8.2/10
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Free Solo (2018)

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0:31 | Trailer
Alex Honnold attempts to become the first person to ever free solo climb El Capitan.
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3,611 ( 304)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 29 wins & 54 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Alex Honnold ... Self
Tommy Caldwell ... Self
Jimmy Chin ... Self
Cheyne Lempe ... Self
Mikey Schaefer ... Self
Sanni McCandless ... Self
Dierdre Wolownick ... Self
Peter Croft ... Self
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Storyline

Alex Honnold attempts to become the first person to ever free solo climb El Capitan.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Live Beyond Fear


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, won 7 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Cinematography for a Nonfiction Program, Outstanding Sound Editing for a Nonfiction Program, Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Nonfiction Program, Outstanding Directing for a Documentary/Nonfiction Program, Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media within an Unscripted Program and Outstanding Picture Editing for a Nonfiction Program. See more »

Goofs

Alex's brain scan in the film is referred to as an "MRI." This imaging modality is commonly used on athletes who need to have the extent of tissue damage visualized by a radiologist. Alex was studied with "fMRI" or functional MRI, which follows localized blood flow in the range of seconds which increases with increased neural activity. The interpretation presented in the film suggests Alex had a decreased response to fearful stimuli (pictures of sinking ships, knives, etc.) since there doesn't appear to be increased activity in the amygdala as compared to other subjects considered to be "normal." See more »

Quotes

Alex Honnold: You're standing on tiny edges, small variations in the texture of the rock. If you slip, your hands can't hold you. It's just the two tiny points of contact that keep you from falling, and when you step up, there's only one.
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Connections

References Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

Hyde & Pine
Written by Aaron Mort, Avi Vinocur, Shannon Koehler, Spence Koehler
Performed by The Stone Foxes
Published by Embassy Music Corporation (BMI), Music Sales Corporation (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Embassy Music Corporation
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User Reviews

Needy
11 June 2019 | by tedgSee all my reviews

Films are stories. When the story is in the real world, a different set of narrative engineering principles come in to play.

A default is that somehow the filmmaker and crew present their own story of the quest for what we separately see. But there is a problem in this case; the crew has climbing skill and faces challenges just as great. They don't take the same chance of death our hero does, but they take a far greater chance: being the ones that encourage a death and exploit it. This would have been a dangerous choice as counterstory and the filmmaker wisely decided to avoid it. But then what to put in its place?

The choice was the girlfriend story. And I have to say it was a brilliant choice. Just look at the comments next to mine here - she diverts, so the documentary is now a real, folded story: a story about a damaged being that we see in part from the eyes of a compliant lover, trying to write his own story by a public achievement.

Within this love story is a drama that I assume is genuine. In addition to the issue of whether the filmmakers are encouraging risk, we have the more powerful story of whether simply being watched ruins it for our climber. He seems not afraid of public failure, rather his Asperger's fights the idea of having someone else close. Having someone else share the exercise destroys the mechanism he has privately built to process through this mechanical task. So we have a point in the movie where the existence of the movie is questioned on both sides. For someone who understand's Asperger's this gets to one core notion of love, life and story: when are urges shared? When can urges make stories that matter?

The end of the thing makes its own judgement: this fellow is a hero, conquering fear and nature. But that's not the case, he did it because he could not conquer his own compulsion.

The girlfriend is not portrayed fairly here, as the selfish weak groupie who has to be sent away. There are numerous cheats: the camera is there for too many clearly staged episodes. They likely are genuine, but what does it take for us to see him wake on the important day? For us to conveniently be there when the most dramatic dialog between two fragile beings occurs? For us to watch her face as she drives away?

I recommend this highly, because if you are trying to be someone in a shared life, if you are working the balance between satisfaction and display or the challenge of separating desire from physical display.

Stop before the credits. The production is competent, even sometimes spectacular, but the song at the end negates all.


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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site | Official site [Japan] | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 December 2018 (New Zealand) See more »

Also Known As:

Free Solo See more »

Filming Locations:

Yosemite, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$294,288, 30 September 2018

Gross USA:

$17,541,090

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$29,318,861
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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