Free Solo

Free Solo

Jimmy Chin (2018)

99min
12A Certificate
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Review

Our Score
At the start of this spellbinding, Oscar-winning documentary, we see a man climbing a towering rock face. He is thousands of feet above the ground, clinging to a vertical surface, but there are no ropes or safety equipment. The man is Alex Honnold, an elite rock climber who is scaling El Capitan, an imposing, 3,000-foot rock formation in Yosemite National Park. Nobody has climbed "El Cap" without safety gear, but Alex wants to change that. Free Solo documents Alex's preparation (rehearsing the route, perfecting body movements), and it examines how such a dangerous feat affects his girlfriend and, indeed, the crew filming the attempt. Undoubtedly, the final 20 minutes of the film are remarkable, as we follow Alex's death-defying climb. It's awe-inspiring to watch and shot in such a way that you are right there on his shoulder. At times, you just cannot believe your eyes. Words like "stunning" and "spectacular" are overused in film criticism, but Free Solo deserves them.

Summary

Documentary following free climber Alex Honnold on his quest to make it up Yosemite's El Capitan without ropes or safety gear. At 3,200ft, El Capitan will be the largest mountain face ever scaled without equipment, and extensive mental and physical preparation is required. However, Alex's family and friends remain unsure if the rewards are worth the risk.

Cast & Crew

Alex Honnold Alex Honnold
Tommy Caldwell Tommy Caldwell
Sanni McCandless Sanni McCandless
Jimmy Chin Jimmy Chin
Director Jimmy Chin
Director Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: DogwoofGuidance: Some swearing.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 14 Dec 2018
Documentary