The Walk (2015) Poster

(II) (2015)

User Reviews

Review this title
233 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
A fascinating look at Philippe Petit's dream and a beautiful tribute to the Twin Towers
johnlin99992 October 2015
Robert Zemeckis continue's to be of the best director's in Hollywood. He has made a beautiful movie and even though you know what happens, he keeps you gripping your armrests and holding your breath until the very end. Joseph Gordon-Levitt shines in this role along with the rest of the cast.

I suppose this review is also for the people who were in New York during 9/11. As a survivor of 9/11, I couldn't help but cry at the end of the movie. Seeing the Twin Towers rising in all their glory, basking in the sunset and reminding us of their beauty that so many of us took for granted, brought back so many emotions for me. They were like old friends saying hello and goodbye one last time.

Thank you Zemeckis for telling a great story, making a beautiful movie and bringing back old friends to life!

If possible, go see it in IMAX! You won't regret it!
73 out of 88 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt struts with style and aspiration every step of the way
quincytheodore7 October 2015
From the first scene Joseph Gordon-Levitt dons the all black persona and talks about his passion, I'm hooked. This monologue heavy delivery requires that caliber of performance from the lead, also reminds me of Ewan McGregor on Big Fish. It takes the audience on a bizarre yet fascinating adventure and makes us feel like a part of the character's larger-than-life endeavor.

This is the story of Philippe Petit, a performer with the idea of wire-walking across the World Trade Center towers. While it may sound simple, the journey there is a captivating one. The presentation is almost magical with circus act and flamboyant atmosphere, although there are plenty of realistic details and intricate planning involved, at times it almost feels like a funny heist movie.

Visual is breathtaking, the cinematography takes full advantages of the vistas, let it be small village or big city. The way the scenes are shot gives the movie a much more surreal ambiance. It's an enhanced realism, and although it's not as refined, there's a spirit of Hugo lingering here. It makes great use of 3D with timely panoramic shots and even stuff-thrown-at-your-face antic, but for this movie I wouldn't mind.

The same goes with its jazz influenced soundtracks, occasional slow ballad or alternate take on popular songs. The production value just oozes gorgeousness. All the technical aspects aside, the best attraction is definitely Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He is utterly remarkable, youthful and charming. This is the kind of acting prowess that can captivate audience with sheer passion, it's a true homage to the real life counterpart.

The Walk is nothing short of a breathtaking tale. Its charismatic protagonist and masterful visual invite the audience to not only walk alongside, but in a sense glide freely through such an inspiring story.
34 out of 39 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
"The Walk" isn't a thrill-a-minute, but it is thrilling!
dave-mcclain3 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
One of the best measures of a good movie based on a true story is the tension that it manages to create in the audience. Whatever the main conflict in the film's story, if audience members know the ending, keeping their attention and interest and keeping them emotionally invested in the story's outcome is a challenge for any filmmaker. A movie with a great script in the hands of a great director with a great cinematographer and editor and a great cast can meet such a challenge, but when it happens, it's still an impressive accomplishment. Two examples from recent cinematic history come to mind. In 2013, director Paul Greengrass turned the well-known incident of Somali pirates seizing the Maersk Alabama into the thrilling and suspenseful "Captain Phillips". The film was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar and earned acting nominations for star Tom Hanks and Somali actor Barkhad Abdi (in his film debut), both of whom were also nominated for Screen Actors Guild Awards, which both won. Earlier, in 2006, Greengrass was also the director of "United 93", which chronicled the 9/11 terrorist attacks, focusing on the flight which passengers attempted to retake from the terrorists. As the film neared its tragic foregone conclusion, as a moviegoer who knew a lot about the events of 9/11, I still found myself hoping against hope that the story would end differently than it did in real life. Creating movies like that take a tremendous amount of skill. (Don't even get me started on the fact that Paul Greengrass has yet to be win a Best Director Oscar.) 2015 has legendary director Robert Zemeckis trying his hand at creating tension in a story with a well-known ending in his docudrama "The Walk" (PG, 2:03).

Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Philippe Petite, the French high-wire artist who decided to string his wire between the Twin Towers of New York's World Trade Center and walk it. But, of course, no one would attempt something like that on a whim. Philippe became entranced with wire walkers the first time he saw one in the circus back home in France. As the boy grew into a young man, he taught himself to walk on ropes between trees in his backyard, he got better and better and started walking actual wires. He becomes very comfortable on his wire, but it's "Papa Rudy" (Ben Kingsley), the local patriarch of a family of wire walkers, who teaches Philippe what it means to walk the wire safely and as performance art.

Philippe isn't interested in the scripted performances of the circus, but is very interested in performing – and challenging himself to bigger and better performances. After repeatedly clashing with his father about his passion for walking the wire, Philippe leaves home and moves to Paris. There he finds larger crowds to see his performances and more places to hang his wire. He also finds a girlfriend in a fellow street performer, a guitar player and singer named Annie (Charlotte Le Bon). She encourages him in his wire walking, even when he illegally strings and walks his wire between the two towers of Notre Dame Cathedral. By this time, Philippe has started gathering a group of co-conspirators (as he calls them), like photographer Jean-Louis (Clément Sibony) and Jean-Louis' friend, Jean-François (César Domboy), who wants to help, but is also afraid of heights. That's okay. Philippe needs all the help he can get.

