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10 Of The Best Adventure Movies On Netflix 2021

Netflix has served up some fantastic adventure movies for 2021. Here are 10 we recommend...

We’ve put together our pick of the best adventure movies on Netflix for 2021 as, let’s face it, we’ve all found ourselves with extra time stuck on the sofa these days. We’re hoping these outdoorsy films and documentaries, ranging from life-affirming epics to documentaries charting human endurance, will inspire you out of hibernation. At the time of writing (March 2021) they can all be found on Netflix for your immediate escapism.

So what makes a good adventure movie? Well, looking through a few of these movies, there are some truly epic tales of survival and astonishing feats of human endurance – all of which have follow the central theme of human’s hardwired passion to explore to some of the most remote locations on Earth. So take a seat, grab the popcorn, and get stuck into our list of the best adventure movies on Netflix for 2021.

Arctic

Release Date: 10th May 2019
Rating: 9/10

After surviving a plane crash in the middle of the Arctic, Overgård is left to use his survival training to fight for his life in one of the most inhospitable places in the world. And, although Overgård looks to be making all the correct calls in an effort to stay alive, it always feels as though the Artic is always one step ahead in making his life that bit more miserable.

This gripping survival story has been dubbed “one of the best adventure movies ever made” by IndieWire – and we couldn’t agree more. With a single character focus, minimal dialogue and a moody edit, the film manages to make you feel like you’re surviving the Arctic horrors with Overgård. This is certainly a survival story you won’t want to miss. Move aside 127 Hours.

The Dawn Wall

Release Date: 14th September, 2018
Rating: 9/10

The Dawn Wall follows the fascinating life of Tommy Caldwell and how he went about tackling one of the hardest free climbs in the world – The Dawn Wall. The film was first released in 2018 but didn’t get shown on Netflix until 5 March 2019, probably shuffled into their line-up following the huge mainstream success of Free Solo, Jimmy Chin’s Oscar-winning documentary on Alex Honnold’s epic ropeless ascent of El Capitan.

The climb in focus here took Tommy Caldwell and his climbing partner seven years to plan and complete, with the pair finally topping-out back in January 2015.  What took them so long? That’ll be the 8c+ crux pitch that’s found right in the middle of the route. Get this documentary on your watch list to see just how tough this climb is.

Our Planet

Release Date: 5th April 2019
Rating: 9/10

David Attenborough’s soothing sounds had once only been available to hear if you had access to the BBC’s Planet Earth series which was frustratingly only free online to people living in the UK on the BBC iPlayer. Now, Attenborough is available for the whole world (the Netflix world) to listen to via the all-new nature documentary Our Planet, an eight-part series exploring some of the world’s remaining wilderness areas and the creatures within them. It received widespread critical acclaim on its release and has since been nominated for a whopping 10 Emmy awards.

Valley Uprising

Release Date: 1st September, 2014
Rating: 8/10

We’ve carried this historic documentary over from our previous Netflix adventure movies round-up as it’s a real must-watch, even if you’re not the most serious climber. Valley Uprising looks back on a motley crew of hard-living hippy climbers in the campgrounds of 1970s Yosemite Valley National Park. Prepare to hear stories of these ‘dirt-bag’ climbers pushing themselves to their physical limits conquering the seemingly impossible heights of the surrounding mountains while at the same time seeing their counterculture being monetised into the type of mainstream sport they resented.

Icarus

Release Date: 4th August 2017
Rating: 7/10

Another Oscar-winning documentary takes a spot in this year’s best outdoor and adventure movies – Netflix is spoiling us this year. Icarus follows the efforts of one documentarian as his small-scale investigation into drugs in cycling uncovers secret after secret and eventually culminates in one of the biggest geopolitical crises of the year.

Meru

Release Date: 14th August 2015
Rating: 7/10

“It’s defeated so many good climbers and maybe will defeat everybody for all time,” said Jon Krakauer of Mount Meru, a shark fin-like peak in the Himalayas. This documentary shows a group of climbers, including Jimmy Chin and Conrad Anker as they attempt to become the first people to reach the top.

The cinematography really is next-level, and there’s a great deal of poignancy along the way as each climber in the team reflects on some of the challenges they’ve faced in their lives leading up to the ascent.

Mountain

Release Date: 21st September 2017
Rating:  7/10

This is less so a documentary and more a piece of art – one to crank up the image quality and the sound as high as possible. It’s a curation of footage from some of the most talented nature, outdoor and adventure sports cinematographers, with narration from Willem Defoe and music throughout from a world-class orchestra. The purpose? To explore our connection with mountains throughout history.

Under An Artic Sky

Release Date: 23rd April 2017
Rating: 7/10

Fancy surfing under an arctic sky up in Iceland as the worst storm in the region is about to come barrelling along the coast? No? Me neither, but it was good watching other people do just that while I was sat comfortably on my sofa.

This documentary follows six enthusiastic surfers (Sam Hammer, Heidar Logi, Elli Thor, Magnusson, Ingo Olson, Timmy Reyes and Justin Quintan) as they make a pilgrimage to surf where nobody has surfed before.

The storm ends up providing all the surfing goods, with the crew treated to some awesome waves alongside towering snowcapped peaks and with the Aurora Borealis dancing up above. A visually stunning watch.

Everest

Release Date: 18th September 2015
Rating: 7/10

Everest has everything you’d expect from a Hollywood adaptation of the disastrous 1996 season, where eight climbers sadly lost their life in an effort to reach the summit of the highest peak in the world. Jake Gyllenhaal cast as Scott Fischer, some questionable climbing techniques and a $55,000,000 budget; Everest has got the lot, and it’s now available to watch on Netflix.

And yes, of course, if you would rather have a first-hand, fact based account of this tragic season on Mount Everest, then do make sure you grab a copy of Jon Krakauer’s epic ‘Into Thin Air’. But, as much as this film lacks a fact-checked account of the story, it more than makes up for it in it’s epic cinematography, giving a fantastically visual enactment of this gripping story.

Wild

Release Date: 29th August 2014
Rating: 7/10

This is the story of a very long walk. A 1,100 mile-long walk to be exact, one along the entire length of the Pacific Crest Trail. Wild follows Cheryl Strayed (played by Reese Witherspoon), who in 1995 completed the trail solo after the death of her mother and the breakdown of her marriage. The film shows us the power that nature has upon us, through self reflection, danger and new friendships.

Both Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern (playing Cheryl’s mother) received Oscar nominations (Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress) for their roles in Wild. Get ready for an emotional rollercoaster through some stunning landscapes in Wild.

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