A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Team members are described as aggressive. Various members discuss drug abuse, promiscuous sex, and overall excessive behavior. This film does, however, present a refreshing multicultural vision of skaters. The film also includes the illusive female skater (Peggy Oki, an original member of the Zephyr team).
Violence & Scariness
Some skateboard scrapes, dangerous surfing practices.
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Some strong language.
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Products & Purchases
Ads for various specific tennis shoes and skateboards while discussing the commercialization of the sport.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Images of alcohol consumption and pot smoking, discussion of drug abuse
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this film includes some profane language used in casual discussion. Interviewees discuss sexual escapades and drug use, but neither of these activities are main topics of conversation. Parents should be forewarned that the film glamorizes trespassing and rule-breaking. However, the majority of the film simply centers on the evolution of skateboarding and its Dogtown roots. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Dogtown and Z-Boys effectively combines film and still-photography to capture the spirit and style of the period. The filmmakers use tinting, a mixture of film stocks, slow-mo, quick rewind, and a rockin' underscoring to transform this history lesson into a visual and aural thrill ride. Those at the Sundance Film Festival stood up and took notice. The film won both the audience and director's awards for documentary, and it garnered a nomination for the Grand Jury Prize. The film also earned a Grammy nomination for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture. Dogtown and Z-Boys revolves around interviews with a collection of Zephyr team members. Examining their rising stardoms and futures, the film presents a combination of wild successes and lost chances. Disaffected 1980s bad boy--and teenage California skater--Sean Penn (Taps, Fast Times at Ridgemont High) narrates.
Parents may find some of this film to be a bit risqué, and should definitely contemplate relaying the consequences of illegal actions such as breaking and entering and drug use into conversation before viewing. However, they might want to consider allowing their teens, especially skateboarding enthusiasts, to watch not only for the skate tricks, but also as a means of learning the potential negative effects of achieving fame so quickly and at such a young age.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.