Common Sense Media says

Earnest sports biopic tugs at heart despite clichés.

Parents say

(out of 34 reviews)
age 9+
Review this title!
Parent of a 6 and 8 year old Written byFre September 14, 2011

relieved to say thumbs up!

I'm typically very restrictive about what shows I let my kids watch, sometimes moreso than other parents of my kids' peers. I was extra-concerned about letting my daughter watch the scene with the shark for fear that she'd have nightmares. I reluctantly allowed her to watch, and now I'm pleased to say the scene was very short, and really only showed some blood in the water. It was far less graphic than I feared. It was somewhat shocking to see the wound when it was freshly covered in blood, but it was over with quickly. The movie was just excellent - many wonderful messages. The way the main character dealt with the actual attack - remaining very calm and not screaming or freaking out - helped save her life. I even thought that in itself was a teachable moment, encouraging kids to try to remain calm if injured.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 6, 7, and 9 year old Written bylittlemama73 April 10, 2011

Don't miss this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I took my 6, 7 1/2 and 9 year olds to see it. We all thought it was AWESOME. The shark attack was barely shown. The message was POWERFUL and inspiring. Well worth the money -- we want to see it again!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written byKMM5 April 23, 2014

The shark part is scary

the movie is pretty much what you expect it to be. The only issue is that the shark part is very scary for younger children. Know your child before you allow him or her to see the movie.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of an infant, 6, and 8 year old Written byMomma comma July 16, 2013

My hero

Watch this film! She is my inspiration. I bought her movie, book, and even devotion book. It is my dream to meet her. The shark attack scene may scare younger viewers. Just skip it and explain what happened. Read " how we review". Infants are sponges, she needs to be the water. She teaches kids no matter what follow your dreams. Watch this, and if you don't you made a big mistake.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Adult Written bytrythis April 11, 2011

Bethany Hamilton is a brave girl, and a great role model

I loved it. I usually dread having to take my kids to the movies. Kids movies usually hold very little interest for me. This movie was straight forward but interesting. There is no way to show a shark attack in any way but with blood. That being said the movie really limited it. I thought there were a few under water shots that built the suspense-perhaps they were a little too suspensefull for a sensitive 8 year old, but just right for my crew of 10-14 year olds.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 11 and 13 year old Written byheather.parker June 23, 2012

Great entertainment for the whole family.

Just watched this movie with our two 11 year-olds and we all really enjoyed it. Great for the whole family. I disagree with the review of the "cheesy" beach scenes. Having lived in Hawaii for many years, I thought it was realistic, and it made me homesick for Hawaii. It was captivating from start to finish. The main character is very inspiring, and there are many positive messages.
Parent of a 6 and 6 year old Written byEyeball April 24, 2011

My 6 year boys handle the movie and really enjoyed watching the surf scenes.

I have twin 6 year old boys and they loved the movie, i did have concerns about the shark attack, but the scene really only showed a very brief moment and very little blood the shark bite scene last about 10 minutes including the ride to the hospital We live on the island the attack happened for real, my husband surf 2 days prior to that attack.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written byPRINCESS SOF October 14, 2011

message about the movie

Scary but very positive messages.I watched it with a friend it was for 7 and up.It requires a little violence.It's a great movie for 7&up!
What other families should know
Great messages
Adult Written byDisplaced Texas Mom May 11, 2011
This is one of our favorite movies and will be added to our DVD collection. Having read the reviews prior to watching, we spent the first part of the movie waiting on the edge of our seats for the shark attack. Which really wasn't all that violent when you consider some of the animated violence. Just as another reviewer wrote, its the tale of a young, female surfer and everything about her experience. There are soo many great things about this movie. However, if you get hung up on references to Christianity and it prevents you from enjoying the movie...don't see it. We actually enjoy spiritual references more than being exposed to extreme profanity and multiple occurances of blasphemy. That's why we utilize this site.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 4 and 4 year old Written byLaptopTech45 April 18, 2014

Lauren was scared by the shark attack!

