• R, 1 hr. 53 min.
  • Action & Adventure
  • Directed By:    Renny Harlin
  • In Theaters:    May 28, 1993 Wide
  • On DVD:    Nov 11, 1997
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Cliffhanger Reviews

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Christopher Harris
Globe and Mail
Top Critic
August 3, 2013

it has truly awe-inspiring stunts and special effects and many of its suspense sequences will leave you with your heart in your mouth.

| Original Score: 3/4
David Sterritt
Christian Science Monitor
August 3, 2013

There's a visceral charge to the high-altitude chase scenes, but the thriller ultimately falls flat, even on its own limited terms.

Alan Jones
Radio Times
August 3, 2013

High adventure and vertigo blend with blood and bullets to make this tension-packed tall tale a spectacular avalanche of dizzying escapism.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Jeff Shannon
Seattle Times
Top Critic
August 3, 2013

The fact that so much money was lavished on such a thick-headed project represents the height of fiscal ineptitude, but this is the kind of roller-coaster ride for which eager audiences will gladly check their brains at the turnstiles, so go figure.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic
August 3, 2013

The cinematography and gravity-defying stunt performances are exhilarating. The story, alas, is pure routine.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Gary Thompson
Philadelphia Daily News
August 3, 2013

An unexpectedly average adventure movie.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic
August 3, 2013

Some movies get you so excited - so revved up on action and thrills -- that you almost feel like you're flying. Cliffhanger makes you feel like you're dropping.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Leah Rozen
People Magazine
August 3, 2013

Nothing in Cliffhanger could possibly surpass that terrific opening jolt, but it's a smart, enjoyable summer action thriller nonetheless, directed by Renny Harlin with the focused energy of a Boy Scout earning badges.

Anthony Lane
New Yorker
Top Critic
August 3, 2013

That rasping tension is soon smoothed away, as the plot sets off on its daft and hackneyed course.

Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic
August 3, 2013

Cliffhanger no doubt makes for a great coming attraction, but as a two-hour movie its claims are much more problematic.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Gene Siskel
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic
August 3, 2013

Take away the mountains and what you have is a howlingly bad action film with a cornball villain out to steal a massive amount of United States currency from federal agents.

Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Dave Kehr
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic
August 3, 2013

Like the roller-coaster ride Cliffhanger clearly wants to be, the film sends you out pleasantly rattled and wobbly of gait.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Stephen Hunter
Baltimore Sun
August 3, 2013

The movie could also use more zing in its writing.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
Top Critic
August 2, 2013

It's hard to think of a movie my feelings have been more divided on.

Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
Top Critic
July 25, 2010

We are not at Cliffhanger for realism; we're there for the cliffhanging, and there's plenty of it.


Film4
July 25, 2010

Big-budget nonsense that still manages to provide plenty of thrills thanks to its high-rise settings.


TV Guide's Movie Guide
July 25, 2010

It may go down in screen history as the nail in the coffin of the Die Hard sub-genre, in which all the key elements of that blockbuster have been recycled to the point of self-parody.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic
July 7, 2010

Despite the don't-look-down Olympian settings, Cliffhanger's spirit is brutal and earthbound. The movie is like one of those computer-designed simulator rides that whip you around until you're dizzy and aching but don't actually take you anywhere.

Full Review | Original Score: B-
Peter Canavese
Groucho Reviews
January 24, 2010

As preposterous as this "Die Hard on a mountain" flick is, Cliffhanger remains one of the zestier big-budget action pictures of the nineties. [Blu-ray]

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Todd McCarthy
Variety
Top Critic
March 26, 2009

Cliffhanger lives up to its title as a two-hour rollercoaster ride that never stops.

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