User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 67 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 53 out of 67
  2. Negative: 6 out of 67

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User Reviews

  1. craigs.
    Oct 3, 2005
    2
    The worst movie I've seen in years - terrible acting by e veryone - especially Ledger - what a joke he is - such hollow cartoony characters - surely the real people were'nt such losers. love the doco and the era -this sucks !
  2. JulesM.
    Jul 6, 2005
    9
    Agreed, it's not as good as the documentary...but any film that can first appall you with the characters' amorality and recklessness and then make you understand and empathize with those very qualities surely deserves far better than a 56. And these are the same critics who so overpraised "Howl's Moving Castle" that every viewer I've talked to couldn't help but be Agreed, it's not as good as the documentary...but any film that can first appall you with the characters' amorality and recklessness and then make you understand and empathize with those very qualities surely deserves far better than a 56. And these are the same critics who so overpraised "Howl's Moving Castle" that every viewer I've talked to couldn't help but be bored and disappointed by its real, tho overexaggerated virtues. BAH HUMBUG! Expand
  3. Josh
    Jun 25, 2005
    10
    This was an amazing movie and it captured the Z-Boys perfectly.
  4. ChadS.
    Jun 8, 2005
    7
    As Skip Engblom, Heath Ledger is quite remarkable as a functional drug-addled entrepreneur, but his career-changing performance has the unintended, yet uncanny appearance of a screenwriter getting revenge against his mentor for not being picked to be on the original Zephyr team. When Ledger is perched on his surf shop roof, that other film which sanitizes another singular seventies' As Skip Engblom, Heath Ledger is quite remarkable as a functional drug-addled entrepreneur, but his career-changing performance has the unintended, yet uncanny appearance of a screenwriter getting revenge against his mentor for not being picked to be on the original Zephyr team. When Ledger is perched on his surf shop roof, that other film which sanitizes another singular seventies' pop culture experience with subjective doses of nostalgia, "Almost Famous", is made explicit by echoing Billy Crudup's adventure in acid from a similarly high position. Ledger's freakout at a Zephyr team celebration plays like a coded message from Stacey Peralta to Engblom, "No, you're not the golden god. I'm the golden god, or we're the golden gods." "Lords of Dogtown" makes Engblom look pathetic and that's not the cerebral and thoughtful man we saw in "Dogtown & Z-Boys". But this is still a pretty good film. Catherine Hardwicke nails the time and place. Seeing Jay Adams pioneer the aerial manuever at a tournament, Hardwicke shows us the possible implications of his missed landing that we might've overlooked in the Peralta documentary. If Adams stayed on his board when he made contact with the ground, would he be a star, on par with Peralta and Alva, and not just the "seed"? Expand
  5. AmandaN.
    Apr 30, 2006
    10
    This movie is great one of the best movies i have ever seen it is one of my favs. i'm sure going to own it soon, If u haven't seen it, Its a must see!
  6. YossA.
    Oct 7, 2005
    3
    Pretty boring. I didn't find the characters or the story interesting at all. Even all the skateboarding didn't exactly thrill me.
  7. parisd.
    May 30, 2005
    10
    Love the way Hartwicke tells the story of the z boys. She is the only commercial director out there who has a hand on the pulse of modern kids. She uses a cinematic language that is modern and accessible with all the energy this material deserves. I hope she can keep evolving on her current trajectory and not be put off by mainstream critics who have been left behind in the old cinema. Love the way Hartwicke tells the story of the z boys. She is the only commercial director out there who has a hand on the pulse of modern kids. She uses a cinematic language that is modern and accessible with all the energy this material deserves. I hope she can keep evolving on her current trajectory and not be put off by mainstream critics who have been left behind in the old cinema. She deserves alot of credit for her boldness and artfulness almost totally missing from mainstream movies. Expand
  8. PhilT.
    Jun 2, 2005
    7
    I'm not into skateboard but I found this film pretty good. But the soundtrack is the real star here.
  9. AllistairP.
    Jun 3, 2005
    5
    This was a really dissapointing movie. Mainly due to the lack of direction and bad choice in casting. None of the characters are believable except the boy who plays Stacy (some of the extras are cring worthy "PIGS PIGS!!!" UUGH!). But the biggest problem is that they took what could be an AMAZING story, and made it into and unfocused mess. This could have been a great film about This was a really dissapointing movie. Mainly due to the lack of direction and bad choice in casting. None of the characters are believable except the boy who plays Stacy (some of the extras are cring worthy "PIGS PIGS!!!" UUGH!). But the biggest problem is that they took what could be an AMAZING story, and made it into and unfocused mess. This could have been a great film about friendship or personal intergrity or the pioneers of a new sport, but instead it merely deals with these subjects and instead quickly goes through the history of it all. Lame. Expand
  10. vicd.
    Jun 3, 2005
    10
