Soul Surfer - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Soul Surfer Reviews

September 21, 2011
A succession of would-be rousing clichés.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
May 6, 2011
Soul Surfer seems simply too sugar-coated to be true.
Full Review | Original Score: C
April 10, 2011
You wonder why this movie isn't a documentary, rather than a synthetic feature film with the heroine's arm digitally removed.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
April 9, 2011
Hamilton is played, blandly, by Anna Sophia Robb, and her devoted parents, less bland, are played by Dennis Quaid and Helen Hunt. The surfing footage, much of it shot off the coast of Kauai, is not bland at all.
Full Review | Original Score: C
April 8, 2011
It's Bethany and Alana's friendship - its sturdiness and vulnerability, its laughs and sincere apologies - that rules the day.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
April 8, 2011
A by-the-numbers biopic about young surfer Bethany Hamilton.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
April 8, 2011
For plenty of family viewers, this film will catch a wave.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
April 8, 2011
An inspiring tale, even when true, doesn't necessarily make for an inspiring movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
April 8, 2011
Given the heroic subject, the movie is as thrilling as a dish of rice pudding, a made-for-TV-style effort that rides a wave of religious sentiment into theatres.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
April 8, 2011
The swells of inspirational storytelling sometimes threaten to swamp the underlying inspirational story.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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
April 8, 2011
Shamelessly pandering to the elusive Christian family audience, a committee of 18 producers and seven writers has removed nearly every trace of grit from this airbrushed portrait.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
April 8, 2011
It's a compelling tale of surf and survival.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
April 7, 2011
Its bubbling optimism and spectacular scenery are hard not to like.
April 7, 2011
Bethany's determination and faith are remarkable. It's too bad this movie made a brave young woman's life appear like an unremarkable soap opera.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
April 7, 2011
The surfer's story is so made-for-cinema that a complete wipeout seems almost impossible. And yet the filmmakers come pretty close.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
April 7, 2011
As a portrait of a spirited, resilient athlete, the movie succeeds best, unafraid to face its heroine's daunting challenges directly.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
April 7, 2011
Though it flirts with saccharine Sunday-school uplift, there's a redeeming core of sincerity in this story of real-life tragedy and perseverance.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
April 7, 2011
The best moments come when Robb's all-purpose toughness experiences vulnerable doubt. These moments are flickers, but they're bright and human.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
April 7, 2011
Somewhere not far beneath the glossy pop skin of Soul Surfer, the true story of Bethany Hamilton is struggling to get out.
Read More | Original Score: C+
April 7, 2011
That "Soul Surfer" rates as a giant leap for this team speaks well about the conviction the movie's actors bring to the material as well as the respect afforded the Hamilton family and their faith.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
April 7, 2011
AnnaSophia Robb is too subdued as the teenage heroine; one might expect more affect from a young woman fighting to overcome disability and return to competitive surfing.
April 7, 2011
Just goes to show that the Gospel isn't always right. Faith clearly does not assure a good movie.
April 6, 2011
What does it mean that this sports melodrama made for tweens shows more craft and heart than most of the year's grown-up Hollywood fare?
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
April 6, 2011
Soul Surfer takes that story of complex emotions, determination and faith and turns it into overly simplistic mush.
April 6, 2011
Soul Surfer, while formulaic in design, is an authentic and heartfelt movie.
Full Review | Original Score: B
April 6, 2011
Nearly every conflict is built on market-tested platitudes of empowerment and registers as insincere.
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
March 28, 2011
The true story of one-armed surfer girl Bethany Hamilton keeps its balance in Soul Surfer, a kind-hearted coming-of-age drama with killer waves.
March 28, 2011
An inspiring true-life story gets a less-than-inspired film dramatization.