Philippe has decided to walk a wire between the two tallest buildings in the world, a goal which he calls "the coup". After talking through the details and working out some of the problems with Papa Rudy and the co-conspirators, it's time for some on-site reconnaissance. Philippe, Annie and their friends travel to New York, where Philippe dresses as a construction worker to blend in with those still working on the interior of the new World Trade Center. He also meets and recruits some New Yorkers, including French expatriate Jean-Pierre (James Badge Dale) and Barry Greenhouse (Steve Valentine), a fan of Philippe, who witnessed the Notre Dame performance and happens to work in the Twin Towers. This disparate group of people (plus some late additions), each have a role to play in Philippe's grand plan.

"The Walk" isn't a thrill a minute, but it is thrilling. The story is fascinating and the acting is strong, especially from Gordon-Levitt, who learned French for the role and studied wire walking from Petite himself. The script tells the story well, although the scenes in which Gordon-Levitt narrates by talking to the camera are kind of hokey, mostly because of how they're shot. The rest of the cinematography is spectacular – especially the movie's climactic wire-walking scene which turns out to be much more exciting than you'd expect from an incident which is so well-documented. "A-"
21 out of 24 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Crowd-pleasing popcorn entertainment with miraculous visual effects
alwayshungryy8 October 2015
To learn about and understand the life of French high-wire artist Philippe Petit, who illegally performed a high-wire walk between the World Trade Center's Twin Towers in 1974, one might be better off with the 2008 James Marsh-directed documentary "Man on Wire". However, "The Walk" is a worthy experience about a dreamer who risked everything to achieve the impossible, and gave the people something beautiful, pure and hopeful.

The film is interspersed with scenes of Phillippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) talking directly to the audience, narrating his life story and the events that led up to his high-wire stunt, or as he calls it – "le coup". This certainly takes away the potential emotional and cinematic impact longer, narration-free scenes would've had on audiences but it served the purpose of moving the story forward swiftly. The first half feels crammed even though it is pretty much by-the-books: we skim through Petit's life leading up to the event without going in-depth. Which is understandable for a reasonable running time as there is a lot of ground to cover.

The unbearably intense second half surely makes up for this. It's taut with thrills and sequences boasting miraculous visual effects. The 30-minute finale is a immersive, transporting and even physical (as evidenced by my sweaty palms) experience that's one-of-a-kind. In fact, I would go so far as to say that there's no point watching the film anywhere else other than at a cinema.

Levitt's passionate performance is commendable and definitely contributes to a sufficiently emotionally satisfying third act. The film also makes it clear that this wasn't a one-man-show by highlighting Petit and his allies' team spirit. With "The Walk", Robert Zemeckis has given us another crowd-pleasing piece of popcorn entertainment.
18 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The walk
vincentgarias1 October 2015
Robert Zemeckis is a filmmaker that can make a masterpiece out of a single subject as walking over a wire from point A to Point B, He is the mastermind behind such films like Forrest Gump, Back to the future, Cast away and flight, the last two films are IMO subjects filmed out of a simple difficult thing but extraordinary as being a castaway or an Airline pilot.

The walk is one of the best films of the year, i do not think Levitt will get any Oscar nomination or but the technicality of the film will sure do, Zemeckis is one of Cinema's prodigy sons and a master of camera-work and the film looks really amazing.
44 out of 57 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The best 3D experience ever!
Anurag-Shetty10 October 2015
The Walk is a true story about high-wire artist, Philippe Petit(Joseph Gordon-Levitt). Ever since he was a boy, Philippe has always been fascinated by the art of tightrope walking. After mastering the art of tightrope walking, Philippe will now attempt to achieve the impossible. With the help of a small crew, Philippe will pull off a coup, as he calls it, & use his high-wire to walk the massive distance between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. This is Philippe Petit's ultimate dream.

The Walk is a masterpiece. It is an extremely realistic & immersive theater experience. Director Robert Zemeckis has done a wonderful job in recreating the actual events of Petit's life. The last 40 minutes of the film, is worth the ticket price alone. The Walk is my all time favorite 3D movie. Right from the first scene, till the last scene, the 3D provides both immense depth & many eye-popping moments. The cinematography is wonderful. Both Paris & New York City in the 1970s, have been portrayed beautifully. When Petit takes that climactic walk between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center the 3D definitely adds to the thrill of the experience. If you have a fear of heights or even otherwise, you will be on the edge of your seat as Philippe Petit embarks on one of the most dangerous feats ever attempted, in the history of mankind. You will be hoping against hope that Philippe Petit successfully completes his life changing walk. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is outstanding as Philippe Petit. The fact that Gordon-Levitt learned the art of tightrope walking & speaks in an authentic French accent is commendable. Charlotte Le Bon is great as Annie. Ben Kingsley is superb as Papa Rudy. Clement Sibony is brilliant as Jean-Louis. Cesar Domboy is amazing as Jeff/Jean-Francois. Steve Valentine is good as Barry Greenhouse. James Badge Dale is awesome as Jean-Pierre/J.P. Ben Schwartz & Benedict Samuel are impressive as Albert & David respectively. The Walk is a must watch. If you're not a movie buff but, you want to watch one movie in the theater this year, make it The Walk.
59 out of 80 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Best Family Movie Of 2015.
olalara6 October 2015
The Walk is a 2015 American 3D biographical drama film directed by Robert Zemeckis and written by Christopher Browne and Zemeckis. It is based on the story of French high-wire artist Philippe Petit's walk between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center on August 7, 1974.

