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Soul Surfer (2011)

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Teenage surfer Bethany Hamilton overcomes the odds and her own fears of returning to the water after losing her left arm in a shark attack.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 12 more credits »
2,187 ( 78)
1 win & 12 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Malina Birch (as Sonya Balmores Chung)
Fuel TV Reporter #2


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. Written by napierslogs

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for an intense accident sequence and some thematic material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

8 April 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bangu medziotoja  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$10,601,862 (USA) (8 April 2011)


$43,853,424 (USA) (15 July 2011)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


AnnaSophia Robb and Dennis Quaid had to learn to surf for the movie, but Helen Hunt was already an amateur surfer. AnnaSophia trained with Bethany Hamilton's actual coach. See more »


When Bethany Hamilton is on the surf board in Thailand and Sarah Hill is watching, a slightly bald man is over her shoulder. The group of people (including the same man) walks over but in the next shot he is over her same shoulder again. See more »


Bethany Hamilton: I thought... I thought at least with clothes on, I could have two arms. That I could look normal.
Cheri Hamilton: Normal is so overrated.
Bethany Hamilton: But people like normal mom.
Cheri Hamilton: Who?
Bethany Hamilton: Guys do.
Cheri Hamilton: [takes a deep breath]
Bethany Hamilton: I mean who would even like me with this.
Cheri Hamilton: The right guy will love you, exactly the way you are. Because you're beautiful.
Bethany Hamilton: How do you know?
Cheri Hamilton: Because I know.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the ending credits, videos of the real Bethany Hamilton are shown, many of similar (or possibly the inspiration for) moments in the film. See more »


Featured in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #19.117 (2011) See more »


Hele On To Kauai
Written by Alfred Nobriga, Jr.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Real and Inspirational
11 April 2011 | by (Los Angeles, California) – See all my reviews

The film is awesome. In dealing with an event that involves going from one of the best situations on earth to one of the worst, this family's story shows what a true foundation can accomplish in dealing with life. Living on beautiful Kauai and enjoying a cool childhood, surfing, friends and family all cool - then bam. Many people would be crushed by her ordeal, but this story is one we all could learn from. With the right perspective nothing is impossible. Excellent surfing photography, the underwater shots were cool. AnnaSophia Robb, Dennis Quaid and Helen Hunt were perfect. The family just all worked together, from the brother's concern to the dad's creativity. Craig T Nelson was a cool example of the vibe of the people there, doing their jobs professionally, and being human. I like how the example of the competitive winner of the surf contests ended up being respected by Hamilton, for not 'going easy' on her. It's a cool lesson in not just being a hater, but looking at the bright side of a situation, and it was the beginning of respect shown later between the two. Bet it makes a lot of people think about what foundation Bethany Hamilton had to be such an example. Young or old, we could all learn from the Hamilton's. Thank you, makers of this film, for doing your fine work. Aloha

20 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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