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Cliffhanger More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

One of the best action films ever made

Author: NateWatchesCoolMovies from Canada
21 May 2016

Renny Harlin's Cliffhanger is to this day one the best and most exhilarating action films of the 1990's. It's big, bold and full of protein for lovers oft the genre. From the lively villain to the unbelievable stunts to the set pieces, it's a tough package to beat. A stunning, vertigo inducing opener set high atop a snowy peak that ends in tragedy. A breathtaking airial heist carried out between two planes via cable wire. A whopper of a helicopter crash. Countless bone snapping, visceral hand to hand combat scenes. The list goes on. Sylvester Stallone puts his physique to great use as Gabe Walker, a rock climbing mountaineer guide who is accidentally responsible for the falling death of his best friend's girlfriend. His buddy Hal (Michael Rooker) blames him no end, and he leaves in personal disgrace. Elsewhere, ruthless backstabbing psychopath Eric Qualen, (John Lithgow) leads a team of dangerous mercenaries through aforementioned heist, plundering millions from a US treasury department plane and disappearing into the snowy desolation. Soon they come across Hal and a group of people touring the region, who are soon hostages. Word somehow gets out to Stallone and he's back in business, out for redemption and then chance to brutally dispatch this gang of snow pirates. The action, refreshingly absent of digital gimmicks, packs one hell of a punch. Every fight scene feels breathless, dangerous and desperate. Every blow is thunderously felt, courtesy of director Harlin's commitment to his work and the efforts of a stellar stunt team. Stallone isna beast and I forget that every time I haven't seen him in a while. He's almost as big as the mountains he scales here and each and every bad guy damn well finds this out. Rooker is as intense as he always is, love the guy. Lithgow is a freaking villain for the ages, in a role intended first for David Bowie, then Christopher Walken. I'm glad the ball ended up in his court, because he subsequently knocks it back out of the park with his cold blooded, deliciously evil performance. He makes Qualen so scary and merciless that even his own people get the jitters around him. There's also work from Rex Linn, Caroline Goodall, Craig Fairbrass, Max Perlich, Paul Winfield, Ralph Waite, Don S. Davis, Bruce McGill and Janine Turner. This is just one of the finest action movies to ever swing into theatres or onto DVD. Brutal, scenic, adventurous, exciting, violent, snowy, just plain kick ass. If you don't like this movie, you don't like ice cream.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Great Movie

Author: martyhalvorsen from Corpus Christi, Texas
27 February 2016

The movie is shot very well. One of Harlins best films. One of the last films to have many action scenes filmed without green screens. There are some but not what you see today.. The story is solid, the casting excellent. To me one of the films underestimated. One of Stallones most under looked films. The villain John Lithgow was also a great casting choice. John Lithgow is a great actor and brought much to the story. Reny Harlin is known for fast action and being physically demanding on his actors. Clifhanger is thrilling and keeps you on the edge of your seat. I think one of the overlooked films of that year. It's also one of those films that stands the test of time even on 2016.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Cold blooded killers!

Author: BA_Harrison from Hampshire, England
26 February 2016

Finnish director Renny Harlin, whose career gradually nosedived after the massive financial disaster that was pirate adventure Cutthroat Island, really should have stuck to the freezing cold environment he clearly knew so well: having already scored a massive hit with his sub-zero Die Hard sequel in 1990, he had an even bigger box-office success with snow-bound action adventure Cliffhanger, which starred Sylvester Stallone as mountain ranger Gabe Walker, who unwittingly finds himself pitted against a ruthless gang of plane hijackers searching for their lost cargo of cash.

Essentially Die Hard on a mountain, with Stallone's Walker the fly in the hijackers' ointment, the plot really isn't all that original, but there is so much else to enjoy about this slam-bang slice of '90s action: the spectacular, rugged, outdoor setting, marvellously captured by cinematographer Alex Thomson; the gratuitous, bloody, brutal violence; the entertaining performances—John Lithgow is a blast, relishing his role as loathsome leader of the baddies, Michael Rooker is as great as always as Gabe's pal Tucker, and Eastenders star Craig Fairbrass hams it up a treat as Cockney thug Delmar; and, last but not least, Harlin's faultless handling of the action, starting with a masterful exercise in tension that will cause vertigo sufferers to have sleepless nights, and finishing with a wonderfully overblown set-piece involving a helicopter hanging off a cliff-face.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A deadend fork in the robust Stallone App

Author: A_Different_Drummer from North America
15 January 2016

The year was 1993 and arguably SS was at the peak of a career so long that even he could not predicted it.