This terrific movie has all the elements of success: true story, great acting,good drama,sweet romance and a nice comedy.

The 3D Special Effects Are Excellent Indeed and the direction was great.

This PG Movie Is A Real Recommended Masterpiece that will enchant adults,teens and children.

Truly Deserves 10 Out Of 10.
82 out of 118 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An Intensely Captivating Experience.
just_for_movies4 October 2015
The Walk is a visual masterpiece with a captivating story and superb acting. It was intense, thrilling, and emotional. The cinematography was top notch and the CGI was impeccable. This was truly an amazing cinematic experience that was made for IMAX 3D.

The basic story of The Walk is this: a French street performer becomes obsessed with hanging a high wire between the two Twin Towers and walking on it. He flies to New York, recruits a few people to help him, and after weeks of of planning, is ready to perform an impossible stunt that will be remembered forever. The script is very well written and the story comes across very nicely to the viewer. It focuses on all the right moments for the right amount of time, which means the pacing is generally good. My only problem arises in the beginning as I felt it was a little rushed. Character development is also not the finest, but it is enough to make the viewer care about the characters. Other than that the story was told in a very captivating way that left viewer on the edge of their seat.

The Walk is a visual treat, specifically the last part of the film. There are magnificent, swooping camera shots showing off the beautiful Twin Towers in all their glory and with IMAX 3D, the viewer feels like they are thousands of feet in the air on the high wire. There were multiple times in this movie where vertigo kicked in due to the crazy heights portrayed in the film. The cinematography really helps the viewer become immersed in the experience as there are so many memorable shots of the Twin Towers and views of New York City. The CGI used to create this wonderful experience looks insanely real and really makes one appreciate the beauty and height of the Twin Towers. When Philippe Petit is on the high wire, wind and distant traffic noises are added to the incredible CGI to enhance the feeling of being 110 stories up in the air and with moving camera angles, the experience is beautiful and realistic.

The acting in this movie is superb. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is amazing as Philippe Petit and really does a good job showing how insane Petit really was. Charlotte Le Bon also does a fine job portraying Petit's girlfriend, and Ben Kingsley gives a good performance as Petit's mentor. All the supporting cast give great performances as well.

Robert Zemeckis does an amazing job making this movie as intense and thrilling as possible. His direction really made this movie what it is; and it is visual spectacle told within a great story.

In the end, The Walk is a visually thrilling and intensely told masterpiece. It boast beautiful cinematography, flawless CGI, great acting and direction, and a captivating story. This is truly a movie to behold in IMAX 3D and one will come out of the theater feeling immensely satisfied with the experience. The Twin Towers were beautifully portrayed in this movie and made one appreciate their existence even more. I am proud to say that this is one of the best and most satisfying movie experiences of this year.
53 out of 76 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
"The Walk" is stylish and entertaining
samgiannn6 October 2015
Robert Zemeckis' signature visual style and proclivity for bio-pics seemed perfect for a movie like The Walk, a film that manages to boast an interesting and entertaining story and dizzying cinematography. The Walk is based on the story of the real-life high wire artist Philippe Petit in 1974. Inspired by a circus he saw at a young age, Philippe begins planning an incredibly ambitious -- and highly illegal -- show in which he hangs a wire across the Twin Towers and walks across them. A majority of the story is dedicated to Petit gathering accomplices to help with the coup, practicing for the extreme conditions and planning how they will rig the wire. The clever writing allows you to connect with every character and understand why they're trying to attempt this impossible dream. The last 45 minutes or so is where "the walk" actually happens. The scenes of Petit and co rigging the wire are just as tense as the wire-walking scenes, which are accented by some of the best cinematography of the year. The cinematography is really the star of the movie here. The shots panning down towards the ground make the towers almost look endless, and it adds so much tension to the walking scenes. The Walk is a stylish and entertaining look at one of the biggest artistic feats of the last century, and you need to watch it in IMAX 3D.
35 out of 51 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Yes It's Flawed but The Ending Makes It Worth the Wait
Michael_Elliott3 June 2016
The Walk (2015)

*** (out of 4)

The incredible true story of high-wire walker Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who got to live his dream of crossing the Twin Towers in 1974.

