The Alpinist (2021) Poster

(2021)

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7/10
Awe-inspiring stuff...
CinemaSerf6 October 2021
Rarely can I have seen a documentary with so much recent, and active, participation from a man about whom I knew nothing beforehand but for whom I actually cared by the middle of the film. The term "free-spirit" is entirely suitable to describe the young Marc-André Leclerc, a man who spends his time travelling the globe ascending sheer cliffs of rock that would give an eagle acrophobia. The film could also have been called "the Individualist". The young man wasn't a loner, in any social sense, but he preferred the exhilaration of climbing - and enduring all the hostile conditions that accompanied that - on his own. Only reluctantly, I thought, did he agree to allow the photographers to accompany him - and boy, what photography they have created. We really get a sense of not just the peril as the young man climbed these monumental pieces of rock (without a rope), but of the sense of adventure, of determination and of purpose that drove him to tackle these toughest, and frequently beautiful, of obstacles that nature could put in his path. There are a few, poignant, contributions from fellow climbers, the photographers, his mother and his girlfriend - but somehow we don't really need them - this is a story about a young man determined to live his life on his own terms. Got to be an Oscar contender.
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7/10
on his own terms
ferguson-610 September 2021
Greetings again from the darkness. I nearly opted to pass on this since I assumed it would be similar to watching Alex Honnold climb in Best Documentary Oscar winner FREE SOLO (2018), and that was a visceral viewing experience that should not be messed with. To ease my concerns, the filmmakers Peter Mortimer and Nick Rosen interview Honnold early on, and Alex makes it abundantly clear how impressed he is with the solo climbing of Marc-Andre LeClerc, the focus of this film.

The opening sequence is truly breathtaking as we watch LeClerc climb. The filmmakers followed him, or at least attempted to, for the better part of two years. Honnold explains that LeClerc never sought adulation or recognition, and purposefully remained under the radar - a form of purity (and elusiveness). But even climbers have a grapevine, and over time the stories of LeClerc's solo climbs became somewhat legendary.

Two things are well known about free climbing: these folks are a different breed - beating to their own drum, and the risk of death is extraordinary (we see a roster of some who have perished). Somehow LeClerc is even more extreme than this community of extremists. He owned neither a cell phone nor a vehicle. He had no home, and in fact, he and his girlfriend Brette Harrington recounted sleeping in a stairwell (for warmth, not comfort). As kindred spirits, LeClerc and Brette would sometimes climb together, while other times, he would take off on a new adventure.

As elusive and private as he remained, LeClerc's own time on camera endears him to us - whether he's climbing or just talking. For such a young man, his thoughts seem clear and deep. He understands what makes him tick, and his mother admits a 9-to-5 job was never a possibility. LeClerc recalls his hard partying phase, and how climbing helped him recover. The filmmakers panic about halfway through when their star goes AWOL and they struggle to track him down.

The photography is stunning at times, and there are drone shots that capture the spectacle of a lone climber dwarfed by nature. Just when our nerves are frazzled to bits, the ante gets upped with LeClerc displaying his ice climbing ability, and his trip to Patagonia to take on Torre Egger, the most challenging climb in the western Hemisphere. Other climbers provide some insight into the mindset, as well as LeClerc's accomplishments. Brette and LeClerc's mother also provide perspective, and while we may have some comprehension of alpinism and solo climbing, it's Marc-Andre LeClerc's natural habitat, and the only place he could quiet his mind.

In U. S. theaters on September 10, 2021, following a September 7 nationwide Fathom Events premiere, featuring exclusive bonus content (and an interview with directors Peter Mortimer and Nick Rosen)
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A romantic, nail-biting documentary about a youthful world-class free solo climber.
jdesando12 September 2021
Warning: Spoilers
Canadian Marc-Andre Leclerc never found a rock he didn't want to climb. He became one of the world's pre-eminent Alpinists, which largely means free solo with minimal equipment. "The Alpinist," a documentary about his climbing, is remarkable for the closeup shots of his hands, sometimes bloody, but always firmly grasping small crevasses to anchor his ascent along with cleated shoes and unusual courage. No second of the 92 minutes is lost; each is savored in appreciation of the art and craft it takes to make a first-rate doc.

