The Crash Reel

 The Crash Reel
(2013) on IMDb


This eye-popping film seamlessly combines twenty years of stunning action footage with new specially-shot verité footage and interviews as it follows U.S. champion snowboarder Kevin Pearce and exposes the irresistible but potentially fatal appeal of extreme sports.

An escalating rivalry between Kevin and his nemesis Shaun White in the run-up to the 2010 Olympics leaves Shaun on top of the Olympic podium and Kevin in a coma following a training accident in Park City, Utah. Kevin’s tight-knit Vermont family flies to his side and helps him rebuild his life as a brain injury survivor. But when he insists he wants to return to the sport he still loves, his family intervenes with his eloquent brother David speaking for all of them when he says, “I just don’t want you to die.” Kevin’s doctors caution him that even a small blow to the head could be enough to kill him. Will Kevin defy them and insist on pursuing his passion? With his now impaired skills, what other options does he have? How much risk is too much?

Directed by twice Oscar®-nominated filmmaker Lucy Walker (Devil’s Playground, Blindsight, Countdown to Zero, Waste Land, The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom).

Action Steps


1. PLEDGE to Love Your Brain and wear a helmet. Instagram a picture of yourself wearing a helmet while doing an outdoor activity then include the #loveyourbrain and #reacttofilm hashtags!

2. UTILIZE the Love Your Brain Resource Guide.

3. SHARE your own story about TBI on The Crash Reel tumblr page or on the REACT to FILM FB page.

4. EDUCATE yourself and others about brain injury by using and sharing The Crash Reel infographic.

The strength of ‘The Crash Reel’, an engrossing, unsettling documentary Monday night on HBO, is that the filmmaker, Lucy Walker, knows when not to stop.
— The New York Times
The Crash Reel goes flying past all the clichés and treacle-soaked heroics embedded in this theme to a wondrously hard-edge life all its own.
— The Wall Street Journal
Gabriel Zimmer