Viggo Mortensen is perfectly cast as a rugged outdoorsman-cum-deep thinker who is raising his six children off the grid.
In the wilds of the Pacific Northwest, the kids’ lessons in rock climbing go hand-in-hand with instruction in quantum physics. When Mortensen and his brood embark on a cross-country road trip to New Mexico, the culture-clash comedy that ensues is hugely entertaining.
The clan’s encounters with straight society are great fun, but writer-director Matt Ross also has some serious points to make about modern society and its failings.
As the film’s charismatic but flawed hero, Mortensen is a compelling figure, but his children’s vibrant energy and immense curiosity make a terrific impression, too.