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Storm Surfers 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.

  • 50

    out of 100

    Village Voice Zachary Wigon

    The stunning visuals captivate for much of the picture, but as the novelty wears off, and the beauty turns from stunning to repetitive, the non-surfers in the theater may begin to grow restless.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    Los Angeles Times Amy Nicholson

    Justin McMillan and Christopher Nelius' rah-rah documentary is most alive when it unearths old '80s footage of the friends partying it up with blond groupies — talk about thrilling curves.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    The New York Times Daniel M. Gold

    The vistas are spectacular, the waves fearsome, the filming often amazing.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Storm Surfers reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 12+

Impressive "big wave" surf documentary is mainly for fans.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Storm Surfers 3D is a documentary about two legendary Australian surfers who travel miles offshore searching for giant waves. It's a movie mainly for surf fans rather than for newcomers, and for the uninitiated, it may seem shallow, more in line with a TV reality show. But surf fans should enjoy the beautiful cinematography. Expect some scary wipeouts and Jet Ski crashes, though the surfers mostly emerge unharmed. Language is mild, with only a couple of uses of words like "crap" and "sucks," as well as exclamatory uses of "Jesus" and "God." One scene shows a nightclub full of scantily-clad women. Red Bull is a financier and sponsor on the movie, and the logo is seen and the drink is mentioned at least once.

  • Families can talk about Storm Surfers' violence. What draws people toward dangerous sports like surfing, especially big-wave surfing?
  • Do Ross Clarke-Jones and Tom Carroll seem like role models? Do they make you want to go surfing?
  • How is knowledge passed on in the surfing community? What do younger surfers learn from the older guys in the movie? What did the older guys learn in their time?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: The movie has some messages about continuing to do something you love, even if everyone tells you it's over. It also celebrates getting up and trying again, even after painful and frightening failures. Finally, there's a worthwhile message about continually striving to learn and better yourself.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Though these guys are shown to be generally good people -- trying over and over against the odds, attempting to better themselves, and persevering in a thing that they love -- they also sometimes come across as a bit mean and cruel toward each other, teasing each other and calling each other "girls" when they get frightened or hurt. There's also a hint that these guys are like grown children, somewhat shirking their responsibilities (though the movie celebrates this, rather than condemning it).

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: Some scary scenes of terrible wipeouts, with characters sucked underwater for interminable periods of time or Jet Skis tossed about. Characters generally emerge shaken but unharmed.

  • sex false1

    Sex: In one scene, Ross describes the feeling of being sucked under water as being like dancing in a nightclub; the filmmakers then show him actually dancing in a nightclub, surrounded by beautiful, scantily clad women.

  • language false1

    Language: Language is very infrequent and only includes uses of "God" and "Jesus" (as exclamations) as well as "crap" and "sucks."

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Red Bull helped finance the movie and appears to be a sponsor. The logo is seen at least once, and a character mentions that he has just had one.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not applicable