Mixed or average reviews - based on 22 Critics What's this?

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  • Starring: , , , ,
  • Summary: First Descent chronicles the rebellious, inspiring and sometimes controversial rise of snowboarding -- as seen through the eyes of the snowboarders setting the standards and breaking the boundaries of this worldwide phenomenon. (Universal Pictures)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 22
  2. Negative: 5 out of 22
  1. Reviewed by: Gregory Kirschling
    First Descent is not as eloquent, and thus not as electrifying, as Stacy Peralta's "Dogtown and Z-Boys" or "Riding Giants," the two jock docs it's clearly modeled after. No matter: Visually, MD Films offers up a sugar rush.
  2. The hardy fools - I mean, visionary pioneers - in this movie are so gravity-defying that I had to look at the press notes afterward just to make sure no computerized special effects were used.
  3. Reviewed by: Jessica Reaves
    Visually, this is one of the most arresting sports documentaries in years, and it doesn't skimp on the visceral thrills, either.
  4. 50
    Some of the footage is exceptional, yet several of the more impressive stunts are shot from so far away on digital cameras that the resulting onscreen resolution is just a shade above god-awful.
  5. We've seen this story before, and the thrill is gone.
  6. It's dull enough to make a Mormon fidget.
  7. 30
    The stars of First Descent aren't particularly memorable, or even likable. At their worst, they come off as cocky, self-absorbed Peter Pans; at their best, they're sweet but shallow.

See all 22 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. H.
    Dec 3, 2005
    Anyone who rides a snowboard will enjoy this romp down the mountain. Likable characters, interesting history of the sport (without wasting too much time on what we all know already) and exciting backcountry images in Alaska. Despite what the critics say, there is little to no obvious product placement - they seem to be having a tizzy that Mountain Dew produced, but for the most part, Pepsi Co. appeared to keep its distance. Entertaining - and doesn't stop immediately when it gets to feature length! Expand