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The Summit

✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Ireland, United Kingdom, USA

2013

Rated R • 1h 35m

Director Nick Ryan

Starring Christine Barnes, Hoselito Bite, Marco Confortola

Genre Adventure, Documentary

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The Summit is a 2012 documentary film about the 2008 K2 disaster directed by Nick Ryan. It combines documentary footage with dramatized recreations of the events of the 2008 K2 disaster. On the way to and from the summit, eleven climbers died during a short time span creating one of the worst catastophes in climbing history. Much of the documentary footage was captured by Swedish mountaineer Fredrik Sträng. Sträng was planning to do a Documentary which was aborted due to the fact that he did not reach the summit. The footage was still valuable to help solving what really did happen since all the climbers had different stories about what happened.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

60

The Dissolve by Andrew Lapin

Though Ryan and Monroe prove adept at the film’s most elemental factors, they don’t offer enough backstory or characterization.
60

Village Voice by Chuck Wilson

The Summit is at its most powerful when the filmmakers simply tell the tale, which gradually develops the unsettling suspense of a horror movie, with K2 cast as the implacable killer.
80

Time Out by David Fear

As you watch these actors, you appreciate the endeavor the climbers went through all the more — and as triumph turns to tragedy, you feel the grief winding its way through your shaken nervous systems.
60

New York Daily News by Joe Neumaier

Interviews with survivors fill us in on the personalities of the lost, but the background of K2, with archival footage from 1954, is equally gripping.
80

Los Angeles Times by Kenneth Turan

The Summit tells a multifaceted story that deals with more than the expected peril and exhilaration of adventure tales. Here you'll find love, fear and forgiveness, personality conflicts and cultural differences, even mysteries that have stubbornly resisted solving.
83

Portland Oregonian by Marc Mohan

The Summit does an amazing job of putting you on the mountain, making it one of the most terrifying horror films a climber or an acrophobe could ever see.
75

The A.V. Club by Nick Schager

The proceedings somewhat sidestep the issues of risk and responsibility—including the raised, but never fully tackled, question of whether others should have gone back to try to save their fellow, trapped compatriots—that seem most in need of investigation.
40

Arizona Republic by Randy Cordova

Nick Ryan’s documentary looks at the disaster by using interviews, actual footage and re-enactments. The latter move undercuts some of the movie’s authenticity. Granted, there probably wasn’t another way to film it, but it muddies the film’s sense of truth.

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