Some will remember Alex Hammond in Free Solo (2018), which won the Oscar. Even he, almost speechless at Leclerc's boldness, mixes his awe with professional reservation about Leclerc's risks. When Leclerc scales sheer ice in unfriendly weather, none of us has to be an expert to appreciate the raw danger. As is usually the case with these bold enterprises, why someone risks it all is far more interesting than the gymnastics of climbing.

Maybe even more than his bold defiance of the danger (half of all climbers at this rare level die accidentally) are his youthful exuberance and naivete, both a part of his charm and hallmarks of young adventurers not quite out of their early twenties. Besides his liberal liking of "like," he has no language for the negative; rather he welcomes each potential storm as another challenge. His mind and body are dedicated to sucking out life at its fullest.

Beyond that energy and abandon lies the troubling reality of death. Because he is dedicated to the use of his gifts, he does not appear to have fully thought-out what life without life would mean. Perhaps he could have used an education to indulge philosophical musing on the importance of guarding that precious gift, more valuable to his girlfriend and his mother than apparently to him. This wonder at his abandon is what kept me engaged every minute'

You can guess where I'm going with this-a spoiler if you have rules of non-disclosure even for a documentary; he dies at age 25, ironically with a companion, not solo, in an avalanche. No talking head is truly overwrought with grief because this kind of danger is what Alpinists and their families cope with.

Yet, his girlfriend, Brette, and his mother, Michelle, have a deeply-felt regret that he is no longer with them. Should they have regarded the sacred gift of life in more persuasive discussion with Marc? Could a college education have helped him move his mind to less an obsession with climbing and more a consideration of his importance to those he loves?

I do know this excellent documentary made me think more about the value of life than Netflix's docudrama Worth did about the Victims' Compensation Fund allocation to 9/11 survivors. Like youth's glory that fades so quickly, Leclerc's moment in the sun is gone, leaving tears and beautiful images, but he's still dead.
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5/10
Life is pursuing.....
ks-6050014 November 2021
Extreme sports go to the extreme the answer everyone could expect. Given his solo situation make the risk triple. I don't understand always why people willing to do things and this kind of dreams bring what to themselves, but I sure it will be pain and sadness to their loved ones. But what he did changes my mind a bit wider after see this documentary.
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8/10
Mind blowing cinematography, incredible camera angles, you feel as if you are there
rannynm20 September 2021
The Alpinist is a fascinating documentary that shows rare footage of beautiful landscapes and will either inspire you to chase your dreams or make you afraid of heights. Whichever way you take it, the movie is well worth the watch.

The Alpinist follows the 23-year-old mountain climber, Marc-Andre Leclerc, who is a pioneer of solo climbing and has broken countless records. In the documentary, you see all his astonishing climbs and travels around the world and meet the meaningful people who are in Marc-Andre's life.

There are many remarkable factors about the movie. The first thing to mention is the cinematography which is mind blowing! The angles and the positions of the camera capture the climbing so perfectly that you feel as if you are climbing right along with Marc-Andre. You feel so connected to Marc-Andre that you feel like you've known him forever. Kudos to directors Peter Mortimer and Nick Rosen and their crew. The way they captured this incredible footage is remarkable, because as you watch the film, you learn how elusive Marc-Andre Leclerc can be.

The messages of this film are to follow your passions and to have courage, while also understanding the risks of what you are doing. There is some profanity, some wounds are shown, and the use of drugs. If you are afraid of heights, I would definitely not recommend this.

I give The Alpinist 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It opens in theaters September 10, 2021. Katherine S, KIDS FIRST!
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9/10
Such meaningful documentary
ilovefoodcoma11 September 2021
Warning: Spoilers
Going to the theater without knowing who he is. I have watched Free Solo a few years ago and loved this type of documentary. MA is such a free spirit individual. He didn't care about the money or fame, he just wanted to enjoy what he loved to do... climbing. It is nice to watch a documentary with narration on the side. Seeing all these beautiful exciting adventure he took me with on the screen.... so breathtaking but scary at the same time.

It was a big shocker at the end of the movie...... since I didn't know who he is, of course I didn't know about the tragic accident.

