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Bustin' Down the Door (2008)

tomatometer

70

Average Rating: 6.6/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 3

No consensus yet.

audience

72

liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 537

My Rating

Movie Info

Narrated by Edward Norton, Jeremy Gosch's Bustin Down the Door tells the tale of how a group of ambitious young men helped shape surfing into an international phenomenon in the winter of 1975. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi

Jan 13, 2009

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All Critics (38) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (29) | Rotten (8)

This impressive sports doc finds enough drama in the situation to involve a wider audience, since the archive footage of these chaps gliding through waves the size of a house is quite something.

September 4, 2009 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film tries to tell us that money hasn't spoiled the fun, but I was much more curious about the black shorts than the Quicksilver brand board shorts.

August 1, 2008 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
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[An] insightful account of the rise of a, pardon the pun, new wave of surfers that transformed the sport in the mid-1970s.

July 30, 2008
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Some of the talk gets a little bombastic, but it's hard to deny the thrill involved.

July 25, 2008 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
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Bustin' Down the Door entertainingly captures surfing's last great hoorah of no-holds-barred radicalism.

July 25, 2008 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Happily, the filmmaker, Jeremy Gosch, puts his wide-eyed narrative together with an easy touch. With its amazing wall-to-wall footage of oceanic derring-do Bustin' Down the Door plays like visual air-conditioning.

July 25, 2008
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Most importantly, Bustin' Down The Door elucidates upon the spirituality of surfing.

August 9, 2010 Full Review Source: sbs.com.au
sbs.com.au

Almost all of the surfing footage is beautiful stuff, though you'll likely want to see even more.

December 24, 2009 Full Review Source: Florida Times-Union
Florida Times-Union

Watching top surfers in action is never a chore, but the film's archive footage would have been even more enjoyable to lay viewers if the commentary had better explained why the men's innovations were so daring and controversial.

September 7, 2009 Full Review Source: Times [UK]
Times [UK]

An instructive story.

September 7, 2009 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

Clearly designed to give credit where it's due, this film spotlights the guys who broke new ground to create modern surfing. But while it's an important, interesting document, it's rather too detailed for non-surfers.

September 4, 2009 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

A subject worth exploring but, whilst old footage illustrates the storyline, this doesn't manage to strecth up until the present day.

September 4, 2009 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

If it can't compete with the best surf documentaries, Bustin' Down The Door is never less than diverting - the thrill of conquered waves eclipsed only by the picture's educational value.

September 4, 2009 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

The characters aren't quite as charismatic as the Z-Boys and the editing isn't as abrasively cool, but it does give a glimpse of how an outsider lifestyle evolved into a multibillion-dollar business.

September 4, 2009 Full Review Source: Times [UK]
Times [UK]

The documentary celebrates the athleticism and creativity of the sport's unsung Nureyevs and Nijinskys.

September 4, 2009 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

Despite the group's many successes, self-pitying tears are rarely far from their eyes. It's fascinating stuff and unfathomably bleak.

September 4, 2009 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

Although you'd expect moist eyes from bitter, fading stars desperately trying to scrawl their names in the history books, the film avoids this indignity with engaging characters, an informative narrative and tons of awe-inspiring archive footage.

September 4, 2009
Little White Lies

The vintage surf footage packs some thumping wipeouts and there's fresh relish in the sidestory of local Hawaiian surfers handing out beatings to their gnarly foreign invaders.

September 4, 2009 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

The movie lacks the jaw-dropping spectacle of 2004 surfing doc Riding Giants, and conveniently sidesteps the issue of what happened to the sport's spiritual side when it became an industry.

September 4, 2009 Full Review Source: Filmstar Magazine

Packed with awesome footage and revealing interviews, it's one to bust down the cinema doors to catch.

September 4, 2009 Full Review Source: Daily Mirror [UK]
Daily Mirror [UK]

Once or twice - making it all worthwhile - an interviewee touchingly chokes up at his own memories, and brims with sudden tears.

September 4, 2009 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

At times it's quite moving - Wayne Bartholomew breaks down on camera as he recalls his hardscrabble childhood - though Edward Norton's narration has all the nuance of an I-Speak-Your-Weight machine.

September 4, 2009 Full Review Source: Independent
Independent

Fuelled by nostalgic anecdotes rather than insightful comment, the film really comes alive in the superb archive footage.

September 4, 2009 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

Impressively shot and well researched, but the narration is extremely dull and the film occasionally feels like a ten minute anecdote stretched out to feature length.

September 4, 2009 Full Review Source: ViewLondon
ViewLondon

What makes Bustin' Down the Door so appealing is that it's not about sports but rather about the passion and dedication of some bronzed, mop-haired kids on a mission to become legitimate against all odds

February 12, 2009 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

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