Riding Giants - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Riding Giants Reviews

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Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
March 16, 2004
Seems intent on selling the sport rather than examining why people are willing to risk their necks to challenge nature at her most volatile.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice
July 7, 2004
A documentary that tries to cover too much in its praise of big wave surfing.
Full Review| Original Score: 2/5
Mark Umbach
July 12, 2004
Peralta could have probably lost another ten minutes in the editing room and still garnered the same visceral impact.
Ed Gonzalez
Slant Magazine
June 21, 2004
Essentially a moving Abercrombie and Fitch catalog, Riding Giants is a boy's club chronicle of surfing that, while gnarly to look at, feels like too much homework.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Steve Rhodes
Internet Reviews
August 6, 2004
The interviews really aren't all that interesting, and the film clips are usually washed out and not especially impressive.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Walter Chaw
Film Freak Central
July 29, 2004
Equal parts ecstatic archival sports video and hagiography of the pioneers of the deep water.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Marjorie Baumgarten
Austin Chronicle
August 15, 2004
From the film's opening seconds, in which a lone surfer emerges from a wave's whitewater to the strains of first organ, then choir music, we can see that the filmmaker has come to sanctify his subject rather than explore it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Beth Pratt
Common Sense Media
January 1, 2011
Lively look at big wave surfing.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Annlee Ellingson
Boxoffice Magazine
May 23, 2004
[Peralta] has a knack for cutting found footage with a dynamic soundtrack and obviously recognizes the advantage of pausing the narrative for a moment and allowing his audience the pleasure of just watching the surf.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
August 6, 2004
Peralta has done a marvelous job at showing the intimidating waves and the guts it must take men (and occasionally women) to ride them.
| Original Score: 4/5
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
January 29, 2005
...an enjoyable, well-paced look at the discovery and evolution of big wave riding
| Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
August 20, 2004
Before seeing Riding Giants, my ideas about surfing were formed by the Gidget movies, Endless Summer, the Beach Boys, Elvis and lots of TV commercials. ... Riding Giants is about altogether another reality.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
August 6, 2004
A loving, entertaining tutorial.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
July 12, 2004
[T]his film ranks right up there with last year's Step Into Liquid as a top surf doc.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
August 5, 2004
Some of [the surfers] are articulate representatives of their sport, and one or two -- including Laird Hamilton -- should be listed among the greatest, most innovative athletes of our day.
| Original Score: 3/4
Chris Barsanti
July 7, 2004
No matter how many times Peralta shows us a small speck of a guy barely gliding out from under a thunderous crash of whitewater, it can't help but thrill.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
Anton Bitel
Movie Gazette
December 3, 2004
Surf's up!
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
Christian Toto
Washington Times
July 18, 2004
The true Giants are the colorful, old-school surfers who give this documentary its heart
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Eric D. Snider
September 2, 2004
An enthralling, entertaining, jaw-dropping look at the history of surfing.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
August 6, 2004
The film's utterly deadpan approach sets it apart from such previous surf movies as The Endless Summer and Step Into Liquid, which were as much adventure travelogues as anything else.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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