CHASING ICE is a "visually breathtaking" (Variety), Academy Award®-nominated feature documentary about one man's mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet. It has been hailed by the public and critics alike as "The most important documentary of the year." (Detroit News) In the spring of 2005, acclaimed National Geographic photographer James Balog headed to the Arctic on a tricky assignment - to capture images to help tell the story of the Earth's changing climate. Even with a scientific upbringing, Balog had been a skeptic about climate change and a cynic about the nature of academic research. But that first trip north opened his eyes to the biggest story in human history. Within months of his first trip to Iceland, Balog conceived the boldest expedition of his life - The Extreme Ice Survey. With a band of young adventurers in tow, Balog began deploying revolutionary time-lapse cameras across the brutal Arctic, by helicopter, canoe, and dogsled, to capture a multi-year record of the world's changing glaciers. Battling untested technology in subzero conditions, Balog finds himself at the end of his tether, risking both his career and his well-being. As the debate polarizes America and the intensity of natural disasters ramps up globally, he comes face to face with his own mortality. It takes years for him to see the fruits of his labor. But his hauntingly beautiful videos compress those years into seconds. His Extreme Ice Survey captures ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate. CHASING ICE depicts a heroic photojournalist doing everything in his power to deliver hope to our carbon-powered planet and contains "spectacular images of places few people have ever seen." (NPR)

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Ratings and Reviews

4.1 out of 5
135 Ratings

135 Ratings


Critics Consensus: Chasing Ice captures the urgency of climate change while prevailing as entertainment, thanks the awe-inspiring scenery and James Balog's charisma.


Beautiful, affecting documentary about glacier retreat.




English (Stereo, Dolby 5.1)


Closed captions (CC) refer to subtitles in the available language with the addition of relevant non-dialogue information.

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