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Scale new heights with rock climbing flicks where gravity-defying feats meet gripping narratives.

These cinematic ascents capture the raw intensity and emotional highs of scaling the impossible.

Got the guts to venture through the top rock climbing movies, shows, and documentaries that will leave you clinging to the edge of your seat?

Best Rock Climbing Movies, Shows, and Documentaries:

  1. Free Solo (2018) – Documentary
  2. Cliffhanger (1993)
  3. 127 Hours (2010)
  4. The Dawn Wall (2017) – Documentary
  5. Meru (2015) – Documentary
  6. Touching the Void (2003) – Documentary
  7. Vertical Limit (2000)
  8. North Face (2008)
  9. Valley Uprising (2014) – Documentary
  10. Point Break (1991)

#1 Free Solo (2018) – Documentary

  • 🎬 Directed by: Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi

Free Solo is a stunning, intimate, and unflinching documentary following rock climber Alex Honnold as he prepares to achieve his lifelong dream: climbing the face of the world’s most famous rock, the 3,000-foot El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, without a rope.

This visually breathtaking film offers a deep look into Honnold’s mindset and the challenges he faces, capturing both his solitary climb and the reactions of those around him. It explores the extreme dedication required for solo climbing and the potential costs of pursuing perfection.

Where to watch: Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video

#2 Cliffhanger (1993)

  • 🎬 Directed by: Renny Harlin
  • 🌟 Starring: Sylvester Stallone, John Lithgow, Michael Rooker, Janine Turner

Cliffhanger is an adrenaline-fueled action thriller starring Sylvester Stallone as a mountain rescue ranger who gets tangled with criminals during a heist in the Rocky Mountains. Set against a backdrop of treacherous peaks and vertical cliffs, the tense narrative combines rock climbing with a high-stakes cat-and-mouse chase.

The film is praised for its impressive stunt work and sweeping cinematography, capturing the perilous beauty of mountain climbing along with some edge-of-your-seat action sequences.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video

#3 127 Hours (2010)

  • 🎬 Directed by: Danny Boyle
  • 🌟 Starring: James Franco

127 Hours is a gripping biographical survival drama that tells the harrowing story of Aron Ralston, a canyoneer who becomes trapped by a boulder in an isolated slot canyon in Blue John Canyon, Southeastern Utah, in April 2003.

The film documents his life-threatening ordeal and incredible will to survive, showcased powerfully through James Franco’s intense solo performance. The movie delves into Ralston’s psyche, using flashbacks and hallucinations to convey his emotions and memories as he confronts the stark reality of his situation.

Where to watch: Disney+, Starz, Amazon Prime Video

#4 The Dawn Wall (2017) – Documentary

  • 🎬 Directed by: Josh Lowell, Peter Mortimer

The Dawn Wall is a documentary that follows seasoned climber Tommy Caldwell and his partner Kevin Jorgeson in their attempt to scale the seemingly impossible Dawn Wall, a 3,000-foot rock face in Yosemite National Park.

Over 19 days, the duo lives on the vertical cliff face as they attempt to achieve what many consider the most difficult free climb in the world. The documentary captures not only their climb but also the human spirit and the deep friendship that develops between climbers, along with the personal backstory of Caldwell that fuels his extraordinary climbing pursuits.

Where to watch: Netflix, Apple TV

#5 Meru (2015) – Documentary

  • 🎬 Directed by: Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi

Meru is a compelling documentary that follows three close friends and elite climbersβ€”Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Renan Ozturkβ€”as they tackle the Shark’s Fin on Mount Meru in the Indian Himalayas, one of the most technically complicated and dangerous peaks in the world.

The film is as much about the challenges of the climb as it is about the climbers’ struggles, camaraderie, and the obsessive nature of their high-stakes passion. The breathtaking photography and near-death experiences presented in the documentary offer a glimpse into the high-risk world of big-wall climbing.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Disney+

#6 Touching the Void (2003) – Documentary

  • 🎬 Directed by: Kevin Macdonald

Touching the Void is a survival documentary-drama that recounts the harrowing story of climbers Joe Simpson and Simon Yates, who faced disaster on the Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes in 1985.

