Free Solo | Salt Lake City Weekly

Free Solo

Rated PG-13 100 minutes 2018

★★★★★ ★★★★★
You-are-there adventure documentaries have the built-in hook of watching someone risk their life; this one soars by providing a terrific portrait of the life that’s at risk. Co-directors Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi (Meru) follow mountain-climber Alex Honnold, as he pursues his dream of free-climbing California’s 3,200-foot El Capitan peak—free-climbing, as in without a rope. The filmmakers provide plenty of rich detail on the dangers of free-climbing and the potential trouble points in the El Capitan climb, and provide a meta-level to the narrative by showing Chin and his cinematographers wondering if their presence might affect Honnold’s concentration. But the richest material provides a full sense of Honnold as a person, from the impact of his childhood on his need to pursue achievement, to the effect of his new romantic relationship on his life; there’s even a great bit of insight from an MRI that suggests his brain barely processes “danger” as a concern. The climactic attempt itself only takes up around 20 minutes of the 100-minute running time, but the breathtaking footage does more than simply build tension; it builds to something genuinely emotional.

Film Credits

Official Site:

Director: Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin

Producer: Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin, Evan Hayes, Shannon Dill, Walter Parkes, Laurie MacDonald, Tim Pastore and Matt Renner

Cast: Alex Honnold, Tommy Caldwell, Sanni McCandless and Jimmy Chin

Show Times

Sorry there are no showtimes for Free Solo on Tuesday, October 23.

The next date Free Solo is playing is Wednesday, October 24 .

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