Capturing the awe and terror of the world’s highest mountain with heart-stopping intensity, Everest puts us in the crampons of the climbers caught up in the 1996 Mount Everest disaster.

This sober, unsentimental account of the tragedy remains utterly gripping – even if you know the fates of the two rival expeditions on which it focuses, teams led by Jason Clarke’s rugged New Zealander Rob Hall and Jake Gyllenhaal’s laid-back American Scott Fischer. What the climbers go through when they’re trapped by a blizzard is truly harrowing, but the film steers clear of melodrama and the usual disaster movie clichés to convey their ordeal with bone-chilling immediacy.

As the wind whips and howls around the summit, you really do feel you are there on the mountain – and desperately thankful that you are not. Josh Brolin, John Hawkes and Michael Kelly play some of the contrasting clients on the climb while Emily Watson is the basecamp manager and Robin Wright and Keira Knightley the wives of two of the climbers, in touch by phone as the tragedy unfolds.

Certificate 12. Runtime 121 mins. Director Baltasar Kormákur.

Everest is available to buy on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD from January 18th

from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.