Running Time: 
122 Minutes

Until last year, 1996 was the deadliest year on Mount Everest with 12 deaths among those trying to summit the highest peak in the world. A staggering eight of those deaths were recorded during a single summit attempt on May 10 when a blizzard trapped multiple climbers near the top. Everest is a biographical retelling of the events that led to the disaster. While it has the cinematic feel of a Hollywood blockbuster, its story and characters couldn’t be any more real.


Rob Hall (Jason Clarke) is an experienced climber who has summited Everest multiple times in the past and has made his own business out of taking other less experienced climbers to the top of the highest peak. During one particular summit on May 10, 1996 however, a brutal storm threatens their climb. With time not on their side, Hall and his fellow expedition groups decide to risk it and get their paying clients to the peak. The storm along with other contributing factors end up being the perfect recipe for disaster and will take the lives of multiple people by the end of it all.


Everest is the ultimate adrenaline ride and shines a new light on the events that occurred in 1996. The film documents the commercialization of extreme mountain climbing, which caused overcrowding on the mountain. Lack of communication also resulted in a lack of rope paths being built and fewer oxygen canisters being stored near the summit. All of this contributed to an increase in danger in an already extremely dangerous scenario.


Even though Everest is a Hollywood-ized depiction of what really happened it still accurately captures the danger of the mountain. Like they say in the film, the expeditions aren’t competing against each other, but against the mountain itself. And the mountain always wins.


It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re familiar with the 1996 Everest disaster, because the film is just as thrilling. Two of the deaths involve climbers disappearing in an instant as they are enveloped by the blizzard. There’s no buildup or emotional dialogue immediately after the fact. They’re just gone in an instant without any trace. The severity of the situation also doesn’t hit until the end when it’s all over and you see how many people died and remember that it’s based on a true story. It can all be overwhelming.


Nature is always the one in control and Everest does a good job at reminding you of that. It’s unrelenting and unforgiving and really shows the fragility of human life. Don’t expect me to go to Nepal to climb Mount Everest anytime soon, that’s for sure.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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