Dogtown and Z-Boys


Dogtown and Z-Boys

Critics Consensus

Dogtown and Z-Boys is a colorful, exhilarating look at the skateboarding subculture.



Total Count: 96


Audience Score

User Ratings: 13,812
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Dogtown and Z-Boys Photos

Movie Info

Skateboarding has crossed over into the mainstream population due in large part to the humble beginnings of a group of eight teenagers in an area of Santa Monica called Dogtown. It was there that this mismatched gang of kids from broken homes formed a group known as the Zephyr Team aka Z-Boys. They rode surfboards in the morning and skateboards in the afternoon, creating a style all their own. Desperate to ride, they used guerrilla tactics such as illegally skating abandoned swimming pools in upscale Los Angeles neighborhoods. But by the mid-70s, the skateboard phenomenon had caught on, and a few of the Z-Boys were scooped up by corporate sponsors and offered large sums of money to skate on their behalf. This elevated them from freewheeling street punks to celebrity skaters; they traveled the world, showing off their cutting-edge moves. Director Stacy Peralta, one of the original Z-Boys, reunites the original crew 25 years later to hear in their own words what it was like.

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Critic Reviews for Dogtown and Z-Boys

All Critics (96) | Top Critics (34) | Fresh (88) | Rotten (8)

  • You want to know more about their private lives than you get. But most viewers may be too stoked by the sheer adrenaline rush of the subject to care.

    Nov 1, 2007 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

    Top Critic
  • Package is lively, if loosely structured.

    Apr 2, 2007

    Dennis Harvey

    Top Critic
  • This propulsive, highly satisfying 2002 documentary concerns a group of daredevil skateboarders from an economically depressed and dangerous area of Santa Monica known as Dogtown who reinvented the sport in the 70s.

    Apr 2, 2007 | Full Review…
  • Infectiously exuberant.

    Jan 26, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Few sports films catch their time, place and sport so well.

    Jul 20, 2002 | Rating: 3/4
  • It's impossible not to admire his joie de vivre -- and this movie's joie de vivre, as well.

    Jul 11, 2002 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Dogtown and Z-Boys

  • Jan 13, 2011
    Skip Engblom: Children took the ruins of the 20th century and made art out of it. "The Birth of Extreme" Dogtown and Z-Boys is one of the more entertaining documentaries I've ever seen and actually one of the first documentaries I remember watching. The craziest thing about my love for this movie, is that skateboarding and everything that goes with it, isn't something that really interests me. Stacey Peralta, who is a fantastic documentary filmmaker, know exactly how to keep this movie fast paced and interesting.  The movie did end up making me interested in the Z-Boys story. It's enjoyable to see how these street kid, surfers reinvented a dying sport and made it something that everybody knew about. Main highlights of the film include concrete warfare, where they would sneak into people's backyards and ride their pools and also the first skate competition that the Zephyr skate team was a part of. If you've seen Lords of Dogtown and enjoyed it, this is something you should give a look. It's a great companion film to Lords of Dogtown and both are fun and entertaining films to watch. If getting the more in depth look into the movement is important to you, then Dogtown and Z-Boys is the way to go.
    Melvin W Super Reviewer
  • Aug 25, 2010
    <i>"This is concrete warfare we're talking about... if you're going to ride you gotta get on that shit."</i> Documentary about the pioneering 1970s Zephyr skating team. <center><font size=+2 face="Century Schoolbook"><b><u>REVIEW</u></b></font></center> Waycool documentary by legendary skateboarding ace Peralta chronicling the origins of the original extreme sport with vintage Super 8mm home movie archival footage, black & white stills, and assorted media combining with a classic rock and roll score to form a comprehensive and obvious valentine to a way of life. Gravity defying gravitas is captured like lightning in a bottle showing the wayfarer scruffy charisma and authority-defying nonchalance that has a visceral thrill in watching underdogs become cult heroes. Excellent portrayal of unbridled angst, anomie and pure adrenaline rushes from curling on a wave from the prototypical surf in the Pacific Ocean to the concrete playgrounds of abandoned suburban pools. Narrated by perfect choice, Sean Penn, The Artist Formerly Known As Spicoli.
    Lorenzo v Super Reviewer
  • Jan 03, 2010
    Sean Penn was in this? Oh yes he was the narrator. That explains why I didn't see him. It takes a special documentary to make a person who doesn't care about a subjec to take an interest in it. I have no interest in the 1970s Zephyr team and I don't have much interest afterwards. Very insider baseball.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 24, 2008
    Interesting documentary on the birth of skateboarding. Best watched as a companion piece with the superior 'Lords of Dogtown'.
    Marcus W Super Reviewer

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