Critic Reviews



Based on 35 critic reviews provided by
Entertainment Weekly
Lords of Dogtown is a docudrama, rare in its grit and authenticity, that also strives for the mythical youth-rebel excitement of something like "8 Mile."
Hardwicke whips up a frenzy of crazy-cool board action, with Alva choreographing the stunts. Even when the slippery-slope-of-success cliches halt the film's momentum, the ready-to-rock actors rev it up again.
Peralta uses the creative liberties of fiction to focus on the one thing he couldn't convey in his historical record -- the sense of tribalism among skateboarders, who live by a code that most law-abiding citizens misunderstand for hooliganism.
The skating scenes are their own reward: It's hard to think of a movie since 1950's "Sunset Boulevard" that has gotten more dramatic impact out of a pool.
The movie is like a daydream, and it's most infectious when the characters are in motion or misbehaving, which is often.
Philadelphia Inquirer
The film doesn't hold together in any compelling way.
New York Post
The story meanders from competition to competition (up the ramps, down the ramps) and seems like it could end at any point. The characters are similarly underdeveloped.
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
So the questions arises: Why bother watching the contrived fiction when the eye-popping fact is readily available? Answer: Why, indeed.
The Hollywood Reporter
Takes a surprisingly gritty approach that gives the material some gravitas but also robs it of some of its fun.
Wall Street Journal
If Lords of Dogtown accomplishes nothing else, it shows how hard writing a fiction film can be, and what a vast artistic distance can stand between a bad fiction film and the first-rate documentary that inspired it.
New York Daily News
A tormented dramatization of the exact same events, and it's as bad as the earlier film ("Dogtown and Z-Boys") was good.

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