Critic Reviews



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Chasing Mavericks is made with more care and intelligence than many another film starting with its template might have been. It's better than most movies targeted at teens. And the cinematography of the big Mavericks scene by Oliver Euclid and Bill Pope is so frightening that you sort of understand why Frosty stays on the shore, watching Jay with binoculars.
Chasing Mavericks may treat its characters with a little too much reverence, but it gives its titular subject its awe-inspiring due.
Chasing Mavericks manages to sufficiently overcome the obstacles with admittedly affecting results.
If you've seen the 2006 Nick Nolte vehicle "Peaceful Warrior," then you've pretty much already seen this. Capturing the essence of surfing – or any sport, for that matter – is more often than not a fool's errand. A more fitting tribute to Moriarty's legacy? Go buy a board and hit the deep blue yourself.
Come for the surfing. Stay for the sainthood.
The footage itself, particularly of the surf, is spectacular, with veteran cinematographer Bill Pope handling the camerawork. But the drama is soggy, overreaching for the heartfelt and overdoing the inspirational.
Ultimately the story of Jay Moriarity, who died tragically in a diving accident at 22, is a moving one, and he deserved a better tribute than this film.
It doesn't help that the characters have so little to them. Weston plays Moriarty as such an unfailingly good, temptation-free kid that he only needs a halo floating above his pre-Raphaelite curls to complete the picture.
Slant Magazine
The filmmakers' kinship to Moriarity is obvious, and it makes for a tone of unflinching hope and optimism, though it leaves little room for grit or nuance.
As it turns out, the only truly interesting element about this clichéd surfer flick is that it was made by celebrated directors Michael Apted and Curtis Hanson.

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