Combining interviews with dramatic re-enactments, the film is an intense narrative of survival, documenting one of the most extraordinary escape stories in the history of mountaineering. It’s a tale of peril, moral decisions, and the incredible will to survive against seemingly insurmountable odds.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV

#7 Vertical Limit (2000)

  • 🎬 Directed by: Martin Campbell
  • 🌟 Starring: Chris O’Donnell, Robin Tunney, Scott Glenn, Bill Paxton

Vertical Limit is a high-altitude thriller that revolves around a rescue mission on K2, the world’s second-highest mountain. The film focuses on climber Peter Garrett (Chris O’Donnell) as he endeavors to save his sister (Robin Tunney) and her summit team after they are trapped in an ice cave.

Filled with spectacular stunts and set against the unforgiving and awe-inspiring backdrop of the Himalayas, Vertical Limit is a fast-paced action movie with dramatic elements of sibling rivalry, courage, and perseverance.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video

#8 North Face (2008)

  • 🎬 Directed by: Philipp StΓΆlzl
  • 🌟 Starring: Benno FΓΌrmann, Florian Lukas, Johanna Wokalek, Ulrich Tukur

North Face is a German historical drama film based on a true story set in 1936, during the rise of the Nazi propaganda machine and preparations for the Berlin Olympics. It depicts the treacherous attempt by two climbers, Toni Kurz and Andi Hinterstoisser, to ascend the Eiger north face, one of the most dangerous rock faces in the Alps.

This intense film captures not just the climbing sequences, but also the political and societal pressures of the era while forging a dramatic narrative rooted in survival against the elements.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video

#9 Valley Uprising (2014) – Documentary

  • 🎬 Directed by: Peter Mortimer, Nick Rosen, Josh Lowell

Valley Uprising is a documentary that delves into the riveting history of Yosemite Valley’s rock-climbing revolution. The film showcases the counterculture of climbers in the 60s and 70s, their conflicts with National Park authorities, and the evolution of climbing in one of the world’s most iconic climbing destinations.

Through a mix of evocative archive footage, interviews, and visually stunning cinematography, it tells the stories of legendary climbers and celebrates the rebellious spirit that transformed rock climbing forever.

Where to watch: Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV

#10 Point Break (1991)

  • 🎬 Directed by: Kathryn Bigelow
  • 🌟 Starring: Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves, Gary Busey, Lori Petty

Point Break is an action-crime thriller revolving around an undercover FBI agent, Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves), who infiltrates a group of surfers suspected of being bank robbers led by the charismatic Bodhi (Patrick Swayze).

While the film is centered around surfing, it culminates in a memorable mountain climbing scene in the climax. Praised for its high-adrenaline action sequences and the on-screen chemistry between Reeves and Swayze, Point Break is a cult classic that explores themes of friendship, loyalty, and the pursuit of the ultimate thrill.

Where to watch: HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV

What is the best Rock Climbing movie of all time?

“Free Solo” (2018) is the best Rock Climbing movie of all time, showcasing Alex Honnold’s unprecedented free solo climb of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park.

What are some good Rock Climbing movies?

“Touching the Void,” “Meru,” “The Dawn Wall,” and “North Face” are good Rock Climbing movies, each with gripping narratives and thrilling climbing sequences.

What Rock Climbing movies, shows, and documentaries are on Netflix?

The best Rock Climbing movies, shows, and documentaries on Netflix currently are “The Dawn Wall” (2017) and “The Summit” (2012), offering breathtaking cinematography and compelling true stories.

Nic Hilditch-Short, an English football enthusiast and former player, has a rich background in sports despite a knee injury that shifted their focus from football and skateboarding to climbing and hiking. Their early years were marked by their involvement in the Manchester skateboarding scene and playing football at a local and university level, influenced by their professional footballer father. After their injury, they transitioned to climbing and hiking, engaging in indoor bouldering competitions and enjoying outdoor climbs and hikes around the world, from the UK to Australia, New Zealand, and China. Their love for Arsenal football club has remained strong since 2001.

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