Thrills on the Silver Screen: Top Adventure Movies


As many set off on big adventures this Spring Break, you may be doing just the opposite. Maybe your plans fell through or you don’t have the energy to do anything more than melt into the couch. No matter which category you fall into, here is a guide to some adventure films to watch from home.

“Touching The Void”

If you’re looking for some mountain adventures, this is the movie for you. Starring Simon Yates, Joe Simpson, and Brendan Mackey, “Touching the Void” will keep your attention from start to finish. The film is based on a true story about two climbers who attempt a summit of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes in 1985. The journey is perilous, with lots of sweeping mountain cinematography. Though the film begins as a classic mountain ascent story, it turns into the incredible descent of one of the climbers after an injury leaves him presumed dead by his climbing partner. Grab some popcorn and a warm blanket and take a cold, snowy trek up and down a mountain.

“Man vs. Wild”

If you enjoy hardcore outdoor survival adventures and good-looking British TV show hosts, then it’s time to queue up “Man Vs. Wild” starring Bear Grylls. This Discovery Channel series aired from 2006 until 2011, focusing on ex-British special forces mountain man, Grylls, as he faced survival challenges in some of the toughest environments around the globe with just a few basic necessities … and his camera crew. With five years’ worth of episodes to choose from, you could spend your whole Spring Break watching Grylls build makeshift huts, eat questionable things, and flex his muscles. If you want to hone in on one specific episode, and you’re not too squeamish, check out season 2 episode 2, where Grylls uses a dead camel for water and shelter in the Sahara Desert. You might even pick up some valuable survival advice for your next adventure.

“127 Hours”

This movie is a bit of a whirlwind. The 2010 film is based on a true story about an avid outdoor adventurer, Aron Ralston, who literally becomes trapped between a rock and a hard place in the Utah desert. The charismatic main character is played by James Franco, who does an excellent job engaging the audience in a part that got him an Oscar nomination for his performance. This is a great movie if you wish you were out in the desert this Spring Break — the stunning scenery will have you itching to get down south for an adventure ASAP. It also might make you a little more cautious next time you find yourself in and around slot canyons.

“Into The Wild”

This one is an emotional roller-coaster, but it’s also a must-see classic. This movie is based on the true story of Chris McCandless, a young man who abandons his family and all his worldly possessions to live in the wilderness. The movie revolves around McCandless’ adventures as he hitchhikes around the country, making you laugh, wonder, and cry. The iconic bus in which McCandless lived during his time in Alaska can still be seen there today. Maybe it will inspire you to take your own wilderness pilgrimage — just make sure you actually know how to identify edible plants before eating them.

“Seven Years In Tibet”

If you want your Spring Break to consist of an equal balance of history and adventure then look no further than “Seven Years in Tibet.” This 1997 movie stars Brad Pitt as an Austrian mountain climber who becomes imprisoned after a dangerous climb during the onset of World War II. A series of events leads him to the holy village of Lhasa in Tibet. While there, Pitt befriends the young Dalai Lama and does a little growing up. The movie features some great scenery — it was actually filmed in Argentina — and some dramatization of historical events. Even if you just watch it for Pitt’s terrible Austrian accent and bleach-blond hair, it’s worth the 136-minute run time.

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