THE WALK was first brought to the screen in the Oscar-winning documentary MAN ON WIRE but obviously director Robert Zemeckis saw something in the story that made him want to turn it into a feature. THE WALK was released to Luke warm reviews and it ended up dying a rather painful death at the box office but I'm going to guess that it won't be forgotten but instead fine a good cult audience somewhere down the road.

The story itself is something of complete wonder and there's no question that the documentary did a much better job at telling it. With that said, even thought the documentary is the better of the two films, this feature still offers up some impressive visuals and performances that makes it worth seeing. I didn't get to see the film in 3D so I can't comment on that but I thought Zemeckis did a wonderful job at making the viewer see and feel how high up Petit was.

The scenes certainly have a very claustrophobic feel to them and you can't help but panic yourself just wondering what you would do in a situation like that. Just reading or hearing about the story will make you wonder how a human could do it but this film gives you a great feel and idea of the terror that it would cause in most people. Gordon-Levitt gives a very good performance in the role of Petit and I especially liked how the movie didn't back down from him at times not being so likable. I thought the actor did a remarkable job getting into the role and you had no problem believing that he was the real guy.

THE WALK does contain some flaws and that includes it running on a bit too much. Everyone going into the movie knows the story so there's a rush to get to the actual walk in the movie. I thought the early stuff dragged on a bit too much and I think some editing probably would have helped things. However, once we actually get to the walk itself there's no question that the magic takes over and that alone makes the film worth sitting through.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Compelling and Realistic
rannynm2 October 2015
This live action feature film directed by Robert Zemeckis is phenomenal! There is nothing about it that I don't like.

The Walk is set in 1974 and is about a high-wire artist named Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who lives in Paris. He sees a photo in a magazine about the construction of the Twin Towers in NYC and gets the inspiration to walk a tight rope connecting the two buildings. This is highly illegal and very dangerous. He meets up with a girl named Annie Allix (Charlotte Le Bon) who falls in love with him and supports him with his dream. He finds a mentor and father figure in Pappa Rudy (Ben Kingsley), and five other accomplices who support him in this life or death adventure. The Walk is a true story.

The Walk is a drama/thriller with a spice of romance and comedy. Because it is based on a true story, it makes this movie even cooler and much more intense! This is also an educational movie because I didn't know much about high-wire artists until this movie. I learned that there is a lot of science and math about how the wire is secured to provide safety for the walker.

My favorite character is Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) because he is just flat-out amazing and super believable! My favorite scene is when Philippe is facing his biggest dream of tightrope walking between the twin towers. They were 140 feet apart and 110 stories high! This scene is so realistic and exhilarating that my palms were sweaty and other audience members were squirming in their seats. Philippe says that high-wire artists are never supposed to look down when tightrope walking. Does he heed his own advice?

The Walk has jaw-dropping special effects. The opening scenes in Paris are completely in black and white except for an occasional pop of color, which sets a nostalgic mood. The Twin Towers were already gone when this movie was filmed, so how did they make this so realistic? This part is truly fantastic! Watching it in 3D made it so lifelike and totally added to the intensity of the viewing experience.

I recommend The Walk for ages 11 to 18 due to the suspense and mild language. Hands down I give this movie a 5 out of 5 stars because it is so amazing! The special effects can't be beat and the acting is super strong! I loved this movie and it is definitely on my favorites list!

Reviewed by Lainey A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
43 out of 70 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
One of the best biopics in American film history.
jdesando29 September 2015
What did you expect from the director of Back to the Future and Forrest Gump? Robert Zameckis has another thoroughly enjoyable film, The Walk, about Philippe Petit's (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) high-wire walk between the World trade Center's twin towers in 1974. It's as romantic as Gump and addictive as Future with the added interest of a biopic that is true to its history.

From the first moment we meet Petit talking to us from the top of the Statue of Liberty, and this story is about freedom if nothing else, we know we are in the presence of a man who has followed his dream and achieved it. To co-writers Zameckis and Christopher Browne must go praise for giving the Frenchmen poetic English in small doses, just enough to elevate the proceedings from nuts and bolts to heady ambition.

Those 15 minutes on the wire are as suspenseful as possible—a mark of the true auteur, who can make us worry for our hero even though we know he will survive (he does narrate after all, and some audience will remember Man on a Wire, the excellent doc from 2008). Because Zameckis knows his special effects, I was mesmerized by the shots from atop the towers to the street below. Although I don't like heights anyway, I had to look down every time in wonder at the scope of the danger to Petit.

While the Walk is about this extraordinary man, it is also a romantic eulogy to the towers, which arguably became favorites of New Yorkers after Petit's stunt. The "forever" pass to the top of the towers he receives as a reward from the city is painfully ironic considering 9/11. Because his feat was once in a lifetime, perhaps the passing of the towers reminds us that nothing lasts "forever."
51 out of 87 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Based on a True Story
claudio_carvalho22 August 2016
In 1974, the French street juggler and equilibrist Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) decides to cross the towers of the World Trade Center walking on a tightrope. He travels from France to the USA with his girlfriend Annie (Charlotte Le Bon) and their friend and photographer Jean-Louis (Clément Sibony). They team-up with a small group of residents and plot a scheme to take their equipment to the roof of the building. Will Philippe make his dream come true?

