Soul Surfer - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Soul Surfer Reviews

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Will Leitch
June 23, 2013
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.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Neil Pond
American Profile
September 9, 2011
Inspiring true story wipes out on underdog clichés and waves of melodramatic Hollywood cheese.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Francesca Steele
Sky Movies
September 21, 2011
Unless you like your inspiration in heavy-handed doses, you might be better off watching the real thing - on YouTube.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Top Critic
Christine Champ
May 6, 2011
Soul Surfer seems simply too sugar-coated to be true.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Grae Drake
May 20, 2011
As inspiring as expected.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
Ebert Presents At The Movies
April 13, 2011
The film offers motivational catch phrases instead of any real insights into Hamilton's character or the religion that the film constantly reminds us is so central to her life.
Alexandra Cavallo
Boston Phoenix
April 7, 2011
This movie relies on cheese when it could have striven for heart.
Glenn Heath Jr.
Slant Magazine
April 13, 2011
The brazenly cheap look to the special effects sends the film into MST3K territory, and it's certainly the most hilariously awful surprise attack by a shark since Samuel L. Jackson got devoured by one in Deep Blue Sea.
Full Review | Original Score: 0/4
Martyn Conterio
Little White Lies
September 22, 2011
A surf film employing massive amounts of CG is incredible for all the wrong reasons.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
April 8, 2011
The flaw in the storytelling strategy of "Soul Surfer" is that it doesn't make Bethany easy to identify with. She's almost eerie in her optimism. Her religious faith is so unshaken, it feels taken for granted.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Simon Foster
May 29, 2011
Hamilton's story is a human one with spiritual underpinnings, yet to the detriment of the inherent drama, the filmmaker tells it the other way around.
Clint O'Connor
Cleveland Plain Dealer
April 12, 2011
An inspiring story about the amazing Bethany Hamilton, with some terrifc surfing footage. Why oh why did it have to be drenched in Disney Channel Cheery?
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Aaron Hillis
Village Voice
April 6, 2011
Nearly every conflict is built on market-tested platitudes of empowerment and registers as insincere.
Mike Scott
April 27, 2011
Director Sean McNamara's relentlessly shiny, happy outlook crosses the line between believable and artificial by about the 10-minute mark
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Brett Michel
Boston Herald
April 13, 2011
Robb makes an appealing screen presence; the dodgy effects work on her shape-changing stump? Not so much.
Full Review | Original Score: D
Top Critic
Kathleen Murphy
MSN Movies
April 6, 2011
Too bad that no-talent director Sean McNamara and a committee of screenwriters have dumbed down Soul Surfer to a simplistic mishmash of youth fellowship homily and Hawaii tourism ad.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Caroline Jowett
Daily Express (UK)
September 23, 2011
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
March 28, 2011
An inspiring true-life story gets a less-than-inspired film dramatization.
Top Critic
David Hiltbrand
Philadelphia Inquirer
April 7, 2011
Just goes to show that the Gospel isn't always right. Faith clearly does not assure a good movie.
Katey Rich
April 7, 2011
A movie of easily digestible truths and canned inspirational messages, taking every possible easy route though a story that could have used a few more thorns.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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