You would wonder how on earth this film can stay interesting, considering that Aron Ralston (Franco) finds his arm lodged under a rock 20 minutes into the movie and can’t move for the rest of it. Once you get past the fact that such an experienced hiker did not tell anyone where he was going on this solo hike, mission is accomplished. The result is a life-affirming story that does a great job conveying Ralston’s internalizations, with a very solid performance by James Franco.
As for the gore factor, as someone who loves horror movies, I will say that there was only one 4-minute sequence where I felt squeamish: the actual amputation scene. Boyle once again does amazing things with his soundtrack and sound design.