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45

Mixed or average reviews - based on 27 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 28 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Based on the true story of surfing icon Jay Moriarty, "Chasing Mavericks" tells the story of a young man's quest to surf Northern California's most dangerous wave, and the local legend who takes him under his wing. What begins as a mentorship turns into a unique lifelong bond, as the two unlikely friends discover that there is nothing more powerful than pushing your limits and chasing a nearly impossible dream. (20th Century Fox) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 27
  2. Negative: 4 out of 27
  1. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Oct 24, 2012
    75
    Chasing Mavericks is made with more care and intelligence than many another film starting with its template might have been. It's better than most movies targeted at teens. And the cinematography of the big Mavericks scene by Oliver Euclid and Bill Pope is so frightening that you sort of understand why Frosty stays on the shore, watching Jay with binoculars.
  2. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Oct 26, 2012
    63
    If your inner amphibian craves a wave, you have the right kind of brain to appreciate the elemental story and scenic backdrops. But advanced mammals might smell something fishy.
  3. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Oct 27, 2012
    60
    The film wants to be inspiring, when it might have been cosmic-a far greater ambition. Tossing boats and dreamers, the huge waves perform beautifully.
  4. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Oct 25, 2012
    50
    The footage itself, particularly of the surf, is spectacular, with veteran cinematographer Bill Pope handling the camerawork. But the drama is soggy, overreaching for the heartfelt and overdoing the inspirational.
  5. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Oct 25, 2012
    50
    When the movie works, its buoyancy can be infectious and persuasive.
  6. Reviewed by: Henry Barnes
    Jul 5, 2013
    40
    The script's a drowner, the acting's awash. Again and again Butler returns to the sea. He just about survives the buffeting.
  7. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Oct 25, 2012
    20
    As it turns out, the only truly interesting element about this clich├ęd surfer flick is that it was made by celebrated directors Michael Apted and Curtis Hanson.

See all 27 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 3
  2. Negative: 1 out of 3
  1. Oct 27, 2012
    8
    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.
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  2. Apr 28, 2013
    5
    The film may serve as an inspiration to many, but too many scenes feel empty.

See all 3 User Reviews

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