127 Hours

Rated 5.0

In 2003, 27-year-old wilds enthusiast Aron Ralston took a day trip into Utah’s remote Blue John Canyon and returned without one of his arms. His memoir about the mishap (Between a Rock and a Hard Place) was adapted into a film that garnered six Oscar nominations and took a back seat only to Winter’s Bone as my favorite film of 2010. Star James Franco gives an amazingly gutsy, vulnerable, comic performance as Ralston’s planned 30-mile circuit of biking, hiking and canyon scrambling ends with a tumble into a deep, isolated crevice where his upper right arm becomes pinned under a large boulder. Director Danny Boyle, who helmed such impressive but rather overrated films as Slumdog Millionaire and Trainspotting, hits full cinematic stride here, punctuating and propelling Ralston’s adventure and subsequent harrowing predicament with splashes of panoramic splendor and split-screen and microphotography effects.