Box art for Soul Surfer

Soul Surfer

children & family, drama, sports

Based on book: "Soul Surfer: A true story of faith, family and fighting to get back on the board"; and life story of Bethany Hamilton.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

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

Earnest sports biopic tugs at heart despite cliches.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this inspiring true story about a promising young surfer who was attacked by a shark could give tween and teen viewers lots to think about -- from trying to figure out their purpose in life (even at a young age) to trying to come to terms with adversity. With the exception of the attack itself -- which, although quick, unfolds in a gory, violent manner -- the movie is squeaky clean, with no iffy language, sex, or drinking/drugs content. And the main character is an extremely positive role model, responding to tragedy with grace and kindness instead of bitterness.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the movie's messages about facing life's challenges. Do you think you'd be able to respond to a life-changing tragedy the way that the main character does? How do you think she manages it?
  • What does Bethany learn from her experience, and what does she teach others?
  • The movie is based on a true story. Do you think that means that everything happened exactly the way it's shown here? Why might filmmakers change some facts while making a movie?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 0
    see all Soul Surfer reviews
  • Audience


Audience Reviews

3 stars

Good inspirational surfing movie, about a girl who loses her arm and continues to surf on. AnnaSophia Robb gives a great performance, and never makes the movie feel too melodramatic. This could have easily been a "lifetime" movie, but she really keeps the movie from falling into that trap. After watching "Soul Surfer" you'll probably want to go to Hawaii and surf. The locations really pop, and made me want to hop on a plane and take a trip down there. The movies sags a little in the middle, but quickly finds it's way back. Women and girls will probably like it more than guys, but I found it to be pretty good. As far as inspirational sports movies goes, this isn't the best, but it's probably a top ten.

- fb100000145236770, Sunday, July 10, 2011

2 stars

Way too shallow. The true story it's trying to tell is inspiring and exciting, but the story in the movie wasn't. The shark attack could've been a really cool scene, but it's over in like 3 seconds. It's kind of unbelievable that a shark would just do that. The shark probably wouldn't have even stuck his head out of the water. It just seemed a little unrealistic, I'd kind of like to hear what really happened to Bethany in the water with the shark. The movie itself is very cheesy and I wasn't really "inspired" at all. I think the credits were the best part where you actually got to see Bethany surf. The credits were my favorite, everything else needed some work. Especially the acting on Anasophia Robb (sp?). You just got your arm bitten off by a shark...let's see some real tears and emotional breakdowns. She seemed way too calm about the entire ordeal.

- helpahorse, Saturday, December 31, 2011