The River Runner (2021) Poster

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9/10
A fascinating dive in to the psyche of humans overcoming personal struggle
joshuagiangreco1 September 2021
I can't recommend this documentary enough! The cinematography is absolutely beautiful. The compiled raw footage from years of filming on the rivers is something to behold. One can't help but think about the dichotomy between living your life loving and living your life in fear. The review about the protagonist being "annoying" has to be trolling. I didn't know anything about his story before watching this but I walked away from it having an immense amount of respect for him.
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10/10
Best Documentary of 2021
lake-486394 September 2021
The story and struggle of Scott Lundgren was such Epic masterpiece. The visuals were breathtaking in every way. You get a front seat into a sport and lifestyle few really know. The cinematography was so eye opening and made you feel that you were along for the ride of a pioneer of the sport of kayaking. I highly recommend.
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8/10
Recommended
DaneliusUK27 August 2021
A beautiful and wonderful journey from start to finish.

If you're a film junkie like myself then you'll appreciate the time and effort that Rush Sturges and everyone else put in to make this happen.

I enjoyed it. Not my place to say where it could have been improved. It is what it is.

Thank you.
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9/10
Incredible Journey
patherwill5 October 2021
The first half of this docu covers Scott Lundgren, a somewhat arrogant youth with his group of kayaking friends, their devotion and obsession to their sport having climbed the proverbial ladder to it from White Water Rafting which is made to look safe and easy next to it. A few friends are lost along the way and the groups next and biggest ever target is to kayak the four rivers which lead away from a Sacred Mountain bordering Pakistan. Scott who doesn't accept weakness or failure drifts away from the sport after the final river beats them. He becomes ill and needs an urgent operation and has to take a sabbatical for several months which extends into years. By chance he meets one of the sports biggest stars who offers Scott the opportunity of joining his 'team' who are going to Pakistan. He puts his life on hold and they head off. It's my own personal view that what happens after this occurs because you can see how he has become more humble, more accepting, more philosophical and less judgemental of others. HE himself is really unsure why what happens, happens, and in the films last 10 minutes or so you can see all this come together.
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10/10
A True Heart Opener
sebfloormanager6 September 2021
My 10 stars may appear a bit giddy at first but it is easy to justify every single one. The director, Rush has done an incredible job, stitching together all this stunning footage, to an original score by 4 separate composers. His meticulous eye and feel for pace helps to create a breathless and often heart-breakingly emotional journey into what it is to be human.

Scott is an extraordinary subject, and Rush swiftly capitalises on this as the film morphs from the testosterone fuelled toxic masculinity world of kayaking gone by and becomes a study on the effects of open hearted vulnerability upon a male who has spent a lifetime hardening up.

Watching somebody become the message from such an extreme starting point was what made this piece so powerful. Scott opened himself up to receive, he achieved and then became the walking medicine for others.

He didn't achieve this turnaround by himself, so huge props have to go to those who supported and inspired him, especially when he needed it most.

This film is a love letter to so many themes; complex river running, the beauty and power of nature, friendship, self-discovery, healing and more.

