16. 127 Hours

Based on a highly publicized true story and directed by Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) – 127 Hours stars James Franco as Aron Ralston, a freewheeling outdoors enthusiast who ventures out into the Utah desert on a random weekend to explore mother nature.  He encounters a couple of young ladies and shows them a fun diving spot and promises to meet up with them later at a party before going on his merry way.

As Aron jumps, dives, and climbs through canyons he takes a disastrous fall and his arm becomes lodged between a boulder and the canyon.  After hours of desperation it becomes clear that there is no way Aron can free himself on his own.  As his strength begins to wane and his lone water bottle depletes, Aron copes with his predicament through humor, optimism, and the memories of his loved ones.

As the hours pass, Aron contemplates his fate and must figure out how to survive and ultimately avoid death by rationing water and building pulleys to move the boulder.  As it becomes evident that Aron will not be able to free his arm on his own, he must begin to consider the few desperate alternatives.

One of the most impressive aspects of 127 hours (aside from the real life feat of survival) is James Franco’s performance.  Faced with carrying the majority of the film through his acting and little supporting cast, he kept my attention on edge with energy and intensity just shy of Tom Hanks in Castaway.

While almost every viewer knows how the film ends based on the news stories and best-selling book, it is still an enthralling and inspirational film of courage and survival.

The survey says…4 stars out of 5

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Categories: 100 Films

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