Critics' Corner
Desson Howe - Weekend section, "An overextended, episodic disappointment."

Rita Kempley - Style section, "Unfortunately, Harrer's inner struggle isn't as grand as the sweep of Jean-Jacques Annaud's direction."

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'Seven Years in Tibet'

Scene from this movie Brad Pitt plays the real-life Heinrich Harrer, a 27-year-old German whose arduous Himalayan trek gradually leads him to the Dalai Lama and spiritual enlightenment. Harrer leaves his pregnant wife to set off with Peter Aufschnaiter (David Thewlis), the expedition's level-headed leader. Their object, to scale Nanga Parbat, has become a German obsession and Harrer, who's carrying a swastika-emblazoned flag, is determined to plant it come Hell or high winds.

By the time bad weather forces them back to base camp, World War II is underway and the climbers are arrested by the British and placed in a prisoner-of-war camp. Harrer stubbornly tries to escape, but succeeds only when he goes along with Aufschnaiter's plan. And there's another two years to go before he and the long-suffering Aufschnaiter reach the mysterious Tibetan city of Lhasa. Harrer is befriended by the devout people of the village and, finally, by the 14-year-old Dalai Lama. -- Rita Kempley
Rated PG-13

Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud
Cast: Brad Pitt; David Thewlis; B.D. Wong; Mako; Danny Denzogpa; Victor Wong (III); Ingeborga Dapkunaite; Jamyang Wang Chuck; Lhakpa Tsamchoe; Jetsun Pema
Running Time: 2 hours, 18 minutes
Filmographies: Brad Pitt; David Thewlis