Box art for Chasing Mavericks

Chasing Mavericks

drama, sports

Gerard Butler, Elisabeth Shue and Hollywood newcomer Jonny Weston star in this inspiring true story of courage and friendship the whole family will love.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 10
1 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
2 out of 5
1 out of 5
Positive messages
4 out of 5
Positive role models
3 out of 5
1 out of 5
3 out of 5

Trite but inspiring teen surf story has some sad moments.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that Chasing Mavericks is based on the true story of how 16-year-old Jay Moriarty became a surfing legend by training to ride the massive Mavericks waves. There are a few brief scenes of violence -- mostly pushing, shoving, and huge waves battering a few surfers who aren't up to the task -- as well as a couple of disturbing moments: A young wife/mother suffers a stroke and dies, and a young man is shown moments before his death by drowning. This is an inspiring tale of perseverance and discipline, but (spoiler alert!) it ends in the sadness that Moriarty died at age 22 while doing what he loved: taking risks with the sea.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the discipline and drive that Jay calls on to commit to riding the big waves. How is he different from the other teenagers in the movie? Is he relatable?
  • Jay, while certainly inspirational, eventually meets a heartbreaking fate. Is it really good advice to "Live Like Jay"?
  • The movie is based on a true story; do you think filmmakers changed any details? Why might they do that? How could you find out what was fact and what was fiction?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 20
    see all Chasing Mavericks reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: With a storyline as by-the-numbers as a square dance, the movie's one surprise comes with the closing credits -- namely, that this trite "inspirational" movie is the product of two world-class filmmakers, Curtis Hanson and Michael Apted.

- Alonso Duralde, TheWrap, Thursday, October 25, 2012

Rotten: "Chasing Mavericks" falls into the "Machine Gun" category of disappointments - at best it's a wash.

- Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times, Thursday, October 25, 2012

Rotten: It's a perfect fortune cookie of a movie, full of bland life lessons for everybody; would that there were some drama or style in it somewhere along the way.

- Bilge Ebiri, New York Magazine, Monday, October 29, 2012

Audience Reviews

3 stars

Legends Start Somewhere. Great Film! If you want to watch a movie with a fresh point of view on the world and enjoy every minute of it, I highly recommend watching Chasing Mavericks. Chasing Mavericks is the type of movie that will make you feel alive.This movie was great. The filming of of the huge waves, surfers, and conditions was fantastic. I found it a beautiful story of people, the challenge of relationships, mixed with the thrill of surfing, and the athletic abilities required for the champions. The movie approaches the theme of love, family and freedom in a very natural way; something that we rarely see in any other movies of this decade. It's very inspirational and motivating, yet it's very real and natural, so you get inspired without being lectured. I highly recommend this movie to everyone who wants to reconnect with their emotions and thoughts. The inspirational true story of real life surfing phenomenon Jay Moriarity. When 15 year old Jay discovers that the mythic Mavericks surf break, one of the biggest waves on Earth, is not only real, but exists just miles from his Santa Cruz home, he enlists the help of local legend Frosty Hesson to train him to survive it. As Jay and Frosty embark on their quest to accomplish the impossible, they form a unique friendship that transforms both their lives, and their quest to tame Mavericks becomes about far more than surfing.

- MANUGINO, Wednesday, March 6, 2013

2 stars

Chasing Mavericks is one of those films that had the potential of being a truly unique and memorable viewing experience. However right off the bat you can tell that the script lacks something truly compelling, and that's a shame because the true story is truly one of a kind. The script tries too hard at being inspirational and we've seen so many films like this that it just ends up being a mediocre curiosity at best. The directing is sloppy and it just falls short and it could have been much better than this. Some may enjoy this, but I felt it really lacked in its inspirational element and the story of the real guy is truly better to read than this movie. This film had mediocre acting and wooden performances that just didn't stand out. Even the surf scenes lacked, and I still feel that the surf scenes in Point Break are much more impressive. This film should have been something much more, but the script just ends up falling flat, and like I said, the directing is lazy and the filmmakers don't give the real story the respect it deserves. If the script would have been rewritten and a few other actors could have been recasted in a few parts, this film might have been better. Chasing Mavericks for me was a disappointing picture, one that simply squanders its potential on a poor script that just leaves you wanting more out of the film. The film had its highs and lows, unfortunately there are too many parts that just doesn't cut it and it just falls short. With the right attention to the material, Chasing Mavericks could have been a great film; instead it's a forgettable film, and one that leaves a lot of room for improvement.

- TheDudeLebowski65, Wednesday, February 27, 2013

4 stars

It probably isn't fair, but after being sorely disappointed in Soul Surfer, I really wasn't looking forward to this movie. But this one delves much deeper than Soul Surfer could have dreamed, and the acting is phenomenal. This is one of the best roles I've seen Gerard Butler in to date. I was very pleasantly surprised at how good this film was.

- fb677587177, Friday, April 19, 2013