Race for the Nordwand

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Move over CGI-heavy, testosterone action flicks. Enter the North Face (musicboxfilms.com, debuting February in theaters nationwide; DVD to follow). Set in 1936, this riveting recreation depicts the two Germans — Toni Kurz and Andreas Hinterstoisser — who confronted “the last problem of the Alps”: the Eiger’s North Face. Chased up the wall and then joined by an Austrian team, the men battle avalanches and frostbite (plus, the Nazi-era propaganda machine embroiling them) as nature swoops down, famously ending all their lives after they pass the point of no return — the Hinterstoisser Traverse. Director Philipp Stoelzl grippingly and accurately captures the mayhem, daring, and fight for survival.

—Amanda Fox