Rip Tide

Movie review by
Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media
Rip Tide Movie Poster Image
Predictable family drama about a teen chasing her dreams.
  • NR
  • 2017
  • 85 minutes

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 8 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Follow your passion. Don't allow someone else's passion to be imposed on you.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Cora seems like a spoiled kid whose mother forced her into a modeling career she didn't really want. In retaliation, she charges a $7,000 first-class airplane ticket from New York to Australia to her mother's credit card without asking permission. She treats her aunt's Australian friends as if they are rubes who don't know what's important. Later, she apologizes for her arrogance.


It's suggested that a surfer dies while surfing. Friends and family mourn him.


A boy and girl kiss chastely.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Rip Tide spins a familiar tale. In this version, an up-and-coming 18-year-old model, desperate for her working mom's attention, bolts for Australia to visit her pro-surfer aunt. There she finds romance and support for her true calling -- design -- which gives her the courage to say no to modeling and her mom. It's suggested that a surfer dies while surfing. Friends and family mourn him. A boy and girl kiss chastely. A teen charges a $7,000 first-class airplane ticket from New York to Australia to her mother's credit card without asking permission.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byIdreamofmemory March 10, 2019

Not bad

I feel like people need to gice this movie a chance. It is not that bad. Cora was a bit rebelious during the film but within reason and she could have handle si... Continue reading
Adult Written byLynn Link December 29, 2018
Cora stood up to her mom so she could have her dream. Modeling was your mom's dream not hers. Stealing Mom from her mom was wrong. I did not like how mean... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bysincerelymait February 8, 2021
Teen, 13 years old Written bywatermelon18 June 28, 2020

Very Good Movie

I really liked this movie. It shows children about hope. The aunt of Cora was an international surfer and she gave up of surfing but Cora was able to make her a... Continue reading

What's the story?

RIP TIDE is a story about following one's dreams. At 18, Cora (Debby Ryan) is an up-and-coming New York model who is managed by her hard-driving mom, Sofia (Danielle Carter), a woman high on business and low on nurturing. After a professional humiliation, Cora bolts and heads for the Australian beach to see her laid-back surfer aunt, Margot (Genevieve Hegney), who recently lost her husband. Margot conjures images of her husband and mourns his loss. Videos on social media replay Cora's meltdown, declaring her career dead and even naming the new "It" girl destined to replace her. She's embarrassed and depressed, but also disdaining the down-home warmth and support Margot and friends offer her. She loosens up, learns to surf, falls for a childhood friend, Tom (Andrew Creer), and enjoys designing bathing suits for the local festival celebrating 100 years of women in surfing. Everyone, including Cora's mom, finally agrees that she's more passionate about design than about modeling, and she announces that she's been accepted to colleges in New York and Australia.

Is it any good?

This is an awkward, badly written, ill-conceived movie that tells the familiar coming-of-age story of a girl who yearns for her too-busy mother's love and attention. Writer Georgia Harrison has created a script that sketches the most superficial versions of stock characters: the harsh mom, the misunderstood and angry daughter, the supportive aunt. Rip Tide's story is also predictable, and the acting is uneven. The good news is that plot and casting may not bother those satisfied just watching surfers catching waves on a beautiful coast.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how normal it is for kids, even older teens, to want their parents' approval. Rip Tide suggests that sometimes if kids stand up for their convictions, parents will pay attention. Do you think that's realistically represented here?

  • Have you seen other movies about surfing? How does this one compare?

  • Does it bother you if a movie is predictable? Why or why not?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love coming-of-age tales

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