The Rescue



Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 95%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 99%
IMDb Rating 8.3 10 745

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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by oscaralbert 10 / 10

Sometimes it can be difficult to get out of holes . . .

. . . in the ground, particularly when monsoon rains fill them up with water for eight months, as happened just after THE RESCUE. But even if you're scuttling along alone, half-submerged in an underground ditch toward the outer edge of Fiborn Quarry, and the back of your sweatshirt gets snagged on a jagged rock underwater when you have just a few inches of breathing room above, you might quickly realize that you're on your own getting out of your predicament because hunting season is five months away and nobody will happen along to stumble across your remains AT LEAST until then. Conversely, you might be high and dry on Horseshoe Mesa on the abandoned Grandview Trail within the Grand Canyon when cave scat spooks your little sister, forcing you to chunk rocks at her legs to motivate her to climb back up to the East Rim. (Perhaps it's the ounces sweat away there that allow a safe escape from another tight spot hidden deep within a semi-wild King's Canyon cavern a few days later.) And probably it's best NOT to encourage your spouse to squeeze through that drain tile they keep on hand at the Wind Cave Visitor Center.

Reviewed by paul-allaer 8 / 10

The riveting behind-the-scenes story of an impossible rescue

As "The Rescue" (2021 release; 107 min.) opens, we are in "Mae Sai, Thailand, June, 2018". People are gathering at a cave where 12 teenage boys and their soccer coach are trapped inside the cave which has flooded due to massive monsoons. The Thai Navy SEALs are called in but quickly they realize they lack the cave diving skills that are needed. A British guy living in Thailand calls two seasoned cave divers in England, John and Rick, and enlists their help... At this point we are less than 10 minutes into the documentary.

Couple of comments: this the latest documentary from Oscar-winning producers/directors (and wife and husband) Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, whose previous work includes the excellent "Meru" and "Free Solo", the latter one winning the Best Documentary Oscar in 2018. As soon as I saw their names attached to this project, I knew that this documentary almost certainly would be a winner. Many of you, as did I, will recall that in 2018 a group of teenage boys was rescued from a flooded cave, but do you know how and what was involved? Neither did I. This documentary gives a riveting behind the scenes account of what exactly transpired. Here is the true test of a good documentary: we know the final outcome, yet still I found myself transfixed at how it all played out. I also now realize hoe incredibly risky it all was, truly against all odds. The Thai authorities did what they could, but let's be real: if it wasn't for those 2 British guys and also an Australian (I won't go into the details), this rescue would have never happened. Talk about TRUE heroes! There is a nice instrumental from composer Daniel Pemberton. Please note: in the the movie's end credits, I read that "some scenes were reenacted by the actual participants". I was wondering while watching the documentary how all of this cave diving footage of the rescue was gathered. Turns out it was reenacted. But in the end, it doesn't take away from the profound emotional impact that this documentary will have om many viewers. And it's also a great reminder that the human spirit, determination and international cooperation are badly needed in this turbulent world.

"The Rescue" premiered last month at the Telluride film festival to immediate acclaim, and is currently certified 98% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie opened this weekend at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati, and I couldn't wait to see it. The early Friday evening screening where I caught this was not attended well: exactly 2 people including myself. Hopefully the great word of mouth that this film surely will generate will give it some life in the weeks and months to come. If you loved either "Meru" or "Free Solo", or simply are in the mood for an excellent documentary, I readily suggest you check this out, be it in the theater (while you still can), on VOD, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray.

Reviewed by Movi3DO 9 / 10

Incredible and inspiring

Don't give up.

A documentary about the event in 2017 about a rescue mission where 13 soccer kids and their coach got stuck inside a cave in Thailand.

I think I heard a little bit about this event back then, but I had almost no memory of it coming in to this documentary. And wow, this was the most emotionally powerful and inspiring time that I had at the theater this year.

The documentary aspect was extremely well done. There were minimal side-tracking, and the story got straight to the rescue and spent the entire time focusing on the divers and intense situation. Quite amazing was also reinvention of the scenes in the cave by the divers that participated in the rescue. Added to that were the real footage from the divers inside the cave. Some of them were heartbreaking to watch.

I was on the edge of my seat for the whole rescue mission. I was glad that I didn't remember anything about the event, because I had no idea if the rescue was a success or not. Many times I had expected the worst outcome, which made me even more worried.

The divers who were interviewed were incredible at retelling the story. They told enough information to get audience understand the direness of the situation as well as their emotions throughout the mission. There were some scenes that talked about the divers and their personal lives, but it was told just enough that I got where they came from and not feeling dragged.

Lastly, the theme of not giving up and unification of the people were beautiful. So many times the divers thought it was impossible, but others encouraged them to take risks and not giving up hope on the kids. The amount of people that came from around the globe to participate in helping the kids were inspiring. It gave you more hope on humanity.

Overall, an incredible documentary portraying an incredible event. 9.5/10.

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