James Cameron in “Deepsea Challenge 3D.” (Mark Thiessen/National Geographic)

This documentary chronicles director James Cameron’s quest to become the first person to complete a solo dive to the Mariana Trench — almost 7 miles below the ocean surface. The film establishes Cameron as an explorer, and the rides the audience gets to take with him are better than “Titanic.” The use of 3-D in the confined space of his sub is so immersive that anyone with more than mild claustrophobia might have difficulty breathing, and there are moments so tension-filled you actually forget that you know Cameron doesn’t die.

Opens Friday in area cinemas

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