Good, but Lauren was scared by the shark attack where Bethneny loses her arm.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 8 year old Written bykristin1234 August 22, 2014

Too scary for a 9-year-old

I have a sensitive 9-year-old who I was encouraging to watch this based on the reviews here, that said things like the shark attack was so fast you could miss it if you blinked. She still didn't want to watch it. So I decided to screen it last night so I could tell her better what happened. Well, it turned out she was right. I'm surprised that people downplayed the "peril" in this movie. The scene with the shark is long and drawn out and brought me to tears. The shark attack itself was indeed short. But then the girl was floating on her surfboard without an arm, her friends were panicked, they paddled in with her in shock, they pulled her on to the beach on her surfboard. Then one ran in a panic to call 911, the others tried to tourniquet her stump, and then they all carried her through a wooded area on her surfboard to the car. They put her in the car, drove until they saw the ambulance, stopped so she could be transferred to that. Then her mother who had been called saw and followed the ambulance, the father was already at the hospital about to have his own surgery (which had been stopped because "a teenage girl" needed the operating room because of a shark attack). The parents prayed that she wouldn't die. Her friends were scared she would die. So it was quite a perilous segment of the movie, and to my mind is too perilous for a 9-year-old. Also I should note it seems to be a Christian-themed movie. Nothing over the top, just an actively Christian family, so they are seen going to church, praying, saying grace, listening to a bible passage recited by Carrie Underwood. I didn't watch the movie to the end because it wasn't that great and I was watching it mainly to see that shark sequence.
Parent Written byblondegirl October 14, 2011

Heart and Soul

This is a must see movie! Soul Surfer sends out a positive message about family,endurance, commitment and above all the glory of God. To be thankful for all you have and never give up on the dreams you seek. Truly an inspirational message to the young and old alike that nothing is impossible with faith. This is a great family movie!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written byBishop Loves Gir September 14, 2011

Great Acting,Great Story!

This movie should not be 3 stars.It should be more than that.Annasophia and all the other actors did there very best!It was a movie that made my day!!!Everyone should love and watch it!!!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byjoshua martinez August 27, 2011

10 and up.

Soul Surfer is a great awesome inspiring movie based on a true story about a young girl named Bethany Hamilton played by AnnaSophia Robb who wanted to become a professional surfer and follow her dreams and she did by winning championships and regionals when suddenly a tragedy happen and changed Bethany's life forever when a shark came and ripped off her arm and leaving her to die but however she survive the attack however she has a little to go on because the fact that Bethany only has one arm it's really difficult for her to open stuff in the house and even giving her own risk to surf again with only one arm this movie will surely entertain your kids and even parents as well and parents the only thing you need to worry about is the mild violence in this movie when Bethany's arm is ripped off by the shark and blood is shown in the water there is a great message in this movie it's about that you can get over the worst of tragedies with perspective, self-determination, and the support of friends and family and the role model is that Bethany chooses to respond to enormous loss and tragedy with grace and kindness to both herself and others Instead of dwelling on what she doesn't have, she focuses instead on what to give to others.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Parent Written bymrs d April 21, 2011

Great for teens and older

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 10 year old Written byjn-ab April 16, 2011

You'll love this movie; as inspirational for adults as for kids. My family thought it was one of the best we've ever seen!

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 10 year old Written bythe move it sal... April 14, 2011

how are you

this
What other families should know
Too much sex
Great role models
Parent of a 11 and 16 year old Written byJrlxamom April 10, 2011

Triumph over tragedy

All who see this movie can relate-something bad happens unexpectedly and a decision has to be made. That decision is whether to try again or give up-we adults and maybe some kids can relate to that!
Parent of a 7 and 11 year old Written byKelly S. September 27, 2016

An Amazing Film!

I love this movie! It does follow the story of a shark attack, but I honestly think that part is more dramatic than scary. That's what it's like in this movie- lots of drama, but that's overridden with amazing messages and a truly wonderful film!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written bymomto3amazingggirls April 16, 2013

Inspiring

This movie is amazing. My daughters especially Emma love it. It's inspiring and teaches kids not to give up on something they're passionate about and that if you have faith you could make it through any difficult tragedy. Would recommend for any kid. I would only rate it for kid 9+ cause of the shark attack scene. It does show the water turning red and the arm cut off overflowing with blood but they're only trying to make it seem realistic so no one should be saying anything negative. Watch watch watch watch!!!!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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