I must have wept for about two thirds of it!
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10/10
Compelling and authentic
jillianpasciuto7 September 2021
Warning: Spoilers
The storyline behind the rafting was honest and inspiring. It was a well-rounded movie that offered thrill from the sport, but also the complex relationship between mental health, trauma and physical health.
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10/10
Amazing film and cinematography...
stevewalser29 August 2021
Rush Sturgis does it again, with this in depth and very personal view of an amazing athlete who has to overcome so much to achieve his dream (obsession). A movie for people who are "of the water" and anyone who loves a well told story of an incredible human being. No matter how well you know this story, River Runner will keep you captivated from beginning to end. 10 freaking stars plus!
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10/10
Amazing!
emelcaldwell30 August 2021
Beautiful story with amazing adventures and scenery!
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8/10
Worth watching just for the incredible whitewater!
gesges-134915 September 2021
The stuff that kayakers can run now is absolutely unbelievable. I've done a lot of whitewater rafting and kayaking, but the rivers these boaters run is beyond anything I would have thought possible.
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10/10
An inspiring film
jennifer_singletary29 August 2021
This beautifully shot film is much more than a kayaking film. It is a deep dive into the human condition, and the struggle to pursue your dreams despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles. A must-watch for anyone, whether you kayak or not.
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7/10
More twists than any river can hold.
garethcrook29 September 2021
I've been kayaking a few times. It's fun. Only in calm waters though. The water and kayaking in this documentary is not calm. The River Runner follows Scott Lindgren, pro kayak dude, who's rode some of the gnarliest rivers in the world and sets out to be the first man to tackle the four great rivers that flow from Tibet's Mount Kailash. It's classic dramatic extreme sports doc territory in many ways. Telling Scott's back story of family, growing up in a rough part of the US, brotherly bonds, social nonconformity and outdoor adventures. It's feel good stuff. Kids catching a break, finding a positive focus. That's a key word here, focus. Both in the necessity to have it on the water and the natural focus that Lindgren's obsessive nature gives him. It's built around tons of interviews from Lindgren, family and the extended family of like-minded adrenaline junkies, all spliced together with a ton of home video archive and photos, gleaned from a catalogue of their self produced kayaking films. It's gripping action, but not without an emotional heart. This is dangerous stuff, you can get hurt and people are lost. It's next level kayaking, top level, but Lindgren is a bit of a 'fuck it let's go!' kinda guy. They all tell the story really well. You can feel the passion, the excitement, the danger even now after the events we see onscreen. Despite the skill and talent shown here, it's clear that there's a hefty dose of luck too. These guys look like inconsequential objects in the midst of nature's raw power. Again though it's the emotional undercurrent that packs as punch as Lindgren finds the pressures of success counter to his love of just being on the water. This is much more than a film about Kayaking. There's a huge human story here that's both familiar and fascinating. I'm not going to get into spoilers, so let's just say the twists are not confined to the river. You might come to this for the sweeping drone shots, GoPro footage and white water, but it'll be Scott's story that will anchor you. Proper redemptive positivity stuff!
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9/10
Mesmerizing
joker-428 September 2021
Warning: Spoilers
Scott Lindgren initially got interested in the sport as a means of escape but it quickly became a way of life. A life that is beautifully documented in The River Runner. The documentary tracks his immersion as an early pioneer, to his ambition of paddling through the four great rivers of the Himalayas, and through his ultimate test of surviving a brain tumor. The River Runner is a movie of life and passion that is accessible to anyone who appreciates, even if not fully understands, that driving need to get to the next river.

The documentary laps between Lindgren's early family life in suburbia California, the start-up of his career and production studio, and into his personal traumas and health. Through it all, bridging sequences highlight Lindgren's quest to kayak the four great rivers diverging from the Himalayas into Tibet, China, India, and Pakistan, all of which are insanely rough yet magnificent waters. The footage throughout is amazing. From spectacular full-frame vistas to intimate Go-Pro shots. Lindgren loves kayaking and wants that love to be on full display.

The River Runner is a mesmerizing movie that shows the majesty of nature and man's attempt to conquer it, that is, at least a small part. This is not a gratuitous compilation of YouTube clips showing the wild and unhinged lifestyle of some kayaking brah. This is Scott Lindgren's life and director Rush Sturges shows everything from adrenalized heroics to soggy undercarriages.
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9/10
Spectacular
rfadam27 January 2022
The footage of rivers around the world make this well worth watching. Also a good story of someone's journey from an egocentric, macho adrenaline filled youth to an old age centered around vulnerability. I liked it, but I love rivers and it reminded me of floats, paddles, raft trips and relaxing moments spent on a river's edge. This film captures the dynamic yet peaceful energy of a river.
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10/10
Incredible. Breathtaking. Mindful.
jeff-910177 September 2021
Warning: Spoilers
I thought this was simply incredible. Breathtaking, heartbreaking, mindful, full of lessons in the power of community, support and overcoming life's challenges anyone can relate to. I literally couldn't sleep after watching. The movie begins with a Hemmingway quote "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." You don't need to be an extreme athlete to experience the pain and suffering life brings. It's how you learn to evolve and respond as a human being that determines what the end of your story will be.
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10/10
Highly reccommend
lakeshap-376818 September 2021
This is not what i expected from this movie, i went into it thinking it would just be about a bunch of guys doing some crazy kayaking, but was pleasantly surprised by the end of it when i relised its really about a story of self growth and finding yourself by going within yourself. I loved it so much and i have watched it many times over and have mentioned it to family members aswell, i was truly moved by this documentary and its by far the best thing i have watched in a loooong time, it spoke to me on different levels that i dont think i quite understand myself yet.

