Surf's Up - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Surf's Up Reviews

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Time Out
November 18, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Atlanta Journal-Constitution
October 18, 2008
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Bob Mondello
NPR.org
October 18, 2008
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TIME Magazine
September 9, 2008
Not a comedy tsunami, just consistent ripples of laughs and good vibes.
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
June 18, 2007
It's probably not the kind of animated adventure that's going to garner Oscar talk, but it's a good-hearted, old-fashioned, family-friendly tale.
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
June 9, 2007
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
June 9, 2007
If you have to see one penguin movie, this is it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
June 8, 2007
Not exactly awash in cleverness, but it is good clean fun for the family.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Rob Salem
Toronto Star
June 8, 2007
Surf's Up is quite surprisingly good, going for the subtle chuckle where Happy Feet opted for show-stopping spectacle.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Tom Keogh
Seattle Times
June 8, 2007
Surf's Up is actually a pretty funny and sophisticated comedy. It's relentlessly playful and imaginative in the vein of "Toy Story," while keenly observant about comic nuances of behavior and bubbling over with neurotic dialogue.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Hartlaub
San Francisco Chronicle
June 8, 2007
The movie has just as much in common with This Is Spinal Tap or even Dogtown and Z-Boys as the cutesy and formulaic films that typically get churned out this time of year.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
June 8, 2007
Surf's Up! has a jokey-serious tone that engages both children and adults.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
June 8, 2007
The first delightful surprise among the summer blockbusters. Beautifully animated, terrifically acted and edited in a way that hilariously mimics those Endless Summer surf documentaries, it will amuse kids and flat-out tickle adults.
| Original Score: 4/5
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Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
June 8, 2007
The jaunty sports story contains colorful characters, witty wisecracks and kinetic surf scenes. It's refreshing to see an animated family film that doesn't look like it was made on autopilot.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
June 8, 2007
Maybe the next penguin flick will do more justice to the subject. How about going all grindhouse in Lesbian Vampire Penguins of the SS?
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Kevin Crust
Los Angeles Times
June 8, 2007
Many of the riffs in the mock documentary might be lost on little tykes, but the film's feel-good message of perseverance, friendship and finding your own wave should be enjoyed by all.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
June 8, 2007
The film's tubular visuals and sun-struck philosophizing celebrate the sport while spoofing its disciples, mixing B-grade potty humor and totally-like-fried-chicken gags with faux interviews a la Christopher Guest.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
June 8, 2007
Surf's Up is that rarity in a children's movie, a comedy that's actually exciting. Watching the penguins ride inside the tube of a wave, or plunge under the surface, you may find yourself wanting to cheer.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
June 8, 2007
Marred by sudden dead spots and afflicted with a few alarming fits of double entendre inappropriateness.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
June 8, 2007
If its tale of a teenage penguin who follows his dream of becoming a great surfing champion weren't tired enough, Surf's Up compounds its lack of inventiveness by styling itself as a 'mockumentary,' another gimmick as surfed out as a Florida beach.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Michael Booth
Denver Post
June 8, 2007
Fresh, funny, inventive and engaging. Dang if those dumb little birds didn't find a movie that lets them be cuddly animals with human problems, an animated flick whose anthropomorphism is appealing rather than appalling.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Nancy Churnin
Dallas Morning News
June 8, 2007
Sorry, cynics, Surf's Up is a charmer. And if the birds look somewhat familiar, they have something fresh to say about friendship and what winning is all about.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
June 8, 2007
The fact that LaBeouf can read a line like, 'Winners find a way no matter what' -- and not sound corny -- is emblematic of what makes Surf's Up such an enjoyable ride.
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
June 8, 2007
The originality of the documentary format coupled with the splendid CGI effects qualifies Surf's Up as not just another penguin movie.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Michelle Kung
Boston Globe
June 8, 2007
Between the breezy surfer culture and insider references, Surf's Up is the most colorful of the penguin 'toons to date, both figuratively and literally.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Scott Von Doviak
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
June 8, 2007
But seriously - enough with the penguins already.
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Jeannette Catsoulis
New York Times
June 8, 2007
Surf's Up has a friendly, blue-collar vibe and some sly, low-key humor.
| Original Score: 3/5
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
June 7, 2007
The novelty wears off almost immediately, leaving this a real chore to watch; there's something bizarre about low-budget spontaneity being replicated in such a labor-intensive medium.
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Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
June 7, 2007
From the nondescript voices to routine animation to an over-written story, this movie spends much of its time gasping for air.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
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Tasha Robinson
AV Club
June 7, 2007
It just stands out in a crowded field of tacky also-rans by being a reasonably acceptable, more or less non-obnoxious way to spend an hour and a half.
| Original Score: B-
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
June 7, 2007
The film's vibe could only be described as 'sun-baked.' Some kids' movies don't try very hard, and you resent the laziness. This one doesn't try too hard, but its offhandedness is a break from the usual manic Over the Hedge-y attack.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
June 7, 2007
The actors broke precedent by recording their scenes side by side, adding an energetic improv vibe missing from most animated features. Surf's Up isn't the Big Kahuna, but it's far from a wipeout.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
June 7, 2007
It's an old story, but [the directors] infuse it with terrific wit and energy, structuring Surf's Up like a mock documentary and doing a remarkable job of approximating vintage film stock. It's cool but not too cool, and cute but not too cute.
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Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
June 7, 2007
If you have to see another penguin blockbuster, you could do worse than this loose-limbed charmer.
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Jan Stuart
Newsday
June 7, 2007
A spry, animated surfing-doc send-up, complete with dull-headed surfer dudes, cannibal birds and a reject from Chicken Run.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
June 6, 2007
As formulas go, the movie, team-written and -directed, sneaks in more tubular charm than the average adult ticket buyer might expect -- or that very young attendees might appreciate.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
June 4, 2007
The kids won't know how terrific Surf's Up is.
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
June 4, 2007
Surfing penguins make for radical fun for young children.
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Peter Debruge
Variety
June 2, 2007
Just when parents managed to calm their tap-dancing tots, along comes another animated penguin pic -- this time featuring South Pole fowl who surf.