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
    46%
  • Audience Score
    76%

common sense

ON for kids age 10
Consumerism
1 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
0 out of 5
Language
1 out of 5
Positive messages
4 out of 5
Positive role models
5 out of 5
Sex
1 out of 5
Violence
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®

    46%
    reviews counted: 0
    see all Soul Surfer reviews
  • Audience

    76%

Audience Reviews

3 stars

SOUL SURFER is like JAWS in a family movie. Actually, the one scene in which Bethany Hamilton gets her arm torn off by the shark is just about as graphic as JAWS, and the music played during those many moments is frightening (to tell you the truth, just because of all the blood spilled in that one scene, the PG rating surprised me). Otherwise, SOUL SURFER is a very good post-shark attack film that is very positively portrayed. Unfortunately, with an all-star cast of child actress AnnaSophia Robb (BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE, BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA), country musician Carrie Underwood (singer of "Before He Cheats", "Jesus, Take the Wheel"), actress Helen Hunt (CAST AWAY, TWISTER), and actor Dennis Quaid (TRAFFIC, BREAKING AWAY), this movie fails to have very good acting.

- spielberg00, Monday, August 1, 2011

3 stars

SOUL SURFER is like JAWS in a family movie. Actually, the one scene in which Bethany Hamilton gets her arm torn off by the shark is just about as graphic as JAWS, and the music played during those many moments is frightening (to tell you the truth, just because of all the blood spilled in that one scene, the PG rating surprised me). Otherwise, SOUL SURFER is a very good post-shark attack film that is very positively portrayed. Unfortunately, with an all-star cast of child actress AnnaSophia Robb (BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE, BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA), country musician Carrie Underwood (singer of "Before He Cheats", "Jesus, Take the Wheel"), actress Helen Hunt (CAST AWAY, TWISTER), and actor Dennis Quaid (TRAFFIC, BREAKING AWAY), this movie fails to have very good acting.

- spielberg00, Monday, August 1, 2011

3 stars

SOUL SURFER is like JAWS in a family movie. Actually, the one scene in which Bethany Hamilton gets her arm torn off by the shark is just about as graphic as JAWS, and the music played during those many moments is frightening (to tell you the truth, just because of all the blood spilled in that one scene, the PG rating surprised me). Otherwise, SOUL SURFER is a very good post-shark attack film that is very positively portrayed. Unfortunately, with an all-star cast of child actress AnnaSophia Robb (BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE, BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA), country musician Carrie Underwood (singer of "Before He Cheats", "Jesus, Take the Wheel"), actress Helen Hunt (CAST AWAY, TWISTER), and actor Dennis Quaid (TRAFFIC, BREAKING AWAY), this movie fails to have very good acting.

- spielberg00, Monday, August 1, 2011