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Parents' Guide to


By Tom Cassidy, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Inspiring docu about iconic adventurer has injury detail.

Movie PG-13 2022 113 minutes
Explorer documentary poster

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This extraordinary documentary about an extraordinary man manages to pull off a great balancing act. In Explorer, tremendous feats such as Fiennes' world-first Pole to Pole journey and other adventures command the awe they deserve. But the emotional life of the eccentric, fiercely driven, and hugely charismatic man who married his childhood sweetheart is also explored. Director Matthew Dyas delivers the story in style. Rather than a straightforward point-and-shoot, talking heads documentary, it's presented as if we're at a remote communication station. Interviewee's voices drift in, slightly distant, sounding like they're transmitting through old telephone wires. Images from the past fade in and out, sometimes lingering on figures in vast white expanses.

These clips from the past are in stark contrast to the full HD, modern footage of Fiennes. Older and frail, seeing him now against footage of the globetrotting adventurer in his prime is almost heartbreaking. The final act of the film has Fiennes reflecting on life, aging, and memory. "Whatever you've done in the past, when age catches up with you, if you're human you're going to object. The mind wants to do things but your body's falling to bits," he says. These moments of reflection and emotion are as impacting as the exploration feats are thrilling. An affectionate portrait of an exceptional man, Explorer is a documentary worth seeing.

Movie Details

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