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Waiting for Lightning Review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 40

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Frank Scheck

    Eventually, though, Waiting For Lightning suffers greatly from the absence of Way himself.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    Los Angeles Times

    Unfortunately, the athlete himself simply isn't much of a presence in this documentary, even as the film aims to celebrate him.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    Village Voice

    Unfortunately, as the extensive footage of kick flips, fakies, and grinders goes from thrilling to routine, we're left waiting - and wanting - for Rosenberg to offer something more substantial than another "big air."

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 14+

Routine docu about skateboard champ Danny Way.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Waiting for Lightning is a documentary about pro skateboarder Danny Way. It includes some horrible scenes of crashes and injuries, as well as stories about violent incidents in Way's past involving his mother's boyfriends. His mother confesses to a period of excessive drinking and drugs, and viewers see "dramatic recreation" footage of this. Language is sparse, with interviewees using "s--t" four times, and Danny saying "f--k" once after a wipeout. Corporate sponsors, especially DC Shoes and Monster energy drink, are prevalent. The movie's biggest drawback is that it doesn't actually interview Way himself, so this is for die-hard fans only. Others would do better to check out the more inspirational Bones Brigade.

  • Families can talk about Waiting for Lightning's violent crashes and accidents. What makes skateboarders push themselves so hard in such a dangerous sport?
  • Did the movie inspire you to do push yourself toward a specific goal? Is that goal related to skating or some other activity or sport? Can this attitude be applied to other things in life?
  • Does Danny Way seem like a role model for kids or teens?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: A troubled kid learns to overcome adversity, faces huge challenges, and achieves success in a field he loves.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Danny Way is an example of someone who has overcome major challenges in his life and succeeded. But since the movie never interviews him directly, he's only seen from a distance and can seem reckless and withdrawn.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: A few spectacular skating crashes and injuries, which are all the more shocking because they're real. Viewers also hear stories of past domestic violence in the Way household, with the mother's boyfriends beating her up, as well as young Danny and his brother. (Nothing is actually shown.)

  • sex false1

    Sex: Stories about Danny's mother, who remarried after her husband's death and began seeing a series of other men. Danny is shown to be a father, but his wife doesn't seem to appear in the movie.

  • language false3

    Language: "S--t" is heard four times, and Danny lets out one "f--k" after a wipeout. "Ass" is used in a background song, and "oh my God" can be overheard at one point.

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Skaters have all kinds of corporate sponsors. DC Shoes is a major sponsor, with logos and mentions all over the place (the company apparently helped finance and/or produce the movie). The Monster energy drink logo is seen several times. Interviewees are seen wearing Red Bull, Mountain Dew, and Nike hats. Danny is briefly seen wearing a Bud Light shirt.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Danny's mother confesses to going through a period of heavy drinking and doing drugs. The movie includes some "dramatic recreation" footage to demonstrate this.