Surfwise - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Surfwise Reviews

Page 1 of 3
Top Critic
Andrea Gronvall
Chicago Reader
December 17, 2008
The fallout decades later provides the drama in this documentary by Doug Pray, who lets his eccentric octogenarian subject off a little too easy.
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
June 20, 2008
The film's director, Doug Pray, has been able to track down each and every Paskowitz child, and he weaves their memories together with old home movies, still photos and news clippings to create an evocative portrait of their lives.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
May 22, 2008
A mesmerizingly ambivalent documentary about an itinerant family of Jewish surfer-dude health nuts.
Nora Lee Mandel
December 7, 2008
Intriguing family story of the sunny and dark sides of extreme home-schooling by surfing, through a trove of photos, home movies, and reminiscences, but little insight.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
Edward Douglas
May 9, 2008
By no means 'just another surfing doc,' as it offers an in-depth look at alternative parenting that raises many questions, like how the Paskowitzes were able to ward off the truant officers for so many years.
Full Review | Original Score: 7.5/10
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
June 20, 2008
Surfwise is a graceful, searching film that seems to have missed no opportunity to reveal truths about parents and children and how they come to understand each other.
| Original Score: 4/4
Christian Toto
What Would Toto Watch?
December 4, 2008
Surfwise will make you hug your parents a little harder the next time you see them.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Austin Kennedy
Sin Magazine
October 17, 2008
Doug Pray, has made a fascinating look at a man who not only was a great revolutionary, but a pure human being.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Bill Gibron
May 8, 2008
(Surfwise) delivers facts with fanciful shading, sequences that explain the lure of the ocean with images of the vast waves washing over their would-be conquerors.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Tricia Olszewski
Let's Not Listen
May 28, 2008
The story is essentially Doc's, but the more compelling aspect of Surfwise is the obvious question: Are the kids dysfunctional or what?
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
May 9, 2008
Surfwise has a bohemian vibe and a cool sheen, but it's an eager-to-please, pleasing commercial enterprise with a reassuring narrative arc.
| Original Score: 4/5
Brian Orndorf
May 8, 2008
Surfwise is a captivating documentary highlighted by some significant scenes of naked confession and an overall portrait of misplaced intelligence...a powerful document of familial agitation and disillusionment.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Jim Lane
Sacramento News & Review
June 19, 2008
...captures both the lure of the proto-hippie life and the often unresolved tensions...
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Beth Accomando
June 8, 2008
In the end, Surfwise is a fascinating portrait of a family that manages to be both radical and conventional, divided but still tightly bound by blood.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
Cole Smithey
May 9, 2008
Documentarian Doug Pray ("Scratch") connects the narrative dots between the Paskowitz's nine children that survived their unconventional upbringing with varying degrees of success. You have to see this unusual story to believe it.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Drew Toal
Time Out
November 18, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Brett McCracken
Christianity Today
May 9, 2008
When so many documentaries today seem concerned only with arguing a point, it's nice to see something like this which seeks only to reveal.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
November 30, 2008
Provocative but even-handed subculture lifestyle film.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
May 23, 2008
The movie feels exhaustive in its loaded 90-something minutes, showing and telling us much while leaving the meaning of the tangles and twists in this family open to interpretation. For once, the tip of the iceberg is enough.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
June 26, 2008
Not just the story of one man's obsessive quest to find harmony on a plank of wood, Surfwise offers a cautionary tale about parenting, homeschooling (camper-schooling, actually), sibling rivalries and family sacrifice.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Page 1 of 3