I am so glad he agreed to be feature in this film so that we can remember & recognize what the accomplishments he had done! RIP.
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9/10
Not crazy, not alive
g-8962217 December 2021
Warning: Spoilers
The breathtaking snow-capped mountains, pure and ultimate idealism. Every climb is the mercy of the mountain. Some people have short lives, but they are as bright as meteors. Alex said it very well. The evaluation of extreme sports by the outside world is always bipolar: if you become a genius, if you miss, you are a fool, and this genius and fool are often the same person. No, the crazy devil can't survive.
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7/10
An extraordinary person !!!
Lewis_Heather7872 January 2022
Warning: Spoilers
I had never heard of Marc-Andre Leclerc before seeing this documentary, nor did I know his jaw dropping story. So to find out that this man sadly died doing what he loved, is both incredibly sad but also poetic. Is there a better way to die then doing something you love?

"Free Solo" opened my eyes to the world of solo climbing and "The Alpinist" takes that to a whole new level. I am watching this in complete ore of the people who do this, the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. I'll be honest I have a mild fear of heights and at some points I had to look away......you have got to be a special type of person to do this.

That is exactly what Leclerc was, an extraordinary person that dared to do the most stunning and adventurous climbs that anyone had done. Nerves of steel and a superior confidence in his own abilities to succeed with constant threat of disaster.

The one wish I did have about this documentary was that is was about 3x times in length. I could happily watch this for hours and hours, never becoming bored. Only becoming more fascinated by why people decide to do this and the thought process behind it. 75% out of 100

Please watch this film because this young man has got to be recognise and remembered by the wider world not just the climbing community!
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7/10
Captivating with stunning visuals
jon_pratt123455 November 2021
I haven't watched many adventure sport films but I found this to be enthralling. It was impressive how the documentary makers created this without really a great deal of access to the main man himself. Filming was incredible with awesome visuals. Sometimes the drama could seem artificial, once you get over the danger of the climb itself but octal is stayed fast pace and captivating.
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6/10
ADHD kid walks on air.
aarpcats13 December 2021
In another life time, I worked for the Utah bank that both helped attract the 2002 Winter Olympics and make the state a center of extreme sports. I heard about the catastrophic falls and the near misses from men and women who survived them. I liked how crazy but calm the climbers were.

"Alpinism" is man against mountain. An Alpinist doesn't conquer a mountain. He conquers himself. He doesn't climb for the glory and he doesn't climb for the money. He climbs because he HAS to climb.

Marc-Andre Leclerc is the goofy and amiable Canadian kid who is the subject of the movie. He isn't well known outside the community of his sport, but, for those who follow it, he's a rare combination of a genius and magician. While others fall all over themselves fawning over his bravery and technical skills as he climbs a wall of "melting ice, he chuckles over his success with, "It was super fun. Yeah."

Really? Because to me, your "super fun" looks like walking on air. It seems impossible.

You don't have to like extreme sports, mountain life, etc. To love this film. You just have to appreciate the beauty of this planet and the adventure it is to live on it. Let the gorgeous cinematography, the astonishing clips of the climbs and the ebullience of Leclerc and his admirers take you with them.

The most important thing a human being can do is be true to himself. Leclerc really knows how. He climbs alone because he knows how dangerous it is, and he doesn't want to hurt anyone else.

Now, the tough part. What the hell was his mother thinking when she encouraged his high risk taking behavior? ADHD isn't a death sentence. It's a warning that the person who has it needs extra help learning how to take care of himself, because he isn't the best judge about what is good for him. Encouraging him to do what he wanted to do (without helping him learn better decision making skills) may sound like inspirational parenting, BUT LOOK HOW IT TURNED OUT.

The documentary avoids interviews with people who didn't consider Leclerc inspirational. It only asks for comments from other people who are involved in high risk, extreme sports.

Surely, someone who knew this kid understood the difference between "brave" and "suicidal," but it wasn't his mother or the many friends who seemed to have encouraged what turned out to be lunacy,
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9/10
A Human Adventure
joker-415 September 2021
Marc-André Leclerc climbs alone, on remote alpine faces. No cameras, no rope, and no margin for error. Climbing for Leclerc is spiritual and brings peace to his roaming mind. He doesn't climb for awards or notoriety. He climbs mountains for the purest of all reasons: because they are there.

Co-directors Peter Mortimer and Nick Rosen are climbers themselves. Their talented eyes balance the wonders of the mountain top views with the dangers that one slip can bring. Fans of the Oscar winner Free Solo should seek out Mortimer's The Dawn Wall, which is an equally-compelling documentary also filmed at El Capitan.

