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12 Tough Movie Mothers, From Well-Meaning to Just Mean

By Suzanne Woolley, Nikhil Hutheesing and Ben Steverman - 2013-05-08T19:35:52Z

Photograph by Universal/Everett Collection

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Well Meaning: 'The River Wild'

Taking your family whitewater rafting is supposed to involve adrenaline, but not quite this much. Gail (Meryl Streep) takes her son and husband on a rafting trip -- "You'll scream your guts out! You'll love it!" -- with her at the oars. Problem is, a couple of men who turn out to be armed robbers want to hitch a ride, and they force the family to take them down the rapids. Gail tries valiantly to shake them by flipping the boat. Eventually, her husband flips the boat; Gail throws the robbers' bag of money overboard and shoots one of them.