A solid and inspiring story about faith and family.
| Original Score: 3.0/5
A well-intentioned, big-hearted, wannabe-crowd-pleaser that just happens to be so incompetently made that it might be rejected by Oprah's channel.
| Original Score: C
The best faith-based film ever made, an uplifting, entertaining and wonderfully-acted account of surfer Bethany Hamilton's life before and after a shark bit her arm off in the waters off her favorite Hawaiian beach.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
All that separates this from made-for-TV territory is another strong turn from gifted young lead AnnaSophia Robb.
| Original Score: 2/4
A well-meaning, handsomely staged biopic of the top Hawaii-based surfing star Bethany Hamilton who lost her arm to a shark in 2003 at the age of 13...
It's ultimately let down by some heavy-handed sentimentality, an over-abundance of Bible-bashing and some dodgy CGI sequences.
| Original Score: 2/5
Essential viewing for any injured armed forces veteran or contender for next year's Paralympics.
| Original Score: 3/5
Sure, the film has its mawkish moments, but it's a remarkable, well-intentioned tale that deserves to ride its wave rather than to wipe out on it.
The film is sincere and even a little sanctimonious in the way it depicts Hamilton's family, strong Christian values and work with post-tsunami orphans in Phuket.
Clearly Bethany was quite a girl but this film prompts one simply to say "Amen".
With a tale this strong, what could go wrong? Pretty much everything, as it turns out, with the story buffeted into oblivion by a tidal wave of syrup.
The film that follows is thin and frothy, though watch out for that final sentimental upsurge. It could drag and lift you against your will.
It's clear that Quaid learned nothing from Jaws 3.
A surf film employing massive amounts of CG is incredible for all the wrong reasons.
| Original Score: 1/5
In the end, the platitudes take over completely, but the inspirational story is still worth telling.
Unless you like your inspiration in heavy-handed doses, you might be better off watching the real thing - on YouTube.
A succession of would-be rousing clichés.
An amazing true story for sure, but this earnest dramatisation is so wholesome, it feels like being stuck in a never-ending Activia advert.
Inspiring true story wipes out on underdog clichés and waves of melodramatic Hollywood cheese.
Faith-based...With its sports-movie structure and Hollywood production values, Soul Surfer is a creditable crossover picture; it just could've done with more nuance. [Blu-ray]