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421 voters

The Best Films About Climbing

Updated June 14, 2019 1.3k votes 421 voters 27.5k views26 items

List RulesBoth 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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    Meru

    Conrad Anker, Grace Chin

    Released2015

    Directed byJimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi

    Meru is a 2015 American climbing documentary film directed by Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi. Three elite climbers fight through feelings of obsession and loss as they struggle to climb the...  more
  • 2
    95
    28

    Free Solo

    Alex Honnold

    Released2018

    Directed byJimmy 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 Capitan...  more
  • 3
    75
    23

    Touching the Void

    Nicholas Aaron, Brendan Mackey

    Released2003

    Directed byKevin 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 Cordillera...  more
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    46
    18

    The Summit

    Lochlainn O'Mearain, Niall Foley

    Released2012

    Directed byNick 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 way...  more
  • 5
    43
    16

    Alive

    John Malkovich, Ethan Hawke

    Released1993

    Directed byFrank 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 film...  more

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    51
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    Vertical Limit

    Bill Paxton, Robin Tunney

    Released2000

    Directed byMartin 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 shot...  more
  • 7
    42
    21

    Everest

    Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin

    Released2015

    Directed byDoug 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 Clarke), who on May 10,...  more
  • 8
    34
    22

    Into Thin Air: Death on Everest

    Richard Jenkins, Christopher McDonald

    Released1997

    Directed byRobert 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 the...  more
  • 9
    26
    17

    Nanga Parbat

    Karl Markovics, Lena Stolze

    Released2010

    Directed byJoseph 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 the...  more
  • 10
    34
    32

    127 Hours

    James Franco, Kate Mara

    Released2010

    Directed byDanny 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 became...  more

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  • 11
    28
    26

    North Face

    Florian Lukas, Benno Fürmann

    Released2008

    Directed byPhilipp 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 attempt to climb...  more
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    21
    19

    K2

    Michael Biehn, Julia Nickson-Soul

    Released1991

    Directed byFranc 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 a...  more
  • 13
    0
    2

    Piker's Peak

    Mel Blanc

    Released1957

    Directed byFriz 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....  more
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    17
    14

    Into Thin Air

    Ellen Burstyn, Tate Donovan

    Released1985

    Directed byRoger Young

    Into Thin Air is a 1985 film directed by Roger Young....
  • 15
    25
    25

    Cliffhanger

    Sylvester Stallone, John Lithgow

    Released1993

    Directed byRenny 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 who...  more

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  • 16
    19
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    The Eiger Sanction

    Clint Eastwood, George Kennedy

    Released1975

    Directed byClint 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
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    16
    18

    The Wildest Dream

    Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes

    Released2010

    Directed byAnthony 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....  more
  • 18
    12
    14

    Steep

    Ingrid Backstrom, Anselme Baud

    Released2007

    Directed byMark 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 North...  more
  • 19
    11
    14

    The Holy Mountain

    Alejandro Jodorowsky, Juan Ferrara

    Released1973

    Directed byAlejandro 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 film. The...  more
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    14
    19

    The Beckoning Silence

    Steven Mackintosh

    Directed byLouise 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 climber Joe...  more
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    16
    23

    Everest

    Liam Neeson, Jamling Tenzing Norgay

    Released1998

    Directed byDavid 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 region...  more
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    7
    11

    The White Tower

    Glenn Ford, Claude Rains

    Released1950

    Directed byTed 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 mountaineer...  more
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    7
    12

    High Ground

    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....  more
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    9
    16

    Beyond the Edge

    Matthew Metcalfe, Erroll Shand

    Released2013

    Directed byLeanne 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 and...  more
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    7
    14

    Blindsight

    Erik Weihenmayer, Sabriye Tenberken

    Released2006

    Directed byLucy Walker

    Blindsight is a 2006 documentary film directed by Lucy Walker and produced by Sybil Robson Orr for Robson Entertainment. It premiered at 2006 Toronto International Film Festival in the category Real...  more