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The Rescue

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United Kingdom, United States · 2021
1h 47m
Director Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin
Starring Jim Warny, Thanet Natisri, John Volanthen, Derek Anderson
Genre Documentary, Drama

This thrilling, moving documentary tells the story of the world-famous 2018 rescue of a Thai soccer team trapped in a flooded cave. Combining local footage, news video, and reconstructions, the film shows the courage and skill of the rescuers, providing a unique insight into the humanity behind a high-stakes act of heroism.

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What are critics saying?


Screen Daily by Allan Hunter

Free Solo wife and husband directors Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin are forensic in the detail they provide and the range of testimonies they have assembled; the result is a tense, absorbing documentary with a strong emotional charge.


The Globe and Mail (Toronto) by Barry Hertz

Whereas the directors’ last project, the Oscar-winning free-climbing doc Free Solo, chronicled an open-air kind of anxiety, The Rescue is a claustrophobic exercise in tension, expertly assembled for maximum emotional impact.


Slashfilm by Chris Evangelista

The Rescue is an edge-of-your-seat experience. Vasarhelyi and Chin shoot this thing like a thriller, combining both actual footage shot during the rescue with recreations featuring the actual divers, blending all this footage together seamlessly to create a wholly cinematic experience.


The Hollywood Reporter by Frank Scheck

The filmmakers — superbly incorporating a combination of stunning archival footage (much of it previously unseen), dramatic reenactments and interviews with the principal figures — present the harrowing tale in riveting nail-biting fashion, leavened by welcome doses of mordant humor from the incredibly brave volunteers.


The Associated Press by Lindsey Bahr

This should be a no-brainer for anyone who watched the saga unfold on television, but even those who weren’t glued to the screen in 2018 should seek it out. The Rescue is easily one of the best documentaries of the year.


Slant Magazine by Mark Jenkins

Aside from being a thrilling account of a hair-raising rescue, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin’s documentary attests to living a calling.


Variety by Tomris Laffly

A stunning documentary of bone-deep moral resonance and cinematic mastery that deserves to be experienced on the big screen.


TheWrap by William Bibbiani

The Rescue is an enthralling documentary, with a real-life story so spectacular you can hardly believe it. That’s why the film’s overwhelming polish sometimes undermines the real-life story it’s trying to tell.

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