Soul Surfer

April 8th, 2011


Soul Surfer

No valid json found

Still of AnnaSophia Robb in Soul SurferStill of Helen Hunt, Dennis Quaid and AnnaSophia Robb in Soul SurferHelen Hunt at event of Soul SurferStill of AnnaSophia Robb and Bethany Hamilton in Soul SurferStill of Carrie Underwood in Soul SurferStill of Lorraine Nicholson in Soul Surfer

A teenage surfer girl summons the courage to go back into the ocean after losing an arm in a shark attack.

Release Year: 2011

Rating: 6.8/10 (10,943 voted)

Critic's Score: 53/100

Director: Sean McNamara

Stars: AnnaSophia Robb, Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt

13 year-old Bethany Hamilton is a champion surfer who was born to be in the water. But after a fun night out night surfing and what should be a fun day in the water, she is attacked by a shark and loses her arm. Rushed to the hospital, she remains calm, and maintains her faith in God. Now she has to re-learn how to do everything with only one arm - including how to surf. It will take her friends, family, and her Christian faith to get her back into the water, but if that is where she is meant to be, she will find a way to get there.

Writers: Sean McNamara, Deborah Schwartz

AnnaSophia Robb - Bethany Hamilton
Helen Hunt - Cheri Hamilton
Dennis Quaid - Tom Hamilton
Lorraine Nicholson - Alana Blanchard
Kevin Sorbo - Holt Blanchard
Carrie Underwood - Sarah Hill
Ross Thomas - Noah Hamilton
Chris Brochu - Timmy Hamilton
Sonya Balmores - Malina Birch (as Sonya Balmores Chung)
Jeremy Sumpter - Byron
Craig T. Nelson - Dr. David Rovinksy
Branscombe Richmond - Ben Aipa
Cody Gomes - Keoki
Titus Kinimaka - Titus
John Philbin - Fuel T.V. reporter #2

Taglines: When you come back from a loss, beat the odds, and never say never, you find a champion.


Official Website: Official site | Official site [Japan] |

Release Date: 8 April 2011

Filming Locations: Hawaii, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $10,601,862 (USA) (10 April 2011) (2214 Screens)

Gross: $43,853,424 (USA) (17 July 2011)

Technical Specs

Runtime: USA:

Did You Know?

Bethany Hamilton's father said that David Zelon, an executive at Mandalay Pictures, lobbied to reduce the movie's Christian elements so the film could appeal more to non-Christian audiences. This included such elements as having the words "Holy Bible" digitally erased off the cover of a Bible that Dennis Quaid reads from in the movie; and a scripture verse quoted by Carrie Underwood being edited so as not to indicate its Biblical origin. After strong objections from the Hamilton family, these edits were restored.

Revealing mistakes: During one of the surfing scenes, post-injury, you can clearly see, for just a moment, the stunt-double for AnnaSophia drag her left hand into the wave behind her.

Bethany Hamilton: I don't need easy. I just need possible.

User Review

An Uplifting and Inspirational tale about turning Tragedy into Triumph.


Based on the true story of Bethany Hamilton, a 13 year old competitive surfer with big dreams and a courageous spirit. Coming from a family of surfers, riding the waves is all Bethany can dream about. But her dreams turn into a nightmare after a sudden shark attack takes her left arm and her hopes of ever surfing again.

Soul Surfer is an inspirational film for the entire family about overcoming obstacles and turning tragedy into triumph.

Filmed entirely in Hawaii, it offers some gorgeous cinematography and wonderful surf-action shots and features an all-star cast including Helen Hunt, Denis Quaid, Craig T Nelson and AnnaSophia Robb as Bethany, the teen titan with a heart of gold.

Soul Surfer is a well produced film, that leans heavily on it's soul-lifting story, stellar acting and a rocking soundtrack on a moderate budget. It's encouraging to see such big Hollywood names doing such inspirational family fare without the inflated-sized salary demands.

Helen Hunt and Dennis Quaid actually seem to be enjoying themselves alongside the rising talents of the young cast members, most notably AnnaSophia Robb, best remembered for her role in Bridge to Terabithia, Jumper and Because of Winn Dixie. AnnaSophia delivers a powerful and gripping performance that is sure to win your heart and leave you breathless as she struggles to overcome all odds. Carrie Underwood seems a bit misplaced as the youth pastor who comforts and encourages Bethany, but while her screen time is short, she proves that singing may not be her only talent.

For a film based on a true story, I got caught up in the action and well paced story-telling. I found myself entranced by and caring for each of the characters. When the shark attack scene unfolded, I found myself holding my breath and completely taken in by the film. A rare victory few films can achieve.

I admired the way the film presented Bethany's family and their Christian faith, being faithful to church and being such positive role models. But I was disappointed in the failed opportunity to present more biblical truth to a secular audience. Like many recent films being marketed to a Christian audience, the presented faith in Soul Surfer was played a bit too safe and generic to arouse any converts since it lacked in any gospel message, but if viewed with a Christan who knows how to use the film as a topic starter, it can be a great tool or ice breaker.

Another refreshing bonus was the lack of any profanity or sexuality, making it completely suitable and safe for viewing in a church or youth group setting.

I highly recommend this entertaining and uplifting film for the entire family.


Comments are closed.