The Climbing Documentary Netflix Fans Are Going Crazy For

Every few years, Netflix or some other media giant churns out a hit documentary of some sort that gets gobbled up by viewers like a Christmas Eve ham. In 2018, there was "Free Solo" — Alex Honnold's astounding story about his ascent up Yosemite National Park's El Capitan without any ropes or aid. Then there was the documentary that started it all for cinematic climbers and mountaineers, 1998's "Everest" film, which went on to become the highest-grossing IMAX documentary of all time (per Outdoor Sportswire) and is now set to be remastered and released again on the big, big screen early next year.

For the 2021 holiday season, Netflix has decided to roll out a documentary that manages to combine the unimaginable feats of Honnold and the 1998 "Everest" team with another true-life tale of determination and intestinal fortitude. Released on Nov. 29, the film has become a major hit among streamers, even hopping into the fifth spot at one point in the app's Top 10. And it's easy to see why. 

14 Peaks: Nothing is Impossible is a 'stirring' and 'astonishing' journey, fans and critics say

Opening with spectacular shots of different mountain ranges and summits across the globe, "14 Peaks: Nothing is Impossible" is nothing short of awe-inspiring, both in the visual and storytelling sense. For one, everything we're seeing is being captured by the doc's star, Nirmal Purja, a Nepalese mountaineer who is attempting to climb every single eight-thousand meter peak on Earth during a frighteningly short span of seven months — and there's fourteen of them. 

"Those of us who will never make it to the top of one of these peaks will get an unprecedented opportunity to see what the top of the world looks like with pristine images of stunning clarity and grandeur captured by Purja himself," describes critic Nell Minow. "Viewers will find them nearly as breathtaking as those who reach the top gasping in the high altitude."

On Rotten Tomatoes, "14 Peaks" has (at this time of writing) amassed an audience score of 95 percent, followed by a critics score of 83 percent. While many streamers have been hailing the documentary for its outstanding photography, it's been Purja's story of strength and sheer will that appears to have resonated the most with people. "Probably one of the most engaging, motivating, inspiring documentaries I have seen," wrote one person in the Rotten Tomatoes review section. "What an outstanding feat of bravery and human ambition, such a thrilling journey with Nirmal Purja," another said. "A must watch for all humans."