A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Following your passions, overcoming your fears, working well with others.
Positive Role Models
Michael and the other climbers work hard to become skilled at what they do. Some of them, such as Leo, are difficult to impress, but they excel by being respectful to one another. JP's ambition does lead to some recklessness that puts their lives in danger.
International cast and locations. More than one language spoken. Gender diversity among the main cast. Some ethnic diversity among the supporting cast.
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Violence & Scariness
Peril during rock climbing scenes. Climbing injuries and accidents. Dead bodies and bloody injuries, but no gore. Character slapped in face.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kissing. Two characters strip to their underwear to go swimming. Partial nudity in bed, but nothing explicit shown.
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Language used includes "s--t," "f---ing," "pr--k," "motherf----rs," "crap," "d--k," "hell," "c--t," "bulls--t," and "a--hole." Some swearing in French.
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Products & Purchases
Characters boast about material possessions, discuss traveling internationally to earn more money. Discussion of commercial pressures placed on climbers by their sponsors.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink alcohol in bars and at parties. Character gets drunk on wine.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Summit Fever is a climbing drama with bloody injuries and strong language throughout. Emerging talent Michael (Freddie Thorp) and his fellow climbers take climbing seriously. But the ambition of Michael's best friend, JP (Michel Biel), tests both their relationship and the safety of the wider group. There is very little ethnic diversity, but the cast is international and a mix of English and French is spoken throughout, along with some Italian. Mathilde Warnier plays Isabelle, Michael's love interest, in the movie's most prominent female role. Climbing accidents result in some injury detail including an open fracture of an arm. There is some death, but it happens off-screen. Language is strong and constant, including variations of "f--k" and one use of "c--t." The characters are not motivated by money, but they do discuss the financial realities of climbing, where increased commercialization and the need for more daring footage forces climbers to put their lives at risk. Alcohol is drunk in several scenes, mostly in moderation, although there are a couple of occasions where characters say they have drunk too much. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Overlong and never quite finding its footing, this climbing drama is a story more interested in scaling the heights than going deep into character development and plot. Summit Fever's writer-director Julian Gilbey does a capable job of ramping up the drama for several set pieces, despite some of them clearly being shot on a modest budget. The movie has less of a sure grip on its people and pacing, though, with the first 30 minutes feeling like an overlong setup. The relationship that drives the climactic final act, between lead character Michael and his best friend JP, is obscured for a lot of the script, which leads to even more scenes that go up a mountain but arrive nowhere in particular.
Perhaps this was necessary to accommodate a cameo from Ryan Philippe, whose brusque Californian climber Theo appears to be Michael's nemesis before taking a different route. Similarly, the trauma Michael feels about the death of his climber sister also goes missing among the snow and ice. Gilbey's passion for climbing and love of climbers is the one thing that stays crystalline throughout. But the rest gets jumbled in a movie that can't decide whether it wants to be more like Point Break or Whiplash.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.