Here, both Mortimer and Rosen's talents are tested with The Alpinist as free spirit Leclerc is not one who sits still. Nor does he exhibit the patience for the schedules of film crews let alone delays due to the weather. Leclerc notoriously climbs solo. He disappears, and not only when climbing. He is always seeking solitary space. When the cameras are able to capture him hard at play, the end result is spectacular.

Similar to other mountaineering documentaries, The Alpinist is a story of perseverance and strength. Unlike others, The Alpinist does not merely balance on the edge of triumph and tragedy, but intermixes the two into a gut-punch of a finale. Marc-André Leclerc is an incredible climber whose spirit is as indomitable as the peaks he summits. Leclerc, in all his humility, is quite the beacon for those who wish to overcome any obstacle, be it addiction, mental illness, or that mountain on the horizon. Through Leclerc, the human adventure continues.
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8/10
Wow! Watch this to get out of your head and get into the clouds!
thejdrage12 December 2021
This is an incredible documentary - more like a movie. All the twists and turns and adventures. Great cinematography and honest story telling. Could have done with a bit less of the girlfriend at the end. IMHO. And I've been in her shoes. This is an incredible sport that only a magical few can do. So glad we have The Alpinist in our film library today - and his story.
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10/10
Great Tribute to an Inspiring Human
caramia200210 December 2021
He is little known, but deserves this film, a great tribute to a great climber. I'm an armchair climber (but real life mountain freak) and this is a great journey I'm glad I got to go on. Great climbing footage and real life adventures (many!) rivaling, if not surpassing, Free Solo, Dawn Wall, and Meru (my personal fav, but it's a different thing). The faces he climbs in this made me quake to my toes, just incredible, but oh the rewards! His achievements, just in this film, are many and mind-boggling. This isn't about just one fantastic ascent, but many (and some firsts).

All the things people say about people like this and the risks they take, or fates with which they flirt, are just BS. We ALL take risks everyday. Driving on a freeway can be just as swift and life changing as free soloing or any mountaineering, and neither is any more or less tragic. Risky is risky, but at least he does it in such breathtaking places, and gets to challenge himself in unique ways. The beauty is that he's so positive and seems to live in the now, with such enthusiasm. If you don't learn from these things and don't recognize that it's the journey, you are just a fool on a rock face, which Mark-Andre is not. Is the punter who "climbs" Everest any more wise for the ego gratifying stunt? Usually not and the risks are pretty dire even for that.

I was thinking of my inspirations and goals while watching this, and I realized that, in my own way, I went for it, too. Very different from Mark-Andre, yet not pulling back from anything. So thanks to Mark-Andre as I often am so hard on myself. It's also very inspiring, no matter your situation, to keep going on and not stop now. Or what are we alive for? Above and beyond, always.

A very emotional journey, and maybe the best thing is that, by the end, you really, really care about Mark-Andre and feel something genuine, so hats off to the filmmakers for that. And hats off to Mark-Andre for finally letting them film him, so that we can enjoy a fraction of what he enjoys and learn who he is. And just huge props to a once in a generation climber. May you find that perfect summit, that perfect sunrise, Mark-Andre!
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9/10
Drive me nuts
AntiFakeReviews3 December 2021
I always amazed to see this kind of documentary movies. But at the same time, I could never understand the psychology of those mountain climbers or snowboarders, climbing up on those high altitude vertical mountains or sliding down or even dropping down from those extremely dangerous snowy mountains and cliffs. What are the exact purposes of doing these adventures? Thrill seeking? Make fun at death? But these daredevils still need sponsors to financially support them to do it since doing these cost lot of money from logistic to you-name-it expenses.

I could never imagine how these documentaries were made, the climber in this one got so many close-up shots that looked like at least one camera man was either on top of him or just next to him. But the scenes also showed us that he was alone. Shooting by drones?

My next puzzle never unsolved is how him got down from the summit? Climbing down from a different route of the mountain? Or he was picked up by a chopper at the summit? The fact is that we often saw how these climbers did and finally reached the top of a super-high altitude mountain, but we never saw any film that showed us how these guy getting down from those summits afterwards.

