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Dogtown and Z-Boys Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    An improbably bountiful subject -- kids on skateboards turning themselves into virtuoso artist-athletes -- has been brought to life in a wonderful, unpretentious documentary.

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    The film is, however, almost inevitably wistful for the past, and many of its emotional touches come from juxtaposed then-and-now footage of the participants.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Here is an entire movie about looking cool while not wiping out. Call it a metaphor for life.

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  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    A dazzlingly crafted documentary about the teenage surf punks of lower Los Angeles who singlehandedly transformed skateboarding into the extreme sport it has become.

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  • See all Dogtown and Z-Boys reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 14+

Before Tony Hawk, skateboarding had the Z-Boys.

What 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.

  • Families can talk about how the present skateboard culture today compares with that of the 1970s. Both Stacey Peralta and Tony Alva chose to embrace product sponsorship as they climbed the ladder to success. Would you consider this selling ut? After leaving the Z-Boys, tacey and Tony became archrivals. How did money and celebrity contribute to the demise of their friendship? Jay wound up shunning sponsorship and succumbing to drug use. How do you think environment played a role in his actions, specifically the neighborhood in which he was raised and the people he associated with? The Z-Boys garnered instant success, having little means to cope with it. Parents may want to relate this experience to the ways in which pop stars like Lindsay Lohan and Hilary Duff have handled their celebrity.

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: 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).

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Some skateboard scrapes, dangerous surfing practices.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Not an issue

  • language false3

    Language: Some strong language.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Ads for various specific tennis shoes and skateboards while discussing the commercialization of the sport.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Images of alcohol consumption and pot smoking, discussion of drug abuse