7.0/10
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141 user 114 critic

Soul Surfer (2011)

Trailer
2:20 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Sean McNamara

Writers:

Sean McNamara (screenplay), Deborah Schwartz (screenplay) | 12 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
3,778 ( 171)
2 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
AnnaSophia Robb ... Bethany Hamilton
Helen Hunt ... Cheri Hamilton
Dennis Quaid ... Tom Hamilton
Carrie Underwood ... Sarah Hill
Kevin Sorbo ... Holt Blanchard
Ross Thomas ... Noah Hamilton
Chris Brochu ... Timmy Hamilton
Lorraine Nicholson ... Alana Blanchard
Jeremy Sumpter ... Byron Blanchard
Sonya Balmores ... Malina Birch (as Sonya Balmores Chung)
Craig T. Nelson ... Dr. Rovinsky
Cody Gomes ... Keoki
Branscombe Richmond ... Ben Aipa
Titus Kinimaka ... Titus
John Philbin ... Fuel TV Reporter #2
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The real Bethany Hamilton was 13 when she was attacked, but the actress Annasophia Robb who plays her was 16 in the movie. See more »

Goofs

When Bethany's father shows her all the board sizes she has to try and begins with the larger one, when she is on the beach she is wearing a small bikini bottom. When she goes in the water she is wearing shorts. When she comes out of the water, she is wearing bikini bottoms again. See more »

Quotes

Bethany Hamilton: [Bethany begins to cry over her missing arm] You know how you said it's hard to see things clearly sometimes, when you're too close? Well, I've been trying to get some perspective, I'm literally trying. Sarah... how could this be God's plan for me? I don't understand.
Sarah Hill: I don't know why terrible things happen to us sometimes. But I have to believe that something good is going to come out of this.
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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 »

Connections

Featured in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #19.119 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Set the World on Fire
Written by Britt Nicole, Cindy Morgan and Jason Ingram
Performed by Britt Nicole
Courtesy of Sparrow Records
Under license from EMI Film & Television Music
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User Reviews

 
A wonderful story for the whole family
9 April 2011 | by bjonesSee all my reviews

When a film is based upon such a widely known story it's a real challenge for film makers to do justice to both the original story and to an audience who expect to be entertained. I feel they delivered on both counts. So, thank you.

Of course, the core of the story is the terrible shark attack that happened to Bethany Hamilton. That kind of thing is universally thought to be so horrific that merely surviving at all would be a triumph of human will. But Bethany Hamilton transcended that by leaps and bounds to become an international icon for what it means to be courageous in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds. Her courage, strength, perseverance, dedication, work ethic, professionalism and just plain bare faith have become a model for success to a large number of people all over the world. She has justly earned every accolade, every compliment and every success that I feel sure she feels privileged to have received. Oh, and she's gorgeous too.

With that incredible young woman's story as the fodder for the film it was a walk in the park for the film makers. All they had to do was tell the truth and let the facts speak for themselves. But that is something Hollywood has a lot of trouble doing. But this simple formula seems to be what they did, and did masterfully. The setting for the film is one of the most breathtaking on earth, so that was easy to enjoy. The cinematography was excellent as was, of course, the special CGI effects. Makeup and costuming didn't have much of a stretch, letting the beauty of the islands, its people and the athleticism, beauty and youth of the principal actors deliver what artificiality never could.

The cast was well chosen with the petite AnnaSophia Robb as Bethany Hamilton and Lorraine Nicholson as Bethany's lifelong friend Alana Blanchard. Much of the story centered on these two girls so it was a lot for them to carry. I can imagine how it must have been difficult for Robb to try to give credence to a part depicting someone who is so genuinely bigger than life - even legendary. I think she did a terrific job. I was taken in by watching her nuances of emotion throughout the film. She's no rookie but this was a real challenge that she met with talent and grace.

Nicholson was a perfect fit as Hamilton's friend; adding a few smiles to the tension we all certainly felt watching the story unfold. Real friendships should never be underplayed and she came across as a solid, loving friend to Bethany. Then Helen Hunt as Bethany's mother Cheri Hamilton and Dennis Quaid as her father Tom Hamilton both did outstanding work, but that's what I've come to expect from them. I think I'd be genuinely shocked if either of them ever did poorly in any role. They were ably backed by Kevin Sorbo as Alana's father Holt Blanchard and Craig T. Nelson as Dr. Rovinksy, Bethany's attending physician. All of them made the film that much better and I enjoyed every minute each was on screen. Perhaps the most interesting to me is watching Quaid. He's become quite a versatile and talented actor.

Last but not least was Carrie Underwood as Sarah Hill. This is the first time I've seen her do any acting and I can say she did a terrific job. I really liked her playing the part of someone who was so important to Bethany's success and she did so with genuine warmth and friendliness.

I was very well entertained as was everyone who attended the screening with me. I left the theater with the thought that I wish much success to the film - it's a masterful character tale for all young people the world over - and ever increasing success to Bethany Hamilton herself. She deserves no less.

By Bruce L. Jones http://webpages.charter.net/bruce.jones1/


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 April 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Soul Surfer See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,601,862, 10 April 2011

Gross USA:

$43,853,424

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$47,120,948
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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