Surfwise - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Surfwise Reviews

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Drew Toal
Time Out
November 18, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Hank Sartin
Time Out
November 17, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
September 7, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Andrea Gronvall
Chicago Reader
December 17, 2008
The fallout decades later provides the drama in this documentary by Doug Pray, who lets his eccentric octogenarian subject off a little too easy.
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Joe Leydon
Houston Chronicle
July 18, 2008
A provocative documentary about a man who dropped out to follow a dream that gradually evolved into something not unlike a nightmare.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
June 26, 2008
Not just the story of one man's obsessive quest to find harmony on a plank of wood, Surfwise offers a cautionary tale about parenting, homeschooling (camper-schooling, actually), sibling rivalries and family sacrifice.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
June 20, 2008
The film's director, Doug Pray, has been able to track down each and every Paskowitz child, and he weaves their memories together with old home movies, still photos and news clippings to create an evocative portrait of their lives.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
June 19, 2008
A riveting documentary that focuses more on weird family dynamics than big waves.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Noel Murray
AV Club
June 19, 2008
Some documentarians think like essayists, propagandists, abstract painters, or magazine reporters. Doug Pray approaches his documentaries as though he's writing books.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Sid Smith
Chicago Tribune
June 19, 2008
The unorthodox upbringing of the Paskowitz clan is the subject of Surfwise, the story of a family who lived on the road, camped at the beachfront and fashioned its own vanguard version of 1960s-'70s alternative lifestyles.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Hartlaub
San Francisco Chronicle
June 13, 2008
There are too many unanswered questions and a suspicious forced happy ending, but Surfwise is still a fascinatingly voyeuristic and emotionally powerful movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
May 30, 2008
It's a complex and conflicted look at a family, torn apart by rifts and yet still bonded by love.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
May 23, 2008
An honest look at a complicated human situation,... it turns out to be a darker film than might be expected.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
May 23, 2008
The movie feels exhaustive in its loaded 90-something minutes, showing and telling us much while leaving the meaning of the tangles and twists in this family open to interpretation. For once, the tip of the iceberg is enough.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
May 22, 2008
A mesmerizingly ambivalent documentary about an itinerant family of Jewish surfer-dude health nuts.
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
May 9, 2008
Surfwise has a bohemian vibe and a cool sheen, but it's an eager-to-please, pleasing commercial enterprise with a reassuring narrative arc.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
May 9, 2008
What kid wouldn't want to spend every day at the beach instead of in school? Well, Doug Pray's absorbing new documentary suggests that no dream is as ideal as it may seem.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5