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Parents' Guide to

Lords of Dogtown

By Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Portrait of Venice, CA, '70s teen skater culture.

Movie PG-13 2005 107 minutes
Lords of Dogtown Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 1 parent review

age 16+

Great Movie, not a good example for kids

I think the common sense review is a little too watered down on the social messages given. There is not only misbehaving, they are pretty rude and display very inappropriate social behaviors. In the context of the film it is okay because it is about real people, but I don't want my kids acting like that. The movie is great and it shows the aspects of life that many youth in that era experienced. It is pretty cool to see how things evolved in the world of skateboarding.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (4 ):

Poised to be great, fast fun, this movie is too often slowed by clichés. The most thrilling moments in Lords of Dogtown feature skateboard wheels. More precisely, cameras mounted on and even under skateboards, so that the whirring of wheels, slamming over pavement, and hurtling headlong into air seem immediate and vital. But aside from this stunty camerawork, Catherine Hardwicke's second feature (her first was the affecting Thirteen) tells a conventional story. Based on the real life adventures of the same skaters at the center of writer Stacy Peralta's documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys, in turn based on a 1999 Spin article and Peralta's own skateboarding experiences, the fictionalized film is less about cultural resistance and wild riding in empty swimming pools than about capitulation.

The movie's most compelling question is unresolvable, as in itself it replicates the problem of selling out, by further exploiting the success of Peralta's documentary. Skip, of all people, ends up looking like the heroic holdout, broke but determined to stay true to his vision -- always ready to surf, never overwhelmed by career.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: June 3, 2005
  • On DVD or streaming: September 27, 2005
  • Cast: Emile Hirsch , Heath Ledger , Rebecca DeMornay
  • Director: Catherine Hardwicke
  • Inclusion Information: Female directors
  • Studio: Columbia Tristar
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 107 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: drug and alcohol content, sexuality, violence, language and reckless behavior - all involving teens
  • Last updated: April 4, 2023

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