Universal acclaim - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
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  1. Never devolves into the type of “man's man” adventure story that has become so fashionable again over the last couple of years, but instead trusts the power of its unembellished images and words to tell its tale.
  2. Reviewed by: Loren King
    Butler's approach is subtle: His documentary allows the story to unfold elegantly, without embellishment, and it is more powerful for that restraint.
  3. 88
    What made Shackleton's adventure so immediate to later generations was that he took along a photographer, Frank Hurley, who shot motion picture film and stills.
  4. Not only relates the astounding story of the expedition and its unimaginable hardships, it presents a thoughtful study of a time when there were adventurers who might actually respond to an advertisement reading "Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold . . ."
  5. 90
    It's an amazing story, but, in addition to its intrinsic interest, the Shackleton expedition has another remarkable draw: Crewman Frank Hurley had brought along not only still cameras, but a movie camera as well, providing us with an extraordinary record of the ship's voyage.
  6. 100
    Essential viewing not just for those fascinated by adventure, exploration and survival, but for anyone interested in the magic of leadership.
  7. Reviewed by: Douglas Cruickshank
    The film is a pleasure, which the real thing was not. It's also a chilling adventure and a compelling story from beginning to end.
  8. A remarkable documentary about an almost unfathomable ordeal.
  9. Even knowing the happy outcome, Butler masterfully keeps us on the edge of our seats, and communicates the full horror and seeming hopelessness of the crew's situation every step of the way.
  10. The nail-biting quality of Shackleton's true story outdoes any dramatic fiction on the market.

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