The Rescue movie poster
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The Rescue
The Rescue movie poster

The Rescue Movie Review

If there was ever subject matter that was a layup for a documentary, there is the Thai cave incident at the center of The Rescue, a riveting tale of collaboration, braveness, and immense risk.

Even if you know the outcome, which was covered globally for weeks during the summer of 2018, The Rescue is a daring documentary that blends real footage, interviews, and re-enactments to take you deep beneath the earth to one of the most dangerous rescue attempts in modern times.

The doc puts Western divers at the center of the action, though over 10,000 people were involved from several countries. The film ultimately is a straightforward but intense depiction of the several weeks it took to find the 13 missing youth soccer players and coach trapped kilometers within a flooded cave system.

Directed by Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, the duo behind the equally entrancing Free Solo, The Rescue is an impressive filmmaking feat. It’s often hard if not impossible to determine what is real footage and what is reenactment, and while that lack of clarity can be a detriment to some films, it makes for a seamless experience here. You don’t want to look away.

It was inevitable that this story would be retold as a documentary (it is also being adapted into a feature-length movie by Ron Howard); Chin and Vasarhelyi were the perfect ones to bring it to life.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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