"The Walk" is a highly entertaining adventure based on a true story. The performances are great but the special effect of the crossing of Philippe is amazing. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "A Travessia" ("The Crossing")
7 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
looks great, is filling I mean thrilling.
witster188 January 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I struggled between 6 and 7 for the score here because "The Walk" isn't much for set-up, the character-development overall is weak, and the love story inept, but the last 45 minutes is edge of your seat stuff that looks great.

Not sure if this is gonna fall in my top-25 for 2015 list now, but I'm sure it wouldn't stay there either way so I may just go ahead and throw it on the just-missed list.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is great here. A few minor breaks in his accent, but overall it's great. The supporting cast is basically a bunch of no-names with the exception of Ben Kingsley, and to tell you the truth, he too is a bit under-utilized here.

Basically the whole film falls short, but is completely made-up-for by finale'. THe documentary "Man on WIre" is a much better film overall. This is a 6.5, and Man on Wire is about an 8.5.

It's grand looking and Levitt's charm and that look give this otherwise average film a passing grade.

Check it out. THe bigger the screen the better. Hope it helps.
7 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Why do you risk death?
sportello291 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
The walk centers around the famous story of Philippe Petit, a french high wire artist who walked between the New York towers of the World Trade Center.

The Walk is presented in a way where the vast majority of the movie is a patient build up to the final stunt. Zemeckis knows that this is what most viewers would come for and carefully prolongs the suspense, with an attempt to knock us down during the glorious finale.

As a result, parts of the movie seem simply unnecessary. Too much time is devoted to meticulously showing the preparations, arguments and weird psychological tensions between the characters; and too little time is devoted to exploring who Philippe Petit really is and what drives and motivates him.

Zemeckis painted Philippe in an overly simplistic way, underplaying the mysterious and human aspects of the character, that come of so well in the original documentary.

The walk is 120 minutes long and it is narrated throughout, which hugely distracts from being able to fully embrace and enjoy the actual experience. Not only is Philippe narrating, but the camera constantly switches to show him talking, whilst sitting on the top of the Statue of Liberty.

The underlying story in it's nature is so beautiful, inspiring and surreal that it should not require any guidance. This is something one has to simply see, analyze and drive conclusions from.

Admittedly, the 'Art Stunt of The Century' was the actual walk between the towers and Zemeckis conveys that part masterfully. The extremely emotional, vertigo- induced, multi-angled final scene will leave your jaw opened and your palms sweaty.

Nevertheless this story should not require a climax, suspenseful finale, but rather simple, continuous observation and exploration, to really give the viewer time to sync the scale in. Much like Zemeckis did with Cast Away.

Philippe Petit and his adventures on the high wire, to this day, has been one of the most memorable stories and characters I have ever encountered. Philippe's story includes everything - his start in the circus, The walk between the Notre Dame, the Sydney Harbour bridge, the Towers, as well as who Philippe really is, a question that would be more interesting to answer then 'What did it take to do it'?

The walk is a beautifully shot and very well acted film, that does an exceptional job in documenting the struggles of Philippe's final journey as well as righteously glorifying the act. At the same time however The Walk fails to truly explore the gripping story and character of Philippe Petit.
8 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Rififi in the Sky with Diamonds...
Lilcount30 September 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This film starts out as a Disney fantasy, morphs into a heist film, and ends as a miracle.

From the torch of the Statue of Liberty, Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon- Levitt) narrates the tale of his 1974 walk between the Twin Towers. He asks us to "remember" 1974, so the narration is taking place some time in the future. But Petit looks the same as he does during the story and the Towers are still standing. Perhaps the narration is from some moment outside of time and space, where the Towers stand and M. Petit is forever young.

After a brief retelling of Petit's early life and how as a young street performer he became enthralled with the dream of walking between the Towers, the film details the gathering of accomplices to enable Petit to carry out this thoroughly illegal enterprise. It's the sort of thing done in caper classics like "The Sting" and "Rififi" as well as lighter fare like "Ed Wood." All of this was done as well in the documentary version of this tale, "Man on Wire."

But after all the preparation, there is the payoff which the documentary could not offer, the recreation of Petit's feat. This breath-taking, suspenseful, and ultimately exhilarating sequence will become iconic in cinema history, among peers like Chaplin's dance of the dinner rolls, the breakfast montage in "Citizen Kane," the 20-minute robbery in "Rififi," the musical space shuttle sequence in "2001," the D-Day landing in "Saving Private Ryan," and any other you care to include. Director Robert Zemeckis is an old hand at this sort of thing. No living director, including Mr.Spielberg, could have combined beauty and suspense in so perfect a blend that a viewer is thrilled and scared to death at the same time to the point of praying for the tension to end.

The acting is all-around excellent, with Mr. Gordon-Levitt declaiming in French quite competently. Needless to say, the CGI and the 3D effects are state of the art. The recreation of NYC is almost perfect. (I don't think the Z train existed in the early 1970's.)

