects his conscience.
Ostlund chooses a simple, but intense, theme to be the backdrop of this family ordeal: Vivaldi's Summer Concerto, Movement 3: Presto. The intense music provides an excellent sense of urgency in this family's internal crisis, and placing it with static shots of the mountains being prepared each night for the next day's guests further outlines this deep feeling that something under the cover of the marriage is about to explode. Ebba continues to mention her husband's presumed cowardice, and a male friend of his comes to his defense briefly. It's a humanly funny exchange that shows just how different genders are in their psychology and mannerisms.
Force Majeure is simply Ruben Ostlund's masterpiece. An excellently brilliant portrayal of a marriage on the brink of crisis. Ostlund's furthermore shows how disconnected this digital generation can become- the children are always preferring to stare at their tablets or the television instead of interacting with their parents. Then again, the children are clearly aware of the internal crisis as well. Perhaps they just feel the intense need to escape from their real-world problems, as so many people love to do nowadays. In today's plugged in generation, it's all too easy to ignore the problems of life and just get lost in the vastness of the Internet. Some grounded realism is necessary in life, and these parents seem to fail at giving that to their children.
Witty, spellbinding, dramatic, and infrequently awkward, Force Majeure is a masterful examination of the human condition. Ostlund chooses the perfect moments and the perfect angles to lay out his incredible story, and the humanly funny interactions between our main characters only make this story better and deeper. It may take a few viewings to fully appreciate, but there's no doubt that I instantly fell in love with this. It's the kind of experience that only comes around once in a generation, and I guarantee it will blow you away.