By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic)
WHAT'S EVEREST ABOUT?
Based on the true story of the fateful ascent in May of 1996, in which several climbers lost their lives while others made it back.
IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: A-)
Equal parts majestic, exhilarating, and heartbreaking, Everest must be experienced in a theater, so immersive is the audio-visual experience. Of course it's stunning to look at, but the sound design adds to the “you-are-there” feel that drives home the triumph and tragedy. The film wisely spends its first half following its characters as they train for the climb, allowing for audience connection and a real sense of joining the infamous journey. The cast is excellent, with Jason Clarke giving an immensely likable performance as team leader Rob Hall, while Josh Brolin, Keira Knightley, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Emily Watson offer plenty of raw emotion. Not to be missed.
IS IT OKAY FOR YOUR KIDS?
Everest is rated PG-13. There is no foul language or sexuality. A man is seen sunbathing in swimming trunks. The rating is purely for the intensity of the story, including persons freezing to death, falling to their demises, and suffering the effects of frostbite (graphically portrayed).
ANY WORTHWHILE MESSAGES?
Compassion must be tempered with wisdom. Preparation can help you to avoid disaster, but even that might not be enough if you go against your instincts. Teamwork can save lives.
Are you into true stories of tragedy and courage? I highly recommend Hotel Rwanda.
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