This film is not perfect, as the script is a bit trite, but on the whole, "The Walk" is a masterpiece of its kind. Given the trend of the Academy in recent years, Mr. Zemeckis should clear a spot in his trophy case near his Oscar for "Forrest Gump." By early next year it's going to have company.
15 out of 26 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Promising story, inappropriately served in Ameli Poulen style
apollon-63 February 2016
A story with great potential, ruined by awful directing - that's what this movie is. There is a complete lack of deepness in building characters, relations and even the maturing of the idea of walking a high wire and organizing the coup was pith-less and unconvincing. Not to mention the overacting by J.G.Levitt through the whole movie that results in perceiving the protagonist as a dull, arrogant and unpleasant character.In the same time, there is not enough action to compensate the viewer for the hollow script and make the watching entertaining. With a proper direction and without the comedy style representation of the story this could be much more worthy.
12 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Anarchy in the USA: The coup at the WTC NYC.
guchrisc14 October 2015
As a small boy, this reviewer read with excitement about the exploits of the great French 19th century tight-rope walker Charles Blondin who crossed the 1,100ft Niagara Gorge, many times in fact. Growing up, I followed the exploits of the eponymous Lt. Theo Kojak patrolling the mean streets of Manhattan South in the 1970's TV cop series. In the late-1990s I was able to visit New York City.

There is much romance surrounding the Empire State building. In 1957 it was the setting for the romantic film 'An Affair to Remember' starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. The 1993 film 'Sleepless in Seattle' starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, is in truth, really little more than a reworking of that older film. Getting to the top of the building is hard work and takes a long time, and that is with using the series of lifts to get you there. At the top you discover that even a famous horse was there too.

By contrast the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center seemed a let down. Sure, they were an iconic sight, briefly seen in many movies such as 'Working Girl' (1988), and even functioning as a prop in 'Escape from New York' (1981). But the large, fast, and functional lifts, shot you up to the top of the building in no time at all. This all changed for me on Tuesday 11th September 2001. Watching live on the TV, I found the scenes almost impossible to believe. For many months it was difficult to accept the reality of what had happened. Now I am always happy to see a shot of the towers, such as in the opening sequence of HBO's TV series 'The Sopranos' (1999-2007), and would have preferred it to have been retained.

In this new film, 'The Walk' (2015), Director Robert Zemeckis, has penned a screenplay from the book 'To Reach the Clouds', that tells a true story of the early days of the Twin Towers. The story could be considered unbelievable, but this film is in fact a true representation of this astonishing story.

The film is narrated, thus giving us the audience the needed exposition. The early part of the film is set in Paris, France, and is cleverly filmed in a distinctive French-style. Innovative use is made of black-and white photography, subtitles and French-mime to help tell the story of a young street performer working the streets of Paris who uses mime and his juggling skills. His name is Philippe Petit, and in this film he is played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The era is the late-sixties, and this is shown well. Philippe himself is a self-proclaimed anarchist. He also has an ambitious dream which is accurately and authentically captured in this film. In 1968, at the age of 17, he reads about the building of the Twin Towers and resolves to walk from one tower to another on a tightrope stretched across the top of the towers.

Before that though we have a nice romance between Philippe and Annie, played by Charlotte Le Bon. We have too, in this film, Ben Kingsley playing the role of an old high-wire performer, teaching his protégé the ropes. We get believable and thoughtful performances from the star and the supporting actors. Philippe, in 1971, walks between the towers of the cathedral of Notre Dame, shown in this film, and in 1973, did a walk at the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia, though this is not in the film.

Now Philippe resolves to carry out his ambition at the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City in the USA. This is where the rest of the film is located. Philippe recruits his supporters and they plan their coup. There is a time-element here, as the Towers are nearing completion. Detailed planning is also required and equipment is needed too. It is determined that a 450LB cable will be required as well as a specially made 55LB 26ft balancing pole. The gap between the towers was 200ft, the height above ground 1,368ft. The coup was planned for 7th of August 1974, one week before Philippe's 25th birthday.

While the acting is good, and the contrast between Paris and New York is shown authentically, and cleverly, by the different styles of filming, it is the special-effects that make this film. This reviewer saw the 3D version of this film. It was one of the main draws of the film and it must be doubted that this film could have been made as authentically before now. The camera shoots up and down the Twin Towers as well as across the wire. It looks down at the wire, and then swoops down to the ground. The effect is truly breathtaking. The tension is there throughout the latter part of the film. There too, are you, on the wire, looking up, and down.

It is clear how dangerous and foolhardy was this coup that Philippe Petit attempted. Nowadays, he would be declared an adrenalin junkie. No doubt he was that. This attempt can now never be replicated. I had thought that the WTC should not have been built on. I was wrong. It is right that something bigger and better should be built. The human spirit should always strive to go onwards and upwards.

The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center remain, always, an iconic vision of New York City, as well as the indomitable symbol of soaring ambition, vision, and the spirit of humanity throughout the world. Now Philippe Petit and Robert Zemeckis have given it it's own magic and romance too.