The purposes of making these nail-biting documentaries behind all claims are also puzzled me greatly, especially to people like me, a certified couch potato.
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10/10
Outstanding
mikemars386 October 2021
I wasn't going to see it but gave it a go with my unlimited card. I was gripped from start to finish , outstanding and what an incredible young man .
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9/10
I thought Alex Honnold was insane.
Oh_Capital11 December 2021
This is a story of a climber only known to those that participate in the sport. He is a man with nerves of steel and does climbs that are more intense than Alex Honnold. His name is Eric Andre Leclrec. He does a solo on site, meaning he's never done the climb before, and he does it solo. It is a very gripping scene and I found myself holding my breath. The story is a story absolutely worth telling. I would recommend this to anyone. Gives you an idea of what life is about and what adventure is worth and isn't worth.
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9/10
Excellent, and I'm not a Climber!
MozaikAngel6 December 2021
Beautiful, moving film. You don't have to be a mountain climber to appreciate the story of the amazing man that was LeClerc. He was truly one-of-a-kind. Inspirational and gripping, wonderfully paced, never a boring moment.
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And just like that he is dead
darylnisi17 January 2022
Warning: Spoilers
These kids are all alittle off

It's all fun and games till u slip off a mountain and die

U hear everyone talk about how he is the king and amazing

I wonder what they say now once he died

I guess he isn't the king anymore once that happened

He went from a hero to a zero on one slip

Screwed up but true.
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8/10
Living according to your heart
lucyvanbaars8 October 2021
Warning: Spoilers
I loved this for so many reasons. It was stunning to watch and fascinating. Gripping, heartbreaking and heartwarming. The thing that stands out most in this story is the courage of Marc-André Leclerc's mum and selfless mothering. She allowed her son to evolve into the wonderful, free spirited, passionate man he naturally became. Although his life was way too short and the pain of his death tragic to those who adored him, I think the life he lived was exactly according to his heart and had he been forced to stop climbing or conform to societal 'norms' he would have felt the constraints miserably and his light would never have glowed at all let alone so brightly for 25yrs. He had so much joy and gave his friends and family so much, too. Sorry. I'm being 'a lot'!?!
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10/10
Stunning
evz19744 December 2021
This has to be up there with Free Solo, Meru, Dawn Wall as one of the most inspiring and beautifully shot films about climbing yet. Whilst it doesn't capture some of most epic achievements he did, the footage that is captured is breathtaking, the story and the human aspect are fascinating. I'll be recommending this to everyone I know for the foreseeable future, can't see how anyone would think they'd wasted 90 minutes watching this, give it a go and just enjoy.
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10/10
Wonderful
swimhockey11 December 2021
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is truly inspiring, it contains the hardships and achievements of a truly amazing person. I really hope people will begin to understand the true beauty of life and really be grateful for what they have. I'm awed and amazed by Marc's story and hope for the best.

Rest in peace Marc.
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9/10
A Beautiful documentary
monkshighway18 December 2021
Each life on this earth has a path to follow and a reason to walk on that road. This documentary shows one of those different roads being turged by this beautiful individual and a wonderful soul, away from all the sparkling beauty that today's artificial world shows. Brilliant Documentary.
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8/10
Documentary of a flawless alpinist
kanikasaini-2061712 January 2022
This documentary not only covers Marc's solo ascents but also covers his drive behind it.

Being allured by mountains from his childhood, Marc is seen to be making ascents as though he was made for it, as if it's the easiest thing in the world.

The breathtaking view and is sure to make you calm but upon seeing a 23 year old man climbing hazardous mountains and hanging with ice axe on frozen water will definitely increase your heart rate.

The documentary is worth watching for this man who found meaning in climbing, someone who didn't chase fame or the never ending race of record breaking but chose to climb because it simply defined life and made him appreciate the present time and the little things it offers.
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8/10
Very thrilling!!
fiferoll510 December 2021
Warning: Spoilers
Deff worth the watch's The whole show gives you chills becusse you just think when is Marc going to die? Seeeing all These mountains he climbed was just incredible!! Such a great outgoing guy! Always happy as hell!
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7/10
Inspiring
jaredmgant18 January 2022
Marc lived a life that many of us wish we could live. The film lacked some of the story telling elements that would have made it spectacular, but understand that is due to Marc's personality and desire to be a true soloist.
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