Rated 4.0

Director Baltasar Kormakur makes a grueling testament to the hell that is climbing the world's tallest mountain in a production that demands to be seen on an IMAX screen. Jason Clarke does his best work since Zero Dark Thirty as Rob Hall, who co-led an ascent of Everest that resulted in the deaths of eight people in 1996. Jake Gyllenhaal plays Scott Fischer, another of the expedition's leaders and legendary for his ability to scale the mountain without the aid of oxygen. Josh Brolin is on hand as Beck Weathers, the brash Texan who has perhaps bitten off a little more than he can chew, and John Hawkes chimes in as Doug Hansen, an ambitious climber returning after a failed ascent the year before. Yes, some of these real people have been written a tad stereotypically and thin, but you won't care once the snow hits the mountain. Kormakur has crafted a movie that puts you right in the middle of things—genuinely uncomfortable things. The effects are very good, and there's a nice attention to detail when it comes to the perils of climbing. Supporting cast also includes Emily Watson as the mother hen at base camp, Keira Knightley as the worried wife, and a solid Sam Worthington as climber Guy Cotter. This expedition is the one Jon Krakauer based his book on. He was on the expedition and he's in the movie, played well by Michael Kelly.