Breathtaking! 10/10.
11 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An extraordinary and hugely entertaining spectacle
themadmovieman10 October 2015
Out of absolutely nowhere, Robert Zemeckis' 'The Walk' is one of the best films of this year! It's a biographical drama with a lot of heart and a lot humour, as well as spectacular visuals, brilliant performances and a hugely captivating plot that both thrills and tells a fascinating true story.

It's hard to believe it, given the sheer audacity of it all, but this whole story really is true. The 2008 documentary Man On Wire tells the tale in more factual detail, but The Walk is a far more engrossing and enjoyable viewing experience.

In the role of the high-wire performer Philippe Petit, Joseph Gordon-Levitt does an excellent job. Not only does he pull of the French accent and actual French-language dialogue superbly, but his portrayal of Petit makes him a character that, despite being completely mad, is infectiously likable, what with a wide smile and a wonderful sense of adventure to make his dreams become a reality.

The story in itself is centred around the famous high-wire performance across the Twin Towers, but the first two-thirds of the movie actually look more at Petit's life in France, and his relationships with the various people that he recruits on his way to realising this feat.

In classic Robert Zemeckis style, that part of the story is full of brilliant heart and a positive atmosphere that makes it impossible not to enjoy, in similar fashion to Zemeckis' acclaimed Forrest Gump. What's more is that the directing and cinematography presents France as an almost enchanted land, full of vibrant colours and quirky personalities, something else that contributes hugely to the enjoyability factor of the first two-thirds of the film.

In the latter stages, we see the actual high-wire act undertaken at the World Trade Centre, and my goodness is it worth the wait.

Firstly, the story begins to take on the structure and feel of a heist movie as Petit and his accomplices attempt to dodge the authorities to set up the wire atop the skyscrapers, and that is hugely exciting, tense, and again simply fun to watch all the time, adding another different level to this uniquely entertaining story.

And then, the actual event is simply astonishing to watch. I felt totally and utterly entranced by the entire spectacle as Petit makes his steps out over the terrifying void between the towers. Here, Joseph Gordon-Levitt's acting is beautifully serene as he shows Petit finally achieving his dream, whilst the visuals are absolutely stunning.

On the one hand, there are the vertigo-inducing shots of the deep void below the wire that make your legs turn to jelly (even in 2D), but also, Zemeckis presents the atmosphere surrounding Petit on the wire as a serene, dreamlike place to represent the delight he feels having accomplished this feat, and it is by far one of the most pleasant and beautiful cinematic sequences we've seen in a long time.

So, overall, The Walk is not only a hugely entertaining and upbeat film, but it also features a brilliant central performance, sublime directing, a fascinating story, and some extraordinary visuals that all come together to make a wonderfully enjoyable and captivating movie to watch.
10 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Absolutely stunning
laurapalmersdead4 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
First, let me say that I've never seen better 3-D in a live action film and that is crucial to the impact this film delivers. As everyone knows, the film tells the story of Philippe Petit's wire walk between the twin towers of the World Trade Center in 1974. To anyone who has read the book on which this film is based (and the documentary Man On Wire) the events leading up to that spectacle are well-known and fairly accurately portrayed. BTW, I'm old enough to remember the real event. Others will discuss the acting (Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Petit is particularly good) the writing, cinematography and all the other aspects of what goes into a motion picture. I just want to discuss the walk itself, as Zemeckis presents it. I am terrified of heights and was worried I might not be able to watch Petit's high wire performance. In fact, I was cringing far more during the scenes of the characters scurrying around on the edges of the tops of the two towers while preparing the wire. Once Petit actually started his walk, though, Zemeckis and Gordon-Levitt were able to actually communicate (at least to this viewer) the serenity that Petit says he feels on the wire. I left the theatre shaking, and two hours later I got a text from a friend who saw the film with me: "I'm still reeling!" Me too.
10 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Amazing and Spectacular Biopic
chiranjivmalla8 October 2015
I keep getting enlightened or informational when ever I saw a biopic or film on a true event, especially when they were made by Hollywood technicians. Frankly to say I am not so good at general knowledge or remembering history. Sometimes when I read about a historical person I may not get interested much, perhaps video or documentary on him/her will seriously create curiosity inside me to watch it. But suddenly why am I telling all this funda to you ? It is all because a month ago, I have witnessed the spectacular trailer of the film "The Walk". This is a biopic on French high-wire artist Philippe Petit. After this I got hooked onto his wiki page and read a lot about him and since then, I have been waiting for its release. Brief description about his story, I think twelve people have walked on the moon, but on 7th Aug 1974 only one man in the world - Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt acted in his role) - has ever, or will ever, walk in the immense void between the World Trade Center towers.

