Breaching the earth's stratosphere at a virtually unimaginable 29,029 ft. above sea level, the Himalayan-based Mt. Everest is the planet's tallest mountain. Many climbers have perished attempting to reach the summit—one statistic claims a staggering 1 in 4 people do not make it off the mountain—while others have lived to tell astonishing tales of their arduous trek. Straightforward and gripping, "Everest" is a true-life adventure story with a dire genesis: the so-called 1996 Mount Everest Disaster, wherein the lives of eight people were lost during a violent blizzard. The film is admirable in its authenticity and avoidance of sensationalism. Director Baltasar Kormákur (2012's "Contraband") and screenwriters William Nicholson (2012's "Les Misérables") and Simon Beaufoy (2010's "127 Hours") follow the facts fairly closely, opting for truth over invention. What the picture lacks is a deeper exploration of why so many climbers are willing to inflict physical torture upon themselves and risk their lives for such a hazardous hobby. This question is briefly broached, but with lines such as, "When I'm on the mountain, I feel like I'm reborn," it is disappointingly answered only in abstract pull-quote terms.
In April 1996, two separate expeditions—Adventure Consultants, headed by New Zealand mountaineer Rob Hall (Jason Clarke), and Mountain Madness, led by veteran climbing guide Scott Fischer (Jake Gyllenhaal)—begin their ascent on the south face of Everest. With base camps set up along the way, the climbers endeavor to reach the summit by May 10. Several succeed, but with temperatures brutal and an intense snowstorm blowing in, the groups become stranded overnight above the altitudinal point—the Death Zone, as it's called—where life cannot be sustained due to insufficient oxygen levels. A fight pitting man against the elements is about to transpire.
See Dustin Putman, TheFilmFile.com. for full review