Surf's Up

Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 26
  2. Negative: 1 out of 26

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. An animated family movie about penguins -- in the wake of "March of the Happy Feet," they're the Angelina Jolie of animals, both cute and admired everywhere. Plus, it's about surfing.
  2. Best of all is Jeff Bridges as the voice of Geek, a laid-back philosopher-penguin who becomes Cody's low-key guru, mentoring him in the ways of the wave.
  3. Has its own peculiar, loose-knit kind of charm.
  4. A cut above the noisy, pop-culture joke-larded norm, and it's much more than a "Happy Feet" knockoff.
  5. Surf's Up is that rarity in a children's movie, a comedy that's actually exciting.
  6. The entertaining new film from Sony Pictures Animation is a nice surprise, and the rare mainstream American kid film.
  7. Reviewed by: Paul Semel
    75
    Up will still make you feel like you've caught a big wave.
  8. 75
    The most colorful of the penguin 'toons to date, both figuratively and literally.
  9. Not only are LaBeouf and Bridges terrific, but Jon Heder is hilarious as surfing fowl Chicken Joe. And Zooey Deschanel is saucy fun as penguin lifeguard Lani.
  10. What makes Surf's Up stand out is its look and texture.
  11. 75
    If you have to see one penguin movie, this is it.
  12. Don't worry, parents, only you--and not your 5-year-old--will get that the chicken's stoned out of his gourd.
  13. A cheerful and frequently amusing bit of nonsense, which certainly will provoke children into giggles. The film does not measure up to "March of the Penguins" or "Happy Feet," both Oscar-winning efforts. Nor is it trying to.
  14. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    70
    Every bit as entertaining as the early Christopher Guest efforts.
  15. 70
    If you have to see another penguin blockbuster, you could do worse than this loose-limbed charmer.
  16. 70
    It's cool but not too cool, and cute but not too cute. A neat trick considering its overexposed avian cast.
  17. 70
    A clever, delightfully rendered summer diversion.
  18. 67
    Mostly, it just stands out in a crowded field of tacky also-rans by being a reasonably acceptable, more or less non-obnoxious way to spend an hour and a half.
  19. The film's greatest triumph, at least on a technical level, is the amazing texture of the water, which has never looked so dramatic or convincing in an animated film.
  20. Where Surf's Up falls down is in its central relationships. (A few more jokes wouldn't have hurt either).
  21. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    63
    First they marched, then they tap-danced. Now they ride the waves on souped-up boards. It really doesn't matter what stunts they try to pull off: Who can resist an animated mockumentary in the style of "This Is Spinal Tap" starring the black-and-white big birds of the moment?
  22. 63
    Doesn't do enough with a righteous premise.
  23. The voice performances are great, particularly those from LaBeouf and Bridges, who's in a "Big Lebowski" mood. But a moratorium on penguin movies may be in order.
  24. Has a friendly, blue-collar vibe (Cody is an ex-fish-sorter from the Shiverpool, Antarctica) and some sly, low-key humor. Nevertheless, a moratorium on penguins might be called for, despite the inevitable anthropomorphic void.
  25. There's nothing terribly wrong with Surf's Up, except maybe the part where one character calls another a "dirty trash can full of poop." But the movie isn't terribly robust, either.
  26. 30
    The novelty wears off almost immediately, leaving this a real chore to watch; there's something bizarre about low-budget spontaneity being replicated in such a labor-intensive medium.
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 129 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. Jan 29, 2012
    8
    We have seen the films heart many times in that place in tons of films, but its dazzling animation, hilarious voice performances and it justWe have seen the films heart many times in that place in tons of films, but its dazzling animation, hilarious voice performances and it just being hilarious make it a nice and sweet family treat. I give this film 75%. Full Review »
  2. Streetsy
    Feb 25, 2008
    10
    Seriously under rated. I enjoyed this film immensely and have watched it 5 times already. The animation, (for all those animation nerds out Seriously under rated. I enjoyed this film immensely and have watched it 5 times already. The animation, (for all those animation nerds out there like me) is top notch. The CG is fantastic. And the story is great. Full Review »
  3. Dec 27, 2013
    10
    This is easily the most underrated animated movie ever created. The entire film is just non-stop laugh out loud funny from start to finsh withThis is easily the most underrated animated movie ever created. The entire film is just non-stop laugh out loud funny from start to finsh with clever jokes and great voice acting. Visually, this movie sings. Everything looks so good, especially the waves. The documentary style made the movie stand out in a very clever and unique way, and that helped it stand out from all of the other penguin films around that time. Despite all of this the movie still manages to bring a great amount of heart that can rival a Pixar film! The best part about this movie is that, unlike most Dreamworks' films, this movie is funny when it needs to be, and serious when it needs to be. Overall this is an amazing animated movie and one of my favorite animated movies if not my favorite! It's such a shame that this movie didn't get the recognition it deserves. It's got more laughs than a Dreamworks film, and just as much heart as a Pixar film. Full Review »