A great, overlooked film of the American 1990s, this throat-grabber from director Peter Weir begins with a catastrophic airliner crash, then follows the dazed path of a survivor (Jeff Bridges), with a post-traumatic sense of invulnerability. Fearless‘s second story thread is where it leaves its bruises: a young mom (Rosie Perez) is ruined by grief after she fails to hold onto her baby son during the crash. The two them enact a dubious, free-for-all self-cure, and the fallout—particularly when Perez dares to smell someone else’s baby in a mall, or faces off against the dubious condolences offered by airline company grief therapy—is brutal and beautiful both. Be careful; it plays for keeps.
Well, this’ll take the cake: if your dad is Harrison Ford, and he strands you and your family on a Central American jungle coastline so you can create paradise away from the evils of society, then you’ve won the Worst Vacation Ever sweepstakes handily. In The Mosquito Coast, Ford is fascinatingly out of character as a deluded utopian, and director Peter Weir knows how to turn the screws.