Robert Zemeckis, the director of such marvels as Forrest Gump, Cast Away, Polar Express Real steel and Flight, again uses his brilliance with such an emotional and character-driven story. Basically he also took references from the documentary "Man on a wire" and book "To reach the clouds", this book was actually written by Philippe petit himself. Needless to say the cinematography, CG works and 3D effects are state of the art. I was mesmerized by the camera angles from the top of the towers to the streets below. Joseph as French wire artist having little English accent, just nailed in his role. In the film, he himself narrates the tale from the top of the statue of liberty. Ben Kingsley as Joseph's mentor does a fantastic job. Charlotte looking damn cute but her role doesn't have much significance. Film starts off as a Disney fantasy and ends as a miracle. There are few odd or unnecessary scenes in the film but that doesn't matter when the major part of the film is so engaging and captivating.

The walk between the World Trade Centers is also called as "Artistic crime of the century" or "Once in a lifetime" event in the American history and this part was amazingly picturised by Robert. The sensational and multi-angled finale part will leave your jaw opened. Climax was shot so realistic and lively.Movie has true- gripping story line, great acting and bit of romance & comedy too."The Walk" is just a simple stylish and inspirational film. Do experience this in 3D only. It's worth the walk !
5 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Simply Amazing
pavanit10 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
The Walk:One of the best movies this year , The Walk is the true story of Philippe Petit and the stunt he performed on the twin towers 40 years ago , The visual effects are just stunning as you will expect from a Zemeckis movie, the best thing about the movie are the special effects , storyline and superb performances by all the actors , Gordon-Levitt of course shines in his stellar performance as Philippe,for he has given a performance which even Philippe will be proud off ,after watching the trailer first time i was really impressed , i was tempted to read about the actual stunt and wanted to know whether Philippe actually made it ,i somehow controlled my temptation and went to the movie with no expectations and didn't know what actually happened and i must say i am blown away by the movie ,so i will recommend go watch the movie and feel inspired and amazed. "Years ago you told me something i always remember you said you cannot lie on stage the audience will always know it is inside your heart" -----------Philippe
9 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Lost Icons
grumpyduck2 October 2015
The Walk is not just a marvellous retelling of the story of Phillipe Petit's "coup" of a tightrope walk across the void between the twin towers of the World Trade Centre, it's a warmhearted tribute to those beautiful icons.

I actually felt a kind of emptiness inside me when I looked upon their majestic beauty on the glorious IMAX 3D screen. Petits' wonder at the immenseness of them was palpable. Robert Zemekis has bought them back to life so well it was nearly impossible to believe that they are actually gone.

The slow build up covering Petit's early life and first steps on a high wire made the last 45 minutes of the film all the more poignant. Even though I knew of his audacious plan and it's outcome through the documentary "Man On Wire", the heart stopping moments of his near discovery and the culmination of the actual walk had my palms sweating.

The unbelievable vistas and vertigo inducing shots of the towers and New York created by Zemekis are just beautiful, Joseph Gordon Levitt (dodgy accent moments aside) does a great job of bringing Petits' "joie de vivre" eccentricity and earnestness to the screen.

The supporting cast of team members do a fine job especially Charlotte Le Bon, though Ben Kingsley can do roles like mentor Papa Rudy in his sleep.

See this in 3D and IMAX if you can. It's worth it.
7 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A mesmerizing & a'ccentric experience!
muvi-fan-7331 December 2015
Warning: Spoilers
The walk is a movie about a wire walker born in France, set out to New York, to fulfill his dream of covering a distance between the towers on his wire. His dream was seeded long time before even when the towers were not constructed completely. His journey of meeting associates accompanying him, leaving him, his close partner, the risks involved, his guide, the process, the audience all that comes into play while pursuing his dream are shown in this movie.

When the trailer first came out, I was not very intimidated. The movie was released in 3d mostly and somehow I dint like the visuals too much. After watching the movie this part stayed unaltered. The true essence of the movie is the details that take place and are described in social life of Philippe Petit. The experience was mesmerizing. There is a saying in India 'Rather than cooking same rice-Dal every day, one should occasionally cook biryani'. The tongue of the actors soothes so much, I mean hearing English from French People. The same experience one has in changing accent.

The coziness that is present between his (Philippe Petit) guide and him is great, his work going undisturbed inside a circle, his failure as in his first show -adds to the charm. There is also a lot of thrill involved, when he risks at being on height hiding from authorities with an associate who fears height, he gets on that wire and shows various tricks. Everything adds to the entertaining experience. Being an alpha, and supporting associates in overcoming the impossible always adds to the experience.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A superbly made emotional movie
zeletto21 December 2015
This movie surely exceeded my expectations, let me start by saying this is one of the best well-made movies I have seen this year. The technique, cinematography, music, ... are all top notch. Most of us already know the story, and some of us saw other movies about the same man, but this one definitely has the highest production values. What I like most about "The Walk" is what I think differentiates it from the other movies, you feel the importance and grandeur of the twin towers, for a moment there you feel they are the stars of the movie, an integral part of the story that Robert Zemeckis did a great job capturing their character and presence. I felt this movie was more of a tribute to the towers than of Philip's, it sheds a different light on the walk that will give you a warm feeling by the end. You realize that they weren't just any two buildings, they attracted a young man from across the Atlantic and changed his life forever.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed