20 films about climbers and survival in the mountains

Mountains do not forgive mistakes, so filmmakers use plots against the background of dazzling cold peaks to create thrillers and adventure dramas. One wrong step is enough for an exciting journey to turn into a tragedy. The best films about mountains and climbers raise the audience high above sea level and keep them in suspense until the last minutes.

Climbers (2019)

In the middle of the last century, a race to conquer Everest unfolded between countries. A group of Chinese climbers joined the competition – and conquered the impregnable peak in 1960. The only camera was lost, so experts questioned the record. After 15 years, climbers receive an order from the authorities to start training the younger generation in order to prove the power of China to the whole world.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Original title:
Pandeng Zhe

Genre:
Biography, drama, action

Actors:
Jackie Wu, Zhang Ziyi, Zhang Yi…

Country:
China

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.9, IMDb – 5.5


Wings over Everest (2019)

The plot of a foreign film about rock climbers takes place against the backdrop of the snowy Himalayas, where the plane crashed . As a result of the disaster, important documents are lost, and members of the rescue organization are sent to the mountains for securities. The detachment has only three days for a search operation, and the situation is complicated by dangerous weather conditions. Avalanches, icy piercing wind and forty-degree frost become the main obstacle on the way to the goal.

Original Title :
Bing feng bao

Genre:
Action

Actors:
Zhang Jingchu, Koji Yakusho, Austin Lin…

Country:
China

Rating:
IMDb – 4.9


Mountains between us (2017)

Journalist Alex is in a hurry to her own wedding , neurosurgeon Ben needs to catch an urgent patient, but the weather dictates its own rules. Nearby flights have been canceled due to a looming storm, and casual acquaintances are looking for workarounds. The local pilot agrees to take Ben and Alex to the mainland, but the plane crashes almost immediately after takeoff. The couple finds themselves in the middle of the mountains, and hundreds of kilometers separate them from the nearest settlement.

Original title:
The Mountain Between Us

Genre:
Action, thriller, drama, romance, adventure

Actors:
Idris Elba, Kate Winslet, Beau Bridges…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 6.4

Age restrictions:
16+


1+Everest (2017)

Among the best films about climbers, comedies are very rare – and European cinemas decided to rectify the situation. The dark-skinned Frenchman Sami finds the shortest path to the heart of an adamant lover. The guy climbs Everest to attract the attention of the chosen one, and becomes the main character of all the news. Despite the lack of experience and the risk of freezing, the persistent Sami makes his way to the top, because his personal happiness is at stake.

Original title:
L’ascension

Genre:
Melodrama, comedy, adventure

Actors:
Ahmed Silla, Alice Belaidi, Kevin Razi …

Country:
France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.4, IMDb – 6.9


Everest – the summit of the gods (2016)

For the first time, climbers Irving and Mallory managed to go through a dangerous path to the peak of Chomolungma, but the record could not be registered. The daredevils went missing while conquering the summit, so the championship remained unproven. A modern rock climbing photographer sets out on the route of the men to try and find Mallory’s camera. The footage will help shed light on the history of the first ascent, but the plan is not so easy to implement.

Original title:
Everesuto: Kamigami no itadaki

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Junichi Okada, Hiroshi Abe, Pierre Taki…

Country:
Japan

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.3, IMDb – 5.7


Everest (2015)

The feature film about the mountains is based on real events that took place in the spring of 1996 in the Himalayas. After the first conquest of Chomolungma, excursions for beginner climbers led by experienced guides gained popularity. An expedition with the colorful name “Adventure Consultants” begins an exciting climb, unaware of the impending tragedy.

Original title:
Everest

Genre:
Action, thriller, drama, adventure, biography

Actors:
Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, Jake Gyllenhaal …

Country:
UK, USA, Iceland

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 7.1

Age restrictions:
12+


Himalayas (2015)

The famous Korean climber named Om Hong-gil has many successful ascents to the mountain peaks. To conquer the next height, a man takes with him two young people who are attracted by extreme travel. The team will have to overcome not only the harsh conditions of the campaign, snow and wind, but also themselves. The romance of the mountains ends where the trials of the raging elements begin.

Original title:
Himallaya

Genre:
Drama, biography

Actors:
Hwang Jong-min, Jung Woo, Cho Sung-ha …

Country:
South Korea

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.8, IMDb – 6.5


Stolen (2011)

In an interesting film about survival in the mountains, the main enemy of athletes is not nature at all. Alison and her friends set off to conquer an impregnable peak, but a terrible find awaits their friends along the way. In a cellar camouflaged near the gorge, the company discovers a little girl and is divided into two groups. Alison and her partner leave for help, and the detachment remaining with the child goes to the place of lodging for the night. In the meantime, the brutal slave traders return for “booty”.

Original title:
A Lonely Place to Die

Genre:
Thriller, crime

Actors:
Melissa George, Karel Roden, Alec Newman …

Country:
United Kingdom

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.1, IMDb – 6.2

Age restrictions:
16+


127 hours (2010)

In the list of the best films with a high rating is a thriller that is worth watching for connoisseurs of biographical stories. Rock climber Aron Ralston leaves on a hike through the wilderness without warning anyone. During the descent into the canyon, the guy falls into a death trap when a huge boulder presses down on his right hand. There is nowhere to wait for help, attempts to move or open the rock end in failure, and provisions are already running out. After considering all sorts of options, Aron makes the only right decision, which will require incredible courage.

Original title:
127 Hours

Genre:
Thriller, biography, drama, adventure

Actors:
James Franco, Kate Mara, Amber Tamblyn…

Country:
USA, UK, France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.7, IMDb – 7.5

Age restrictions:
16+


Nanga Parbat (2010)

A dramatic film about mountain climbing will introduce viewers to the story of two climbing brothers. Günther and Reinhold Messner live on the German-Italian border and have been climbing since their youth. The brothers decide to go to the Himalayas to climb the legendary mountain Nanga Parbat. Reinhold and Günther overcome obstacles on the way up, but the real test awaits them on the descent.

Original title:
Nanga Parbat

Genre:
Drama, biography

Actors:
Florian Stetter, Andreas Tobias, Karl Markovich …

Country:
Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 6.5


Vertigo (2009)

Five French tourists start climbing their usual route, but on the trail the guys encounter the inexplicable. It seems that someone deliberately damaged the road, setting up traps for new victims. The life of the team members was in the balance several times, but the guys managed to reach the planned mountain peak. The mysterious stranger decides not to hide anymore – and opens the hunt for tourists.

Original title:
Vertige

Genre:
Thriller, adventure

Actors:
Fanny Valette, Joan Libero, Rafael Lenglet …

Country:
France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.8, IMDb – 5.6

Age restrictions:
16+


North Face (2008)

The action of a fascinating film about mountaineering takes place in the winter of 1936, when the Swiss Alps beckoned with their inaccessibility. Two competing groups of rock climbers are trying to conquer the northern part of the Eiger in order to bring glory to their country. The authorities have imposed a ban on dangerous climbs, but the brave guys are ready to storm the “Wall of Death” at any cost.

Original title:
Nordwand

Genre:
Drama, adventure, biography, history, sports

Actors:
Benno Fuhrman, Johanna Wokalek, Florian Lucas…

Country:
Germany, Austria, Switzerland

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 7.4


Rise (2002)

Michael Harris and Derrick Williams became famous for their solo assaults on difficult mountain peaks, as well as their hatred for each other. Influential millionaire Mackie invites the guys to join forces in climbing Chikanaghi – the most impregnable and dangerous peak. The businessman is ready to sponsor the expedition, provided that yesterday’s rivals cooperate and work in conjunction.

Original title:
The Climb

Genre:
Action, drama, adventure, family

Actors:
Jason Winston George, Ned Vaughn, Dabney Coleman…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 5.9

Age restrictions:
12+


Vertical Limit (2000)

The American movie about mountains in the thriller genre has earned positive reviews from the audience due to the realistic tense plot. Royce Garrett has always been an example for children who also decided to devote their lives to mountaineering. After the tragic death of her father, Annie and Peter’s fates diverged. The girl continued to engage in extreme sports, and the guy became a famous photographer. However, Peter will have to put aside his fear of the mountains when his sister is trapped in the snow.

