• Surfwise
    3 minutes 32 seconds
    Added: May 9, 2008

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Surfwise Reviews

Drew Toal
Time Out
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Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 4/5

November 18, 2011
Hank Sartin
Time Out
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Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 4/5

November 17, 2011
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
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Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: A-

September 7, 2011
Andrea Gronvall
Chicago Reader
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The fallout decades later provides the drama in this documentary by Doug Pray, who lets his eccentric octogenarian subject off a little too easy.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

December 17, 2008
Joe Leydon
Houston Chronicle
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A provocative documentary about a man who dropped out to follow a dream that gradually evolved into something not unlike a nightmare.

Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

July 18, 2008
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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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 Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 3.5/4

June 26, 2008
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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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 Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3/4

June 20, 2008
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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A riveting documentary that focuses more on weird family dynamics than big waves.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

June 19, 2008
Noel Murray
AV Club
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Some documentarians think like essayists, propagandists, abstract painters, or magazine reporters. Doug Pray approaches his documentaries as though he's writing books.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: A-

June 19, 2008
Sid Smith
Chicago Tribune
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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 Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

June 19, 2008
Peter Hartlaub
San Francisco Chronicle
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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 Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

June 13, 2008
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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It's a complex and conflicted look at a family, torn apart by rifts and yet still bonded by love.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3/4

May 30, 2008
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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An honest look at a complicated human situation,... it turns out to be a darker film than might be expected.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 3.5/5

May 23, 2008
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
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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 Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3/4

May 23, 2008
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
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A mesmerizingly ambivalent documentary about an itinerant family of Jewish surfer-dude health nuts.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

May 22, 2008
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
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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 Source: New York Times | Original Score: 4/5

May 9, 2008
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
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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 Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 3/5

May 9, 2008
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