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First Descent (2005)



Average Rating: 5.6/10
Reviews Counted: 63
Fresh: 33 | Rotten: 30

This snowboarding doc scores with its dazzling array of snowboarding stunts and beautiful scenery, but loses points with shameless product placement and an overlong runtime.


Average Rating: 5.4/10
Critic Reviews: 26
Fresh: 13 | Rotten: 13

This snowboarding doc scores with its dazzling array of snowboarding stunts and beautiful scenery, but loses points with shameless product placement and an overlong runtime.



liked it
Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 23,878

My Rating

Movie Info

When snowboarding first rose to popularity in the 1980s, many people didn't know what to make of it -- taking the thrashed-out style of skateboarding and moving it to the ski slopes, snowboarding was hardly welcomed by the old-school winter sports establishment who regarded 'boarders as punks and misfits. But as more people took up the sport and the extreme sports community developed a following that couldn't be ignored, a grudging acceptance of the sport (and the skills of the best board

Feb 21, 2006


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All Critics (71) | Top Critics (27) | Fresh (33) | Rotten (30) | DVD (9)

First Descent comes off as an overlong, overstuffed promo for an 'industry' that hasn't needed promoting since the movie's target audience was in diapers.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
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They're amazing athletes.

December 5, 2005 Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
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An adequate if slightly overlong history of the sport, Descent adheres to the same storytelling trajectory as documentary predecessors on surfing and skateboarding.

December 2, 2005 Full Review Source: USA Today
USA Today
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It doesn't get gnarlier than this.

December 2, 2005 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
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At almost two hours, First Descent still moves along briskly, offering something for everyone, including the skeptical crowd that still thinks all snowboarders smoke pot and listen to Black Flag.

December 2, 2005 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
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An overlong and surprisingly dull documentary about snowboarding.

December 2, 2005
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Despite some moments of truly athletic beauty First Descent is a fairly empty sports documentary that celebrates the gloss of the lifestyle, but doesn't do much to try and get under its skin.

March 22, 2011 Full Review Source:

If you've ever wanted to get a taste of the slopes from the comfort of a movie theatre, this film will do.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

If you're a diehard snowboarding freak, then welcome to your new favorite movie.

February 26, 2006 Full Review Source:

If this had been an IMAX film, it could have been even more spectacular. It could also have been forty-five minutes shorter.

February 4, 2006 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Woah. Gnarly. How many times do you hear anyone say that any more? Here's a movie for those who can't get enough of snowboarding, documentaries about sports, or people whose vocabularies include "gnarly." Because "First Descent" contains all three.

December 9, 2005 Full Review
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

The history of snowboarding as a sport might be interesting if anybody really knew anything about it, but if this movie is any indication, no one does

December 9, 2005 Full Review Source: New Times
New Times

If you're not a fan of the sport, this docu-mercial will be mostly uphill.

December 8, 2005 Full Review Source: Boulder Weekly

The end result isn't hard to rethink as Surfer Dudes on Ice.

December 8, 2005 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Dewable Entertainment!

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Entertainment Insiders
Entertainment Insiders

It's a good reminder why going to the local bijou is sometimes better than renting a video or DVD.

December 6, 2005
Greenwich Village Gazette

I don't need Dave Grohl's screaming to convince me Håkonsen's 60 degree plunge down a 7,000 foot peak is super awesome.

December 3, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Though I admire the athletes, the film failed to capture my interest in them or the sport.

December 3, 2005 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

While snowboarding enthusiasts will eat up every minute of its two-hour running time, it's thin stuff for the unconverted.

December 2, 2005 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

At its best, fairly often, the movie rises above hammy devices.

December 2, 2005 Full Review Source: San Diego Union-Tribune
San Diego Union-Tribune

The endless snowboarding depicted in First Descent was probably much more fun to do than it is to watch.

December 2, 2005 Full Review Source: Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

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