He had just rebuilt his body for the 100th time and wanted to try something different.

This was it. Almost maybe possibly you would not recognize Sly as Sly, he just seems like a regular action hero. He also got a chance to perfect his patented "Sly running for his life slow-mo" move which would turn up in most of his subsequent films.

In fact this was a one and done. He never took this sort of role again preferring either Rocky variations, Mission Impossible variations, or roles involving a suit and tie and a sharp outfit.

So the film has historical value mainly As a film ... it is OK. Thats all. Too coincidences and Lithgow is miscast, he is playing Lex Luthor instead of a regular criminal on the run.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Good, but not great Stallone adventure

Author: blazesnakes9 from United States
17 August 2014

For several years, Sylvester Stallone had been in one turkey after another. Before he starred in Cliffhanger, he starred in a number of flops such as Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot and Oscar. For some reason, Stallone somehow lost his way in the movie world and got stuck making forgettable flops like those two movies. My best guess is that either his next film will be a hit or a miss. And to tell you the truth, Cliffhanger is definitely an hit, an huge hit for the box office.

Stallone plays an rescue mountain climber who, in the beginning of the movie, is trying to rescue his friend, Hal Tucker, (Michael Rooker), and his girlfriend from an mountain. Unfortunately, the rescue attempt doesn't go smoothly as the clip on Rooker's girlfriend snaps and slips through the harness. She falls to her death down an gorge, leaving both Rooker and Stallone, devastated.

Months later, Stallone is living by himself, away from his other friend, played by Janine Turner. Stallone is scarred for life because of what happened months ago with the death of Rooker's girlfriend death. However, he continues to climbs mountains anyway.

The centerpiece of the story involves an group of villains, lead by John Lithgow. Their plan is to rob an U.S. Treasury plane with three cases holding millions of dollars. Their high-altitude plan goes completely wrong when their plane crash lands in the Rocky Mountains, leaving the bad guys, stranded in the snowy wilderness. Seeking help, they radioed help from the local mountain rescue center. Soon enough, Stallone and Rooker finds themselves caught up with the bad guys as they are being used by the villains to help find their stolen loot in the Mountains.

The great thing about Cliffhanger is it's mountain climbing scenes. I actually started to believe that these actors were really climbing an mountain, instead of climbing an fake mountain that was build on a studio set. These are real mountains, all right. With that being said, the action sequences are well directed although I had a hard time believing in the way the bad guys were able to get the three cases into their plane while trying to fly their plane through the high altitude. Most of the action sequences in Cliffhanger are so energetic and sometimes scary due to the fact that some of the bad guys fall off the mountain. And when these characters are leaning over the edge of the mountains in some of the scenes in the movie, I was actually afraid that they would fall.

The movie was directed by Renny Harlin, who directed the second Die Hard movie and he does a very good job creating an stunning visual sensation with the beautiful shots of the canyons and gorges. The movie was shot in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado and the use of the locations in the movie are very useful as a setting for a movie like this. I couldn't really picture myself climbing those mountains by hanging off the side of it. For those who know what I am talking about, it pretty scary.

Stallone is okay as the lead character. He tries his best to not only play an action hero, but an flawed one, too. The best performance comes from John Lithgow, who plays the leader of the group. His British accent and his ways of taking people out of his plan is very sadistic, making him the perfect villain. He is maybe different from the villain in Harlin's last film, Die Hard 2, but Lithgow does a very good job playing the bad guy who doesn't take chances.

With the exception of Cliffhanger, I could only say that Stallone is mild in this movie. He isn't really that great, but at least give him credit for trying to become an flawed character. That's important because we've seen Stallone play heroes before like Rocky Balboa or John Rambo. Those characters are like superhuman characters that are meant to win in the end of the movie. Here, it turns an different direction. It's interesting to see him tackle this kind of role because it's surprising and interesting. As for the action sequences and the mountain scenes, those scenes will have you admiring the breath- taking views of the Rockies. I will say though that this movie might even give you vertigo because of the scenes involving climbing especially the beginning of the movie which is clearly authentic. ★★★ 3 stars.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A cliff-hanger.

Author: OllieSuave-007 from California, USA
14 April 2014

Sylvester Stallone stars in an action thriller where his character, Gabe Walker, has to deal with a tragedy that occurred while climbing a mountain range. Meanwhile, a group of thieves led by Eric Qualen (John Lithgow) hijack a $100,000,000 delivery but their plans go awry and they wound up crashing into the mountain range. After they radio for help, Gabe and his partner Hal Tucker (Michael Rooker) respond, not knowing they would be forced to guide the thieves to locate the money.

