Pick a random title Man on Wire

2008 3.0/5 PG-13 SuperHD 94 minutes

This documentary explores Philippe Petit's preparations for historically walking across a high wire between New York's Twin Towers.

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Philippe Petit, Jean-Louis Blondeau, Annie Allix Directed by James Marsh

Documentaries, Biographical Documentaries, Social & Cultural Docs


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  • Winner, Academy Awards - Best Documentary Feature 2009
  • Winner, Baftas - Best British Film 2009
NYT Critics' Pick: Walking on Air Between the Towers

James Marsh’s “Man on Wire” is a thorough, understated and altogether enthralling documentary. — A. O. Scott Read the review

Rotten Tomatoes® Scores
  100%   87%
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

It all makes for an absorbing, mischievously amusing yarn, whose climax unfolds with unexpected emotional force.

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, 2009-05-07


In this exhilarating, palm-moistening documentary by British filmmaker James Marsh (Wisconsin Death Trip), the twin towers are back to celebrate one of their finest moments.

Jonathan F. Richards, Film.com, 2008-11-10


By any rational gauge, Petit's WTC obsession was flat-out crazy, but Marsh takes a limpid, nonjudgmental view of it all.

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor, 2008-10-18


The erasure of the towers adds poignance and irony to a documented event that is inherently thrilling and beautiful.

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 2008-10-18


Though we know how it ends, it unfolds with suspense. And though it lacks any discussion of the towers' destruction, it succeeds as a tribute to their birth.

Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle, 2008-10-18


It's a story worth telling, yes -- but after 90 minutes, it's hard not to wonder if the storyteller can talk about anything else.

Noel Murray, AV Club, 2008-10-18


James Marsh tells Petit's story, the most inspiring 'heist' in modern history, a Frenchman's stroll between two 110 story buildings in lower Manhattan.

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel, 2008-08-29


In archival photos Petit seems to float between the towers, a tiny black figure against a vivid blue sky; the images are all the more poignant for the unstated fact that Petit is still around when the buildings aren't.

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader, 2008-08-29


Man On Wire is an engrossing film that captures the imagination and never ceases to entertain.

Kevin Craft, Miami Herald, 2008-08-22


Astonishing. Daring. Mind-boggling. Visually stunning. A true heart-stopper. And, oh yeah, the movie's pretty good, too.

Tom Long, Detroit News, 2008-08-15


It's a rare tale of dangerous obsession rapturously fulfilled, a reminder that even the most quixotic of undertakings can knock over a windmill now and then.

Christopher Orr, The New Republic, 2008-08-08


The word 'documentary' doesn't begin to do justice to [director] Marsh's achievement.

Christy Lemire, Associated Press, 2008-08-08


A documentary about a towering act of daring proves a spine-tingling memorial to recklessness as art.

Ty Burr, Boston Globe, 2008-08-08


A gift of a documentary.

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post, 2008-08-08


They say that seeing is believing, but Man on Wire will make you doubt what your eyes are telling you -- it really will -- as you shake your head in amazement and awe.

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times, 2008-08-08


There's nothing on movie screens now that can compare with the footage of Petit's performance.

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 2008-08-08


Man on Wire, the delightful documentary about French tightrope walker Philippe Petit's incroyable early-morning trip between the World Trade Center towers in 1974, is an interesting film to watch from the front row.

Reyhan Harmanci, San Francisco Chronicle, 2008-08-08


Man on Wire should be watched on the biggest screen possible; it's an utterly thrilling exploration of one man's mad dream.

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times, 2008-08-08


This film is a celebration of human achievement; it soars with the promise that we are shackled to the ground only by lack of imagination and will.

Peter Howell, Toronto Star, 2008-08-08