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Parents' Guide to

Chasing Mavericks

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Trite but inspiring teen surf story has some sad moments.

Movie PG 2012 105 minutes
Chasing Mavericks Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 17+

Young woman in bikini.

There’s is a scene or two with the teen girl in a skimpy bikini.
age 11+

i love this movie

this is a great, yet sad movie but it is pretty tame in content, one use of ''piss'' but that's all

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (13 ):

A typical, inspiring coming-of-age story about an athlete willing to do what's necessary to accomplish his goals, it's a bit too treacly (and the obstacles too contrived) to be a remarkable film. It's visually gorgeous -- particularly the climactic surfing sequences when the water and the riders become one. But the story feels flat, and a few of the domestic dramas seem inauthentic (like the fact that Jay keeps an unopened letter from his father who abandoned him and his mother, or that his mother -- played by Elisabeth Shue -- is troubled and either an alcoholic or just overworked).

What's worse is that the movie's antagonist (a slightly older bully who really has no reason to bother with Jay), does nothing to drive the movie forward -- unlike, say, iconic bully Johnny in The Karate Kid. The only real obstacle to Jay accomplishing his dream is the untamable power of the waves themselves. Because of that, the best scenes, naturally, are of Weston and Butler paddling and talking reverently about what it takes to be a true surfer who respects the waves. Ultimately, Jay conquers the Mavericks -- as if there was really any doubt. If there's an overarching lesson in the film, it's that anything worth doing takes hard work, preparation, and humility.

Movie Details

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