Mixed or average reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 27
  2. Negative: 4 out of 27
  1. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Oct 25, 2012
    As it turns out, the only truly interesting element about this clichéd surfer flick is that it was made by celebrated directors Michael Apted and Curtis Hanson.
  2. Reviewed by: Chris Cabin
    Oct 25, 2012
    The filmmakers' kinship to Moriarity is obvious, and it makes for a tone of unflinching hope and optimism, though it leaves little room for grit or nuance.
  3. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    Oct 24, 2012
    It doesn't help that the characters have so little to them. Weston plays Moriarty as such an unfailingly good, temptation-free kid that he only needs a halo floating above his pre-Raphaelite curls to complete the picture.
  4. Reviewed by: Drew Taylor
    Oct 27, 2012
    It's hard to tell who is to blame for the movie's abrasive anonymousness – Curtis or Apted – but it hardly matters. In either directors' hands, Chasing Mavericks would have been a wipe-out. It's totally bogus.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 29 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 4
  2. Negative: 1 out of 4
  1. Oct 27, 2012
    As a late-blooming (yet bona fide) beach bum, The Hawk was anxious to catch Chasing Mavericks on the big screen before its inevitable quick turnover to dvd. Fully knowing that this one would not be a potential Oscar contender in a any category what-so-ever, and that the family-friendly film would likely have a routine, formulaic dramatic arc to it, with few (if any) surprises, didn't matter at all. If its got gigantic, ocean waves in it, with pro surfers taking them on like bareback bronco riders in a wild west show, The Hawk would be there. This true story of a young 16 yr-old surfing prodigy and his courage to face one of the largest waves ever recorded on film was a thrillingly inspirational experience. However,...if you're looking for a flick that fits the definition of film as art that will remain in your mind for years to come for its originality and creativity,... one will need to look elsewhere.

    Despite its one-dimensional characters and strictly perfunctory direction and acting, the jaw-dropping. hardcore, surfing scenes (of which there are many) are beautifully shot, giving a graphic sensation of the power and majesty of the ocean surf like no film that I've seen before. The cinematography in this film both made me want to jump right into the thick of it, as well as stay as far away as possible from the danger and terror of the ocean's insurmountable power as I could get, all at once. One has no choice but to be impressed with the courage and confidence these athletes must have in order to take on such monstrously treacherous dragons that these infamous waves at legendary Mavericks near Santa Cruz, CA are.

    Chasing Mavericks is very hard not to like, if you love being on, in, and around the ocean as much as I do. Even those whose idea of going to the beach is limited to eating boardwalk fries, riding carnival attractions, and building sandcastles will likely appreciate the magical setting of the west coast shore and those that take to riding its wildest waves like water cowboys on untamed stallions. Grade = B.
    Full Review »
  2. Nov 13, 2014
    "Chasing Mavericks" 10 Scale Rating: 4.5 (Mediocre) ...

    The Good: Intense and well done surfing scenes. I'm not even into surfing, but was
    still extremely entertained by these scenes. The real story behind the film is a pretty interesting one and I can understand why they wanted to make a movie about it.

    The Bad: Pretty hollow, which is unacceptable for this sort of film. Lacks heart, emotion, and with the exception of the surfing scenes, any real energy. Aside from Butler, most of the acting was well below average.
    Full Review »
  3. Apr 28, 2013
    The film may serve as an inspiration to many, but too many scenes feel empty.