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

4 stars

When you come back from a loss, beat the odds, and never say never, you find a champion. Excellent film! Annasophia Robb did an amazing job. The movie was directed fairly well and all the actors were very good at their roles, however i thought the ending was a twist and wasn't easily expected because of how the movie was going. I think this movie is great for emotional people. like i said it brings you into the story and the ending credits are pretty cool also. I think most people will enjoy watching it but only emotional people could really connect to it. Highly recommended! 'Soul Surfer' is the inspiring true story of teen surfer Bethany Hamilton, who lost her arm in a shark attack and courageously overcame all odds to become a champion again, through her sheer determination and unwavering faith. The film features an all-star cast, including AnnaSophia Robb and Helen Hunt, with Carrie Underwood in her film debut, and Dennis Quaid. In the wake of this life-changing event that took her arm and nearly her life, Bethany's feisty determination and steadfast beliefs spur her toward an adventurous comeback that gives her the grit to turn her loss into a gift for others.

- MANUGINO, Tuesday, July 19, 2011

4 stars

Entertaining dramatization of the inspirational true story of teen surfer Bethany Hamilton. She was attacked by a shark while surfing, and lost her left arm, but still went on to compete in the world championships. Wonderfully done. Really good cast.

- itsjustme2004, Monday, August 29, 2011

4 stars

When you come back from a loss, beat the odds, and never say never, you find a champion. Beautiful The beautiful story of Bethany Hamilton and how she overcame loosing and arm and continue doing what she truly loved-Surf. Overall its a very emotional movie, very worth watching, every scene is beautiful, not only the acting, but the soundtrack, photography and the story itself. I really loved this movie and recommend it for everyone. Bethany Hamilton: "I don't need easy. I just need possible."

- PedroPauloA, Sunday, August 14, 2011