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The Best Films About Climbing 

Ranker Film
Updated June 14, 2019 858 votes 397 voters 25.7k views 26 items

List Rules Both feature films and documentaries about mountain climbing are ranked here

What are the very best  climbing movies? This is a list of them ranked from best to worst by user votes. The best climbing movies come in all shapes and sizes. Some great mountain climbing movies are feature films and other rock climbing movies are documentaries. A few of the best movies about climbing have even been nominated for the Academy Awards.

What films will you find on this best climbing movies list? 127 Hours, directed by Danny Boyle, was a beautiful film which showcased the strength of one climber's will to live. James Franco was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of the real-life climber, Aron Ralston. Everest, staring Jake Gyllenhall, is another good climbing movie.

If you like action in your rock climbing movies, pop on Sylvester Stallone's 1993 film, Cliffhanger. Other popular movies that appear on this top climbing movies list include Touching the Void, Vertical Limit and The Eiger Sanction.

Which mountain climbing movie is your favorite? Give the best films a thumbs up!
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1
Ranker Video
Amy Boal added Conrad Anker, Grace Chin, Jimmy Chin

Released: 2015

Directed by: Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi

2
Free Solo is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Films About Climbing
gingerslicer added Alex Honnold

Released: 2018

Directed by: Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi

Free Solo is a 2018 documentary directed by Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi. Follow Alex Honnold as he becomes the first person to ever free solo climb Yosemite's 3,000ft high El ...more
3
Touching the Void is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Films About Climbing
Nicholas Aaron, Brendan Mackey, Ollie Ryall

Released: 2003

Directed by: Kevin Macdonald

Touching the Void is a 2003 documentary based on the book of the same name by Joe Simpson about Simpson's and Simon Yates' disastrous and near fatal attempt to climb Siula Grande in the ...more

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#504 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys #170 of 212 The Best Adventure Movies #551 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars

4
The Summit is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Films About Climbing
Lochlainn O'Mearain, Niall Foley, Garrett Philipps

Released: 2012

Directed by: Nick Ryan

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 ...more
5
Everest is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Films About Climbing
Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes

Released: 2015

Directed by: Doug Liman

Everest is a 2015 biographical adventure film directed by Baltasar Kormákur, based on the memoir by Beck Weathers. The story of New Zealand's Robert "Rob" Edwin Hall (Jason ...more

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#137 of 568 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time #21 of 46 The 35+ Best Drama Movies About Survival #30 of 61 The Best New Adventure Movies of the Last Few Years

6
North Face is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Films About Climbing
Florian Lukas, Benno Fürmann, Ulrich Tukur

Released: 2008

Directed by: Philipp Stölzl

North Face is a 2008 German historical fiction film directed by Philipp Stölzl and starring Benno Fürmann, Florian Lukas, Johanna Wokalek, and Ulrich Tukur. Based on a famous 1936 ...more
7
The Eiger Sanction is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Films About Climbing
Clint Eastwood, George Kennedy, Vonetta McGee

Released: 1975

Directed by: Clint Eastwood

The Eiger Sanction is a 1975 American action thriller directed by and starring Clint Eastwood. Based on the novel The Eiger Sanction by Trevanian, the film is about an art history professor and ...more
8
K2 is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Films About Climbing
Michael Biehn, Julia Nickson-Soul, Matt Craven

Released: 1991

Directed by: Franc Roddam

K2 is a 1991 motion picture loosely based on the story of two friends' ascent of the second-highest mountain on Earth, K2. The story is based on a play written by Patrick Meyers and presented as ...more
9
Alive is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Films About Climbing
John Malkovich, Ethan Hawke, Josh Lucas

Released: 1993

Directed by: Frank Marshall

Alive is a 1993 American biographical survival drama film based upon Piers Paul Read's 1974 book Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors, which details the story of a Uruguayan rugby team. The ...more

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#269 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #25 of 568 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time #49 of 243 The Best Movies Based on True Stories

10
The Wildest Dream is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Films About Climbing
Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman

Released: 2010

Directed by: Anthony Geffen

The Wildest Dream is a 2010 documentary adventure biography film written by Richard Bedser, Mark Halliley and Kevin Maher and directed by Anthony Geffen.
11
Everest is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Films About Climbing
Liam Neeson, Jamling Tenzing Norgay, Beck Weathers

Released: 1998

Directed by: David Breashears, Greg MacGillivray, Stephen Judson

Everest is a 70mm American documentary film from MacGillivray Freeman Films about the struggles involved in climbing Mount Everest, the highest mountain peak on Earth, located in the Himalayan ...more
12
Cliffhanger is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Films About Climbing
Sylvester Stallone, John Lithgow, Janine Turner