10/10 highly reccommend this film.

Beautiful film work.
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10/10
Amazing story
rjm-362388 September 2021
This is an inspiring and motivational film. The film is put together perfectly. Will be added to my list of favorite all time documentaries.
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10/10
Man V nature, man V himself.
noelsargent8 September 2021
Excellent movie/documentary about a journey of self discovery whilst taking on the toughest kayaking on white water in the world.
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10/10
A True Heroes Journey
leighmcclurg3 September 2021
The footage and commentary is raw and challenging. This is a true telling of the heroes journey through the fire that is life. From the piss and vinegar of youth, to the initial punches we weather, to being burned to ashes and then rising again like the phoenix but without the fight of youth but now the flow of wisdom and experience and humility. This isn't a documentary so much about kayaking but a documentary of what it is to be human. Every emotion is challenged here, I cried more than once. What he had to describe, in his vulnerability, would be hard for any man.

There is deep wisdom in this story. A documentary you can watch and rewatch as you walk your own path to understand what it means to be where you are and that the only thing that matters is how we learn to flow down the river of life, not fight against the current until we are lost in it.
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10/10
A story of inspiration
williamsinclairpeter29 August 2021
This movie was not only an epic kayaking movie, it was not only stunning cinematography, it was an amazing story about someone setting them self a goal that seemed impossible, then having so many hurdles thrown at them some of which also seemed impossible to get through. It showed that through determination and the power of friendship that anything is possible! Awesome work Scot on completing you goal, and thank you for sharing with us your transformation into the hero you are now and inspiring many to never give up. Rush and the team behind the movie you've done an insane job and putting this story together in such a beautiful way. Thanks everyone who was involved, couldn't be happier to have found my new favourite film.
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3/10
Disappointed
Mannequin1 September 2021
It starts out well and the story is interesting. As the film progresses the protagonist becomes more and more annoying. He starts complaining a lot, he seems like a miserable person, and this ruined this it for me. If the protagonist were more likable I would have given it 5 or 6 stars.
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6/10
More about the paddling
leewoolgar28 August 2021
I'm into slalom so I would like to have seen more about the rivers and paddling itself. How they prepared for the runs, training, specific risks, maybe even some diagrams and explanations of the course etc. There's these massive volumes of water and just trying to understand how these guys navigate and read the river is kind of interesting to me (In slalom the currents are a bit more defined and easier to read). It's more of a personal type story.
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6/10
good untill..
jacob_ankerstjerne17 December 2021
It was decent until it became too focused on Scott's life. Sorry, but he sounds like a complete moron. He has been a nearsighted guy his entire life, and in the end, he realizes that not being an idiot to others around you is actually a wonderful thing.

Scott then believes he is healed for the rest of his life, but in reality, it is just the young paddler who is friendly to him, even though Scott would never have been good to him.
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3/10
Not enough paddling
paseddon-562665 September 2021
Started off well, but I really wanted more paddling and coverage of the expeditions.
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10/10
Artful Window into A Real Mind
raccar-4219828 August 2021
This film exploring the physical, psychological, and dangerous world of a professional kayaker is shot beautifully and is excellently crafted.
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10/10
An epic journey
joncheney28 August 2021
Incredible kayaking weaved into a personal story to which nearly anybody can relate.
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