Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 33 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. 100
    The most harrowing movie about mountain climbing I have seen, or can imagine.
  2. An absolutely thrilling recreation, in documentary style, of a now-legendary story.
  3. 90
    One of Void's great strengths is that it doesn't say much about "voids." It simply shows us, in incredibly vivid detail, heart-stopping danger and the raw will to survive.
  4. 88
    Truth, they say, is stranger than fiction… and also potentially more nail-biting and harder to believe. Touching the Void is an extreme example of this.
  5. 80
    Unexpectedly bridges genres -- it's a buddy movie, a horror story, a boy's-own adventure, and a near metaphysical meditation on the limits of human endurance.
  6. Real acting replaces re-enacting, and amazing cinematography pits the limits of human will against the unruliness of nature.
  7. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    60
    It's true that the movie, arrested between documentary and drama, doesn't quite do justice to either medium: The actors playing Joe and Simon don't have anything like "lines" to simulate "drama," or even just "conversation," while the real guys often fall back on bland English understatement.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. May 21, 2013
    8
    This highly-praised documentary from Scottish director Kevin Macdonald (THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND 2006, 8/10, STATE OF PLAY 2009, 6/10), spunkily tackles the most inconceivable survival story in the mountaineering history, narrated by Joe Simpson and Simon Yates in propria persona of their perilous conquest to the west face of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes in 1985, while faithfully re-enacts what had happened during the lengthy 168 hours.

    It is such an incredible and telling story which could eclipses Danny Boyle’s 127 HOURS (2010, 8/10), Joe’s destiny is as much indebted to his heaven-sent luck as his professional surviving skills and the tenacious willpower of staying alive. The talking-ahead forthrightness from Joe and Simon delineates their adventure in detailed nuance, carefully selected words without any bells and whistles, instantly brings audiences to the locale, we are fairly certain it is a mission impossible to do the copy-cat climbing and abseiling since it is unimaginable to transport a team of crew to accomplish such a chimera, still team Macdonald exerts formidable effort to show us what kind of beast Siula Grande is, a reverential task has been adroitly done and salute to the cameramen, two actors (Mackey and Aaron) and stunts.

    The natural immenseness, the icy whiteness and the fearsome precipices are soul-engulfing, and the forlornness is overpowering even we all know they all outlive the unthinkable misadventure (I keep imagining in the end of the film, Macdonald would show us a frontal shot of Joe with one leg only or a prosthetic leg). Myself is never an extreme-sports advocate, putting one’s own life in jeopardy to pursue some kind of spiritual catharsis or mental orgasm (maybe physically as well) has never been on my agenda, notwithstanding which, the film fortuitously excels its reassuring ode of human strength and reaches a soul-searching incisiveness for every viewer to reflect on our regards of nature and life. When curiosity being satisfied, the film still imprints its indelible mark on the ectoplasm level, great work indeed!

    The film’s 106 minutes running time seems rather short to me, when Joe finally reunites with Simon, the film also soon ends with succinct captions indicating their later life, which inevitably makes me wonder what is their rumination of that accident after the heaven-or-hell experience, I wish the film would be a bit longer to tap into that aspect, it would render us some revelation on a more humanized surface, then it would be an impeccable documentary feature for me. But anyway the film is the new entry of my top 10 BEST PICTURE in 2003, bravo!
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See all 21 User Reviews

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