Released: 1993

Directed by: Renny Harlin

Cliffhanger is a 1993 American action adventure film directed by Renny Harlin and starring Sylvester Stallone and John Lithgow. Stallone, who co-wrote the screenplay, plays a mountain climber ...more

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#225 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #22 of 92 The Most Rewatchable Action Movies #55 of 212 The Best Adventure Movies

13
Piker's Peak is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Films About Climbing
comicspies1 added Mel Blanc

Released: 1957

Directed by: Friz Freleng

Piker's Peak is a Warner Bros. Looney Tunes animated short directed by Friz Freleng. It was originally released on May 25, 1957. The title is a pun on Pike's Peak.
14
The Beckoning Silence is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Films About Climbing
The Beckoning Silence Steven Mackintosh

Directed by: Louise Osmond

The Beckoning Silence is a 2007 British television film that follows and retraces the unsuccessful attempt to scale the north face of the Eiger led by Toni Kurz in 1936. The film features ...more
15
Vertical Limit is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Films About Climbing
Bill Paxton, Robin Tunney, Chris O'Donnell

Released: 2000

Directed by: Martin Campbell

Vertical Limit is a 2000 American action thriller film directed by New Zealander Martin Campbell starring, among others, Chris O'Donnell, Bill Paxton, Robin Tunney and Scott Glenn. The film was ...more
16
Into Thin Air: Death on ... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Films About Climbing
Richard Jenkins, Christopher McDonald, Peter Horton

Released: 1997

Directed by: Robert Markowitz

Into Thin Air: Death on Everest is a made-for-TV movie based on the book Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. The film is directed by Robert Markowitz and written by Robert J. Avrech. The film tells ...more
17
Nanga Parbat is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Films About Climbing
Karl Markovics, Lena Stolze, Volker Bruch

Released: 2010

Directed by: Joseph Vilsmaier

"Two brothers. One mountain. Their destiny. The brothers Reinhold and Guenther Messner had a childhood dream of one day climbing the Nanga Parbat, the over 8,000 meter “naked mountain” in ...more
18
127 Hours is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Films About Climbing
James Franco, Kate Mara, Lizzy Caplan

Released: 2010

Directed by: Danny Boyle

127 Hours is a 2010 British-American biographical survival drama film directed, co-written and produced by Danny Boyle. The film stars James Franco as real-life canyoneer Aron Ralston, who ...more

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The True Story Of '127 Hours' Where A Man Cut Off His Own Arm To Survive #19 of 243 The Best Movies Based on True Stories #392 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys

19
Beyond the Edge is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Films About Climbing
Beyond the Edge Matthew Metcalfe, Erroll Shand, John Wraight

Released: 2013

Directed by: Leanne Pooley

Beyond the Edge is a 2013 New Zealand 3D docudrama about Sir Edmund Hillary's historical ascent of Mount Everest in 1953. As well as featuring dramatised recreations shot on location on Everest ...more
20
Seven Years in Tibet is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Films About Climbing
Brad Pitt, David Thewlis, B. D. Wong

Released: 1997

Directed by: Jean-Jacques Annaud

Seven Years in Tibet is a 1997 British-American biographical drama film based on the 1952 book of the same name written by Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer on his experiences in Tibet ...more

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21
Into Thin Air is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Films About Climbing
Into Thin Air Ellen Burstyn, Tate Donovan, Robert Prosky

Released: 1985

Directed by: Roger Young

Into Thin Air is a 1985 film directed by Roger Young.
22
The Holy Mountain is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Films About Climbing
Alejandro Jodorowsky, Juan Ferrara, Letícia Robles

Released: 1973

Directed by: Alejandro Jodorowsky

La montaña sagrada is a 1973 Mexican-American surreal fantasy film directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky, who also participated as an actor, composer, set designer and costume designer on the ...more
23
Steep is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Films About Climbing
Steep

Released: 2007

Directed by: Mark Obenhaus

Steep is a 2007 documentary about extreme skiing written and directed by Mark Obenhaus. Steep explores the history of extreme and Big Mountain Skiing, starting with its roots in 1960s and 1970s ...more
24
The White Tower is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Films About Climbing
Glenn Ford, Claude Rains, Lloyd Bridges

Released: 1950

Directed by: Ted Tetzlaff

The White Tower is a 1950 mountain film starring Alida Valli as a woman determined to fulfil her father's dream by conquering the mountain that killed her father, and Glenn Ford as the ...more
25
High Ground is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Films About Climbing
High Ground

Released: 2012

Directed by: Michael Brown

High Ground is a 2012 documentary film written by Michael Brown, Scott McElroy, Brian Mockenhaupt, Ryan Fenson-Hood, Don Hahn and directed by Michael Brown.