If you were to search our “Recently Watched” list on Netflix, you might sense a theme: adventure and the great outdoors.

If someone is scaling a rock face against all odds on TV, you can be sure we’re watching it in our living room. From stories about world travel to a group of ragtag kids in search of treasure, count us in.

Here are some of our favorite movies that are all about being outside and seeking adventure:

 

180 Degrees South

If the ethos of Patagonia and the North Face resonate with you, 180 Degrees South will surely strike a chord.

Directed by Chris Malloy, a former pro surfer, Chris and friend Jeff Johnson set out to recreate the epic 1968 adventure taken by Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins in Patagonia.

 

Into the Wild

Based on the book by Jon Krauker, Into the Wild tells the (ultimately tragic) story of Christopher McCandless, who attempted to unchain himself from capitalist society by living freely in the Alaskan wilderness.

It's also one of those films where the soundtrack is as good as the movie itself - Eddie Vedder's collection of beautiful songs written for the film are the perfect complement to this moving story.

 

A River Runs Through It

Set in 1920s rural Montana, Paul and Norman (one quiet and stern, the other rebellious and wild) have grown up under the watchful eye of their strict father. Despite the fact that diverging life paths have sent them toward different destinies, Paul and Norman find common ground in their love of flyfishing.

Directed by Robert Redford, A River Runs Through It won an Oscar for Best Cinematography.

 

Motorcycle Diaries

Based on the journals of ‘Che’ Guevara - the leader of the Cuban Revolution - The Motorcycles Diaries follows Guevara’s journey with his best friend, Alberto Granado, as they made their way through across South America in the 1950s.

Pick out some of your favorite South American recipes and turn this into a memorable dinner and a movie night.

 

Darjeeling Limited

Three brothers who’ve been estranged since the death of their father, meet for a journey on the Darjeeling Limited train through the Indian subcontinent.

Humorous, moving, and full of surprises, this Wes Anderson film asks, what will it take for brothers to reconcile?

 

The Goonies

A local group of rag-tag misfits call themselves The Goonies and are always in search of adventure. When they uncover a hidden map, a journey of boobie traps, pirates treasure, and danger takes shape.

If you saw this movie as a kid and it's not still one of your favorite adventure films, honestly - can we still be friends?

 

Free Solo

Winner of Best Documentary Feature at the Academy Awards, Free Solofollows the exceptionally epic quest of Alex Honnold to free solo El Capitan.

Watching Alex scale walls and power through sheer drops of rock face makes you yearn to push your own boundaries and get out there. 

 

The Dawn Wall

Free climber Tommy Caldwell and climbing partner Kevin Jorgeson attempt to climb a treacherous, nearly impossible rockface of El Capitan.

This doc is similar in style to Free Solo but covers an entirely different path up the mountain and different climbers - who have unique points of view.

 

Wild

After her mother dies of cancer and her marriage dissolves, Cheryl Strayed sets out to walk the Pacific Crest Trail - a 1,100-mile journey that stretches from the Mojave Desert to the Canadian border.

Reckoning with more than she lets on, Strayed uses the walk as a therapy of sorts and works through the difficult memories and experiences of her life.

 

Maggie Dodson
Maggie Dodson

Maggie Dodson is a creative writer living in New York City. An avid hiker and film buff, she spends most of her days sneaking wine into movie theaters and climbing mountains in the Hudson Valley with her husband and rescue dogs, Billie Holiday and Walnut. For book + wine pairings and her merry misadventures, follow Maggie on IG at @maggiesdodson.


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