Parents' Guide to

Man on Wire

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Exhilarating docu about high-wire feat has some edgy scenes.

Movie PG-13 2008 94 minutes
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Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+

This film made my palms perspire.

Wow...this one felt a bit out of nowhere. It is riveting even when you know the outcome. The decision to present it like a heist film serves the subject matter very well. It is a great approach that blends genres and helps lift the documentary's narrative and helps the viewer be in even more awe of this death defying feat. It is also a great decision to not discuss the current status of the World Trade Center or anything that happened in the years following this feat. There is no need...we all know. The main protagonist carries the film with his personality, but the supporting cast is crucial to understanding why we should care about this beyond the ego of it all. The film made my palms perspire.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (2):

This is an unforgettable documentary about not only a daring stunt but also on the necessity of following one's inner voice that impels us to attempt and follow our own dreams of greatness. One can only hope that future generations, when picturing the World Trade Center, won't immediately have the horrific images of September 11, 2001, and its aftermath but instead will have the image of one man on a high wire, in total and complete concentration, maintaining perfect balance while precariously perched between the WTC towers as onlookers thousands of feet below marvel and worry. For it is this image -- Philippe Petit high above 1974 Manhattan -- that is the most lingering, the most beautiful, and, in light of 9/11, the saddest. And what this documentary reveals is a kind of madness far removed from the madness of the terrorism by which the WTC is currently most remembered, but the madness of daring to put in the time and effort to follow a dream, no matter how ludicrous it seems to most of us.

Though Petit sounds romantic as he speaks of how there would be no better way to die than "in the exercise of your passion," this legendary "performance" required a great deal time and effort, practice, and preparation -- to say nothing of the complicity of some who worked in the WTC and men and women potentially risking their own freedom (had Petit fallen to his death, many would have been charged with complicity in his murder) -- and Man on a Wire goes far in showing everything required to pull this off.

Movie Details

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