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The Crash Reel (2013)

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Fifteen years of verite footage show the epic rivalry between half-pipe legends Shaun White and Kevin Pearce, childhood friends who become number one and two in the world leading up to the ... See full summary »


Lucy Walker
12 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Pearce ... Himself
Shaun White ... Himself
Mason Aguirre ... Himself
Daniel Amen Daniel Amen ... Himself
Sarah Burke ... Herself
Rory Bushfield ... Himself
Danny Davis Danny Davis ... Himself
Kyla Donnelly Kyla Donnelly ... Herself
Ellery Hollingsworth Ellery Hollingsworth ... Herself
C.R. Johnson C.R. Johnson ... Himself (as CR Johnson)
Scotty Lago Scotty Lago ... Himself
Jack Mitrani Jack Mitrani ... Himself
Luke Mitrani Luke Mitrani ... Himself
Stephen Murray Stephen Murray ... Himself
Adam Pearce Adam Pearce ... Himself


Fifteen years of verite footage show the epic rivalry between half-pipe legends Shaun White and Kevin Pearce, childhood friends who become number one and two in the world leading up to the Vancouver Winter Olympics, pushing one another to ever more dangerous tricks, until Kevin crashes on a Park City half-pipe, barely surviving. As Kevin recovers from his injury, Shaun wins Gold. Now all Kevin wants to do is get on his snowboard again, even though medics and family fear this could kill him. We also celebrate Sarah Burke who crashed in Park City and died January 19, 2012. Written by Anonymous

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The mind has mountains See more »


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Release Date:

4 October 2013 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Filmszakadás See more »

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Did You Know?


The film also premiered at the X Games on January 23, 2013 in Aspen as the first ever movie to play as a featured part of the event. See more »


My Tears Are Becoming A Sea
Written by Anthony Gonzalez, & Justin Meldal-Johnsen
Performed by M83
Courtesy of Naïve Records
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User Reviews

A very interesting look at the dangers of snowboarding
16 November 2013 | by Red-BarracudaSee all my reviews

I'm a skier and have hitherto always found a certain type of snowboarder a little annoying. I'm not stating this to be confrontational or anything but simply to illustrate how successful The Crash Reel is. Not only is it very well made and emotionally strong but it has instilled in me a new found respect for snowboarding. It tells the story of Kevin Pearce, a snowboarder who was a favourite to make the American Winter Olympic team for Vancouver 2009. He was the main rival for Shaun White – the greatest boarder there has been – and he was slowly picking up trophies and his career was about to go into hyper-drive. It was at this point that he suffered an accident on a half-pipe that left him brain damaged. It's a story that has been told in different parts – firstly as a sports documentary about the rise of a new star, then about a man trying to recover from a brain injury and lastly about acceptance and wisdom gained through experience. In adopting this approach it covers a lot of ground and leaves you with a lot of different things to ponder over, such as the dangers of snowboarding and the importance of the family unit.

In some respects the scariest thing about The Crash Reel was how easily and innocuously the fateful accident happened. It wasn't a spectacular crash but one you could easily envisage happening to any boarder capable of tackling the big half-pipes. It makes you ponder the very real dangers involved in the sport and how quickly everything can change. The tragedy of Pearce is that he instantly became a young man unable to do the one thing he excelled at. But as the film later illustrates he was lucky, as we learn of different boarders and skiers who are actually killed. The film functions partly as a warning about the dangers of extreme sports both physically and psychologically. But it also celebrates the sport too with lots of incredible snowboarding footage. But it's the family scenes that often leave the biggest impression. The Pearce's are clearly a strong and loving family and their many scenes with Kevin, trying to reason with him about not getting back on a board again are heart-felt. It's in these moments that the other star of the documentary emerges, namely Kevin's brother David who suffers from Downs Syndrome. David was often the voice of reason and was an extremely fascinating character. It made me think that we simply never hear the voices of people who suffer David's condition. And judging by The Crash Reel it is a voice well worth hearing.

All-in-all, this is an excellent documentary that scores points in several areas. It made me go away and think about things and that's really what it's all about at the end of the day.

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