The Summit Reviews

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Dan Schindel
Nonfics
May 30, 2014
Structurally confused and suspect in its depiction of the events. Bad taste and poor decisions waylay any attempt at emotion.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Top Critic
Soren Anderson
Seattle Times
October 3, 2013
At once visually impressive and narratively unfocused.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
October 10, 2013
There's something unsettling about a real-life tragedy presented as an action film; that the filmmakers never acknowledge this is more unsettling yet.
Radheyan Simonpillai
NOW Toronto
October 25, 2013
The Summit picked up an editing prize at Sundance, which you can only surmise was awarded because the film does a fine job of leaving you as confused as the people on K2.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Laura Clifford
Reeling Reviews
October 8, 2013
recounts a harrowing tale of endurance, heroism, majesty and human psychology, but for a sport defined by slow, steady progress, Nick Ryan simply jumps around too much.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Rich Cline
Shadows on the Wall
October 11, 2013
This strikingly well-made documentary about a harrowing real-life incident lets itself down by taking a too-ambitious approach to the narrative.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
October 4, 2013
I'm afraid it will only leave some audience members with the same nagging question I had at the beginning. Why on earth do people do this?
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
October 11, 2013
At once repetitive and puzzling. There is a lot of finger-pointing. Assertions are made, theories offered, but not much in the way of certainty.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
October 18, 2013
You have a tangled story being told by director Nick Ryan and writer Mark Monroe in a somewhat tangled way. The result isn't as much confusing as it is distracting.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Randy Cordova
Arizona Republic
October 10, 2013
A film that feels curiously hollow.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Chuck Wilson
Village Voice
October 1, 2013
It's a noble effort, but by wading into the murky waters of who acted heroically, and who, perhaps, did not, Ryan loses touch with the mountain itself ...
Top Critic
Tom Russo
Boston Globe
October 17, 2013
First-time director Nick Ryan isn't entirely up to the challenge in "The Summit," but he does deliver some dramatic and visual highs in the attempt.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
October 10, 2013
Ryan's film is visually stunning and viscerally powerful but nearly incoherent in its packaging of information.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Marc Savlov
Austin Chronicle
October 18, 2013
It still works as a cautionary tale of man vs. nature hubris, but the endgame finger-pointing among survivors, their families, and one amazing Nepalese sherpa leaves the viewer frustrated.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Donald Clarke
Irish Times
November 27, 2013
Visually impressive and well-researched, The Summit certainly stirs up the terror and mystery that attended that disastrous weekend.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Andrew Lapin
The Dissolve
October 2, 2013
Reenactments in documentaries are always a tricky business, but here, they feel necessary. The staged scenes communicate just how visceral mountaineering can be.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Jonah Flicker
Paste Magazine
October 4, 2013
The Summit tries to make sense of what happened through this haze of fact and memory, but certain vital questions are left unanswered (through no fault of the filmmakers').
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
Mathew DeKinder
Suburban Journals of St. Louis
October 11, 2013
'The Summit' is at its best when it tries to get to the bottom of what went wrong up on that mountain, which leads to exploring what sent these people up there in the first place.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Kelly Vance
East Bay Express
October 11, 2013
The seriousness of the climbers' predicaments overshadows practically every quibble with the story.
Top Critic
Nick Schager
AV Club
October 3, 2013
Director Nick Ryan dramatizes this horrific tale through a variety of hindsight interviews from survivors and the dead's loved ones, footage shot by the climbers during their mission, and staged recreations ...
Full Review | Original Score: B
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