Original title:
Vertical Limit

Genre:
Action, thriller, drama, adventure

Actors:
Chris O’Donnell, Bill Paxton, Robin Tunney…

Country:
USA, Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 5.9

Age restrictions:
12+


Seven Years in Tibet (1997)

This film was in the top thanks to the performance of a young Brad Pitt and an exotic plot. On the eve of World War II, Heinrich Harrer leaves his pregnant wife and goes to the Himalayas to conquer Nanga Parbat. During the ascent, the detachment is covered by an avalanche, and a little later the group is captured by the British. Heinrich manages to escape and make his way through the mountain ranges to Tibet, where he meets the young Dalai Lama. A Buddhist spiritual leader becomes a traveler’s mentor and then best friend.

Original title:
Seven Years in Tibet

Genre:
Drama, adventure, military, biography, history

Actors:
Brad Pitt, David Thewlis, B.D. Wong, Ingeborga Dapkunaite …

Country:
USA, UK

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.8, IMDb – 7.1

Age restrictions:
12+


Death in the mountains (1997)

Dramatic movie about climbers is a biographical film based on real events in the spring of 1996. Scott Fisher and Rob Hall organize hiking trips to Everest for beginners. Men guarantee an unforgettable experience and complete safety, but the May trip turns into a tragedy. The organizers relied on their own knowledge and experience, but did not take into account the characters and physical fitness of their wealthy clients.

Original title:
Into Thin Air: Death on Everest

Genre:
Drama, adventure, biography

Actors:
Peter Horton, Nathaniel Parker, Richard Jenkins…

Country:
USA, Czech Republic

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.0, IMDb – 5.7

Age limits :
16+


Rock climber (1993)

Not always even successful new films with special effects can be compared with the classics of the genre – old films, such as this action-adventure, where acting and plot intrigue are at the highest level. Experienced mountain guide Gabe Walker is tasked with finding five people missing after an avalanche. A fearless man sets out to find him, but soon realizes that he is being used blindly in someone else’s dirty game.

Original title:
Cliffhanger

Genre:
Action, thriller, adventure

Actors:
Sylvester Stallone, John Lithgow, Michael Rooker…

Country:
USA, Italy, France, Japan

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 6.4

Age restrictions:
16+


Survive (1992)

The plots of films about hiking in the mountains can be at least partly predicted, but this drama, based on real events, is full of surprises and true horror. Members of a youth rugby team fly over the Andes to Santiago in 1972. Bad weather conditions and a controller’s mistake lead to a plane crash in which only 28 out of 40 people survive. People are waiting for rescue on a high mountain plateau, where on the 11th day they learn from the radio news that the authorities are stopping the search operation. Heroes have no choice but to try to survive at any cost in inhuman conditions.

Original title:
Alive

Genre:
Thriller, drama, adventure, history

Actors:
Ethan Hawke, Vincent Spano, Josh Hamilton …

Country:
USA, Canada

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.7, IMDb – 7.1

Age restrictions:
16+


Scream of Stone (1991)

Roccia and Martin are two bitter rivals who are in love with the same girl. To resolve the dispute, the guys undertake to conquer the dangerous mountain Cerro Torre, and the idea turns into a tragedy. Despite excellent training and good equipment, one of the climbers dies. The surviving athlete discovers that the unclimbed peak is already occupied by an opponent he never took seriously.

Original title:
Cerro Torre: Schrei aus Stein

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Vittorio Mezzogiorno, Stefan Glovach, Matilda May …

Country:
Germany, France, Canada, Italy, Argentina, Great Britain, South Africa

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 6.2


K2: Ultimate Height (1991)

A successful lawyer, Taylor has been mountain climbing for many years in conjunction with the scientist Harold. The lawyer’s assertiveness and love of risk is mitigated by the prudence of a friend, but one day the professor makes a rash decision. The friends meet an eccentric millionaire who invites them to join the climb of K2, the most infamous mountain that has already claimed the lives of many climbers.

Original Title :
K2: The Ultimate High

Genre:
Drama, Adventure, Sports

Actors:
Michael Biehn, Matt Craven, Annie Grindley…

Country:
UK, Japan, USA, Canada

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 6.2

Age Restrictions :
16+


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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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