(2012)

Critic Reviews

75

Metascore

Based on 15 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
This amazingly beautiful, and amazingly frightening, documentary captures the immediacy of what climate change is doing to the Arctic landscape.
90
The film doesn't just serve up Mr. Balog's amazing and undeniably convincing imagery. It also records his personal struggles as knee problems threaten his ability to hike the difficult terrain to get the shots he wants.
85
NPR
In Hollywood these days, such epic transformations are rendered with computers and called "morphing." Offering a lesson both to filmmakers and climate-change deniers, Chasing Ice demonstrates how much more powerful it is to capture the real thing.
75
Heart-stopping in its coverage of the brave and risky attempt by a scientist named James Balog and his team of researchers on the Extreme Ice Survey, where "extreme" refers to their efforts almost more than to the ice.
70
A documentary so stuffed with eye-soothing images one prays it can seduce a climate-change skeptic or two.
70
Variety
Following the exhaustive efforts of photographer-scientist James Balog to capture irrefutable evidence of the world's glaciers in retreat, first-time helmer Jeff Orlowski's documentary supplies a heroic human-interest angle on global warming that's ultimately less remarkable than the grandeur of its arctic imagery.
70
Village Voice
Still and live-action footage captures the ice sliding into the sea with exquisite grace, which makes it all the more wrenching. Are such images enough to convince the naysayers that something unnatural is occurring? Doubtful.
67
As someone who admits to having harbored skepticism about climate change himself, two decades ago, Balog is trying to present an image-based response to all the denialists featured in the news montages scattered through the film, people who scoff at the numbers and lack of scientific consensus on whether global warming exists, and what it entails.
63
Slant Magazine
If you need it, the documentary offers a devastating, and often beautifully shot, reality check.
63
The impact should be visceral and gut-wrenching; instead, it's cool and cerebral – after all, we're being lectured in a lecture hall.

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