Vertical Limit (2000)



Critic Consensus: The plot in Vertical Limit is ludicrously contrived and cliched. Meanwhile, the action sequences are so over-the-top and piled one on top of another, they lessen the impact on the viewer.

Movie Info

"The Vertical Limit" is a high-adrenaline tale of a young climber who must launch a treacherous and extraordinary rescue effort up K-2, the world's second highest peak, to save his sister and her summit team in a race against time.

Rating: PG-13 (for intense life/death situations and brief strong language)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By: Robert King, Terry Hayes
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 22, 2001
Box Office: $67.8M
Columbia Pictures - Official Site


as Peter Garrett

as Annie Garrett

as Montgomery Wick

as Elliot Vaughn

as Monique Aubertine

as Tom McLaren

as Kareen Nazir

as Skip Taylor

as Major Rasul

as Royce Garrett

as Cyril Bench

as Malcolm Bench

as Col. Amir Salim

as Cyril Bench

as Ali Hasan

as Climbing Doubles

as Himself

as Climbing Doubles

as Frank `Chainsaw' Wil...

as Brian Maki

as Climbing Doubles

as Spanish Climber

as WNN Cameraman

as Technician

as Italian Team Member

as Technician

as Technician

as Climbing Doubles

as Technician

as Crying Woman

as Grunge Climber

as Climbing Doubles

as Grunge Climber

as Crying Woman

as `Campbell'

as Climbing Doubles

as Italian Team Member

as Climbing Doubles

as Party Goer

as Mayama Wick

as Summit Air Pilot

as Sergeant Asim

as Prayer Leader

as Ed Viesturs

as Rasul Flying Double

as Climbing Doubles
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Vertical Limit

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.


Critic Reviews for Vertical Limit

All Critics (130) | Top Critics (35)

The pace of the movie rarely flags (neither does the idiocy, alas) and it's enough to warrant a marginal recommendation.

Full Review… | December 8, 2000
Toronto Star
Top Critic

This is a movie that means to keep you involved and, preferably, gasping from start to finish . At that, it certainly does succeed.

Full Review… | December 8, 2000
Detroit News
Top Critic

Mediocre disaster flick.

Full Review… | January 2, 2011
Common Sense Media

The air is thin in Vertical Limit, and so is the plot.

| August 27, 2004
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)

This rockumentary leaves Vertical Limit and Cliffhanger in the powder snow. The men's versions of the events are fascinating, often amusing and blatantly honest.

Full Review… | January 9, 2004

If you ever have the choice of being trapped, halfway up a mountain, or of watching this movie, than I advise you to don that parka and long underwear.

Full Review… | December 30, 2003
Three Movie Buffs

Audience Reviews for Vertical Limit


Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer


This was the coolest movie when I was 11 years old and I still have to say that it's a lot of fun and delivers adrenaline with an icy cold fury. It's like an unofficial companion to Cliffhanger; this deals with a similar case of rock climbing guilt. There are so many crazy stunts, unwarranted destruction and deadly situations that it's hard not to get wrapped up in the story and feel the power of snow terror running down your spine. Chris O'Donnell fares extremely well as his action star self, something that must've been hard to achieve post-Batman & Robin. Bill Paxton also works well as the movie's diabolical villain who somehow manages to outshine a natural disaster. With incredibly well shot action sequences, great pacing and fun characters, it's hard not to find something to enjoy about this.

Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer


Vertical Limit is an exciting Mountain Climbing, action packed guilty pleasure. The acting isnt great and the special effects are average at best but the storyline is well delivered and will have you hanging on the edge of your seat throughout.

Twists and turns are what power this movie forward as we follow a rescue mission up K2, against the elements and against time as Peter Garrett (Chris O'Donnell) tries to save his sister.

Its the opening sequence that hooks you in though as its probably one of the most effective and emotionally draining opening scenes I've seen in a very long time. Very powerful and a great way to start the movie.

As said, this is a guilty pleasure and Bill Paxton is always worth a watch!

"That's a bloody great idea. Smoking next to the nitro. Although, bro and I always hoped that you'd blow us. "

Christopher Alcock

Super Reviewer

Vertical Limit Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Vertical Limit on our Movie forum!