This is an exciting little action flick full of thrills and roller-coaster rides as our heroes attempt to scale the mountain in search for the missing money before the bad guys do. Thrown in the mix is a daring rescue mission and awesome stunt work. Stallone makes a formidable action hero while Lithgow makes a ruthless, love-to-hate lead villain. The plot is fast-paced and the acting is serviceable, albeit a little corny at times. One major issue I had is that I didn't like the part where the villains first appear before Gabe and Hal. There was no suspense or tension built-up like you would normally see in action movies when the film's protagonist first sees the antagonists.

Other than some minor set-backs, it's a neat action flick to watch for a friends night-out.

Grade B-

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The Snowy Mountains.

Author: AaronCapenBanner from North America
29 November 2013

Renny Harlin directed this exciting action film that stars Sylvester Stallone as Air Rescue Mountain Climber Gabriel Walker, who, along with his colleague and girlfriend Jessie(played by Janine Turner) are called upon to answer a distress call in the mountains, but instead are taken hostage by ruthless mercenaries led by Eric Qualen(played by John Lithgow) who are trying to retrieve a fortune of stolen Treasury Department money that fell down there after a botched mid-air hijacking. It is up to Gabriel to save his friends, and defeat the villains. While an obvious copy of "Die Hard", this is a good one that works, thanks to efficient direction, good script, and acting, especially Lithgow as an over-the-top psychotic mercenary.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The first 10 minutes is the best

Author: ebiros2 from United States
23 September 2012

Rock climbing was the fad of the time, and this and another movie "K2" appeared around the same time.

They really did a seamless job of going from studio shots to on the location shots. The cliffhanger scenes were really realistic.

This movie has one of the best opening scenes of any movie made. The mistake perhaps was that they didn't keep going with this flow. As soon as the scene changed to the plane crash scene, it lost some of the momentum, then it was down hill from there.

The movie basically makes super human hero out of Sylvester Stallone, but he really fits the bill. He had the right flamboyant attitude as the hero too. Then he carries the guilt which really wasn't his fault. They should have just went on with the flamboyant attitude, and it would have been even better.

I liked the scene where Stallone climbs up the snow covered rock face in a T shirt (this of course is totally preposterous in real life). Very cool.

Seriously, this movie had some of the best Silvester Stallone moments, and I wished they'd make more movies like this of his.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A Nice Climb

Author: skullislandsurferdotcom from Wang, Utah
2 February 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The opening scene, as intrepid rescue worker Sylvester Stallone attempts saving a woman hanging onto a cable connected from a really high mountaintop to a helicopter, sets a nice stage to one of the better (or perhaps the only decent) Sly action flicks during the 1990s.

Cut to a group of T-MEN embarking on a plane trip to move three suitcases of money, and wouldn't you know: they just happen to crash on the same mountain where Stallone had worked before quitting and, eight months later, returning for his woman. But she's content with the same job as a rescuer who, along with Michael Rooker, Ralph Waite and a reluctant Stallone, is thrust into "saving" the plane-wrecked villains led by a really nasty John Lithgow, who really wants the money residing in various locations throughout the storm-ridden mountaintops. And it's up to Stallone and Rooker to recover it, or else.

Stallone makes for a worthy action hero, which is no surprise, but since you can tell he's doing most of his own stunts in genuinely dangerous settings, his physicality, along with Renny Harlin's weaving camera, makes for a star-director collaboration that, although loaded with corny dialog, is a fun ride. With every scene there's another goon to thwart (including Rex Linn in a great performance) and a new peak to climb.

Janine Turner is more than eye-candy as Stallone's independently daring girlfriend, while John Lithgow not only chews the scenery but blows bubbles with it. And that's okay – because even the silly stuff works.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

One of Sly's best

Author: shakey_jake53 from Toronto, Ontario
27 February 2003

After years of unsucessful action movie's and bad attempts at comedy, Sly finnally came back with a solid action movie. The setting is pretty original for a movie, the Rockies, and the plot is simple but still strong. The supporting cast is good too. Lithgow is great as the creepy villian, as is Rex Linn. Other honorable menchains include Leon, who was good as the crazed terrorist, and Micheal Rooker was good as the berieved mountain climber. This is a must see for action fans, there's plenty of gruesome deaths, explosions, and avalanches. I give it 4/5. Its a great way to kill a long Sunday afternoon.

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