    Stacy Peralta was always the brains of the z-boy bunch. I was happy when his documentary came out a couple of years ago, and am even more stoked about this one. The direction is great and the handling of these characters is nearly perfect from what I remember about these guys when I was a turning a teenager in 1977.
  11. NoahS
    Jun 4, 2005
    7
    All things considered, this film could have been alot worse. After seeing the truly first rate documentary, I initially wondered just what the hell a hollywood dramatization could add. Hardwicke and Peralta have certainly succeeded in bringing a bit more drama to the story without commercializing it. What I found interesting is how the lead characters are portrayed here. Its pretty fair All things considered, this film could have been alot worse. After seeing the truly first rate documentary, I initially wondered just what the hell a hollywood dramatization could add. Hardwicke and Peralta have certainly succeeded in bringing a bit more drama to the story without commercializing it. What I found interesting is how the lead characters are portrayed here. Its pretty fair to say, that Peralta is the only one of the bunch who isnt portrayed as either a moron, complete stoner, narcissist, or emotional basket case. Could the fact that he wrotte the screenplay have something to do with that? Expand
  12. RyanD.
    Jun 5, 2005
    8
    Enjoyed this movie. I had seen the documentary and the fictionalized version far exceeded my expectations. I thought the casting was excellent. The actors played the drama, comedy and action well. I never felt the presence of stunt doubles and the actors did a great job learning to skate. Solid summer flick.
  13. VickiW
    Jun 7, 2005
    9
    It made me think. But jay never should have shaved his head.
  14. stanleyh.
    Oct 27, 2005
    5
    Ok,could of been better.
  15. shanea.
    Jun 17, 2005
    10
    This movie is amazing! Forget the nonesense some over paid fools write in their reviews, they never skated anyway!
  16. RyanH.
    Jun 7, 2005
    2
    The only thing good about this movie were the credits. Boring.
  17. JohnF.
    Jun 7, 2005
    9
    Great movie. This captured the mid seventies perfectly and brought back many memories for me. The characters were fully presented and the acting was strong.
  18. Taylor
    Jul 6, 2005
    10
    I thought it was the bbest movie I have ever seen!
  19. SarahP.
    Jul 29, 2006
    10
    it was amazing! i totally loved it!
  20. Nikki
    Jun 11, 2005
    10
    GREAT MOVIE!!!!
  21. GarrettH.
    Jun 15, 2005
    9
    This movie is amazing! It perfectly recreates the time and the rebelious attitude of the z-boys.
  22. RachelS.
    Jul 25, 2005
    10
    I absolutly loved it. The documentary was awesome too. And Victor Rasuck, Emile Hrisch and John Robbinson all did a great job and cant help but sya they are very attractive!
  23. Feb 22, 2013
    7
    Lords of Dogtown is a film about the legendary Z-Boys, who are credited with the creation of modern day skateboarding. The film chronicles the height of their success in the late 70's and their struggles in creating and rising to the top of a whole new industry. The story is terrific, written by one of the actual Z-Boys, but the way it was filmed was problematic. The beginning of the filmLords of Dogtown is a film about the legendary Z-Boys, who are credited with the creation of modern day skateboarding. The film chronicles the height of their success in the late 70's and their struggles in creating and rising to the top of a whole new industry. The story is terrific, written by one of the actual Z-Boys, but the way it was filmed was problematic. The beginning of the film is very choppy and confusing, honestly it's difficult to know who is who and what's going on until about the half way point of the film. The Z-Boys are the basis and stars of the film, but it's Heath Ledger who steals the show. He really had a gift for picking up on every mannerism and movement a person makes. People who know his character, Skip, say it's scary how much like him Ledger was. He was a truly gifted actor who would have been a legend. As for the film, it was interesting and a lot of information about a sport I always liked but never really thought much about. It's a bit confusing and shot in a weird style, but overall it really was pretty good. Expand
  24. Jun 9, 2015
    5
    LORDS OF DOGTOWN is like two movies in one. Sadly, one is by the book Hollywood melodrama of rise and fall. You've seen it a million times in mediocre music, film and theater tales. BUT, the second film is a gritty lovely celebration of skateboarding anchored by pretty amazing performances by Emile Hirsch and John Robinson who you just want to wrap your arms around and kiss. Finally caughtLORDS OF DOGTOWN is like two movies in one. Sadly, one is by the book Hollywood melodrama of rise and fall. You've seen it a million times in mediocre music, film and theater tales. BUT, the second film is a gritty lovely celebration of skateboarding anchored by pretty amazing performances by Emile Hirsch and John Robinson who you just want to wrap your arms around and kiss. Finally caught up with this uneven work that may just haunt me in the future. Expand
Metascore
56

Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 35
  2. Negative: 3 out of 35
  1. 50
    Inept storytelling is one of Lords of Dogtown's great frustrations.
  2. Takes a surprisingly gritty approach that gives the material some gravitas but also robs it of some of its fun.
  3. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    50
    It's a wipeout once the pic skids into melodrama and an overly schematic sense of how success tore the group apart.