A Walk in the Woods

Theatrical Release: September 2, 2015
A Walk in the Woods


In this new comedy adventure, celebrated travel writer Bill Bryson challenges himself to hike the Appalachian Trail — 2,200 miles of America’s most unspoiled, spectacular and rugged countryside from Georgia to Maine — instead of retiring to enjoy his loving and beautiful wife and large and happy family. The peace and tranquility he hopes to find, though, is lacking, once he agrees to accompany the only person he can find willing to join him on the trek. His long lost and former friend Katz, a down-on-his-luck serial philanderer who, after a lifetime of relying on his charm and wits to keep one step ahead of the law, sees the trip as a way to sneak out of paying some debts and sneak in one last adventure before it’s too late. The trouble is, the two have a completely different definition of the word “adventure.” Now they’re about to find out that when you push yourself to the edge, the real fun begins.

Dove Review

“A Walk in the Woods” is witty and features lots of clever banter between the main characters, Bill Bryson and Stephen Katz. Robert Redford and Nick Nolte are an unlikely pair, with Redford playing the straight man, author Bryson, and Nolte providing the comedy relief of the movie. It is as much a film about growing older as it is about two old friends, opposites in many respects, who still maintain a close friendship and learn about each other.

When Bryson comes up with the idea of hiking the Appalachian Trail, his wife Catherine (Emma Thompson) isn’t keen on the idea and leaves books by his bed for him to read — books about bear attacks in the woods and people dying from infections while hiking. But those books don’t deter him. Catherine insists that Bill find a walking companion. So, in a comedic scene early in the film, he leaves several phone messages for his old friends to see which one would be willing to walk with him on the trail over a period of months. He gets some funny responses, such as “That sounds fun, Bill, right up there with getting a colonoscopy.” Only Katz responds positively to the invitation.

Despite the beautiful scenery and humorous moments, the film contains strong and harsh language, along with several sexual innuendos and comments, in addition to rear male nudity. So, we are unable to award it our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal.

Content Description

Faith: None
Integrity: None
Sex: Several sexual innuendos and comments about having sex, including a comment about oral sex; comments about a man having sex with married women; man gets into trouble with a woman's husband for flirting with his wife, but the man didn't know she was married; kissing between a husband and a wife.
Language: Language throughout the film, including multiple uses of "GD," "J," "Ch*ist" and the "F" bomb in addition to SOB, S, and many other uses of harsh language, including slang for female genitalia, breasts, and testicles.
Violence: A couple of guys fall down a short distance to a cliff on a mountainside, one of which they can't get off without help; an angry man goes to a motel looking for a man who flirted with his wife, and he bangs on the doors with a club, yelling profanities in anger.
Drugs: Comments about drinking, a man's drinking problem, and how he almost died in an accident; a man orders a beer but then changes the order to a Coke; a man carries a bottle of liquor with him in his backpack to prove he has the willpower not to drink it.
Nudity: Rear male nudity; cleavage; people in shorts.
Other: A funeral scene; tension between a few characters.


Company: Broad Green Pictures
Director: Ken Kwapis
Genre: Comedy
Runtime: 104 min.
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter