Happy Tuesday! Today's National Hiking Day, so what better way to keep things going than a nice jaunt outside, plus some movie recommendations to go along with it? Here, we present 9 movies great for the outdoor adventurers.
Reese Witherspoon mesmerizes as real-life novice hiker Cheryl Strayed, who attempts the rigorous Pacific Crest Trail (over 1,100 miles on her journey) as a form of therapy after losing her mother, her marriage and falling into a spiral of destructive behavior. It's a tough and beautiful film with a great supporting turn from Laura Dern as Strayed's mom, and features Witherspoon at her absolute best.
Drama / 2014 / R
2Into the Wild
Based on Jon Krakauer's incredible book, director Sean Penn's "Into the Wild" chronicles the amazing life and tragic death of wanderer Christopher McCandless, who dropped out of society, took to the great outdoors and ended up living for a short time in the Alaskan wilderness. Plenty of colorful characters add to his journey, including a young Kristen Stewart, Vince Vaughn and Hal Holbrook in a heartbreaking role as a wise mentor to the good-hearted, somewhat naive McCandless.
Emilio Estevez wrote and directed this worthy story that stars his dad Martin Sheen as a grieving father. After his son dies attempting the "Camino de Santiago" (the Way of St. James), a pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain, Sheen takes up the path in his place. Through the walk, he hopes to come to peace with his son, and himself.
4A Walk in the Woods
Sundance Kid Robert Redford (also the star of another great outdoors at sea tale called "All Is Lost") is the lead here in this comedy adventure. Redford plays a travel writer determined to take on the two thousand miles that comprise the Appalachian Trail. Lucky/unlucky for him, he decides to bring along an old buddy (Nick Nolte) who's not exactly the ideal travel companion.
5Never Cry Wolf
Disney's "Never Cry Wolf" is a gorgeous travelogue based on Farley Mowat's book about his time in the Canadian Arctic wilderness. The biologist was sent there by the government to study the declining caribou population and determine whether wolves are responsible. Played by Charles Martin Smith ("American Graffiti," "The Untouchables"), the scientist makes some incredible, life-impacting discoveries.
Gus Van Sant ("Drugstore Cowboy," "My Own Private Idaho") writes and directs this somewhat polarizing, yet hypnotic cautionary tale about drifting too far off the trail. Told mostly with visuals and not a lot of dialogue, it's the story of buddies Gerry (Matt Damon) and Gerry (Casey Affleck) whose hike through Death Valley becomes less and less appealing as they wander from the path and become – perhaps irrevocably – lost.
This despairing, ultimately inspiring real-life story recounts what happened when canyoner Aron Ralston (James Franco) set off for an expedition in south Utah and became trapped with his arm pinned between a boulder and rock wall. Over the course of five days, Ralston tries to think his way out of his circumstances, reflects on his life and ultimately accepts what he must do to survive.
Starring Mia Wasikowska ("Alice in Wonderland") and imposing Adam Driver pre-Kylo Ren era, "Tracks" documents the incredible journey of Robyn Davidson (Wasikowska) as she travels the 1,700 miles from Alice Springs across the Australian deserts to the Indian Ocean. Her only companions, besides Driver's National Geographic photographer Rick Smolan, are her loyal dog and four Arabian camels.
An all-star cast (Josh Brolin, Robin Wright, Jake Gyllenhaal, Sam Worthington, Keira Knightley, Jason Clarke and more) assemble to tell the heroic and tragic stories that revolve around the 1996 Mount Everest disaster. As weather conditions turn and a severe winter storm descends on Everest, rescuers mobilize to bring two separate expedition groups – led by veteran climbers - off the mountain alive.
About the Author
Chuck is an editor/writer who's worked for NCM, Fandango, Movies.com, MediaTrip, Hollywood.com and Newsweek. His favorite movie is "Jaws." He's definitely a dog guy.