Soul Surfer

Theatrical Release: April 8, 2011
DVD Release: August 2, 2011
Soul Surfer


Bethany (AnnaSophia Robb) was born to surf. A natural talent who took to the waves at a young age, she was leading an idyllic life on Kauai, participating in national surf competitions with her best friend Alana (Lorraine Nicholson), when everything changed. On Halloween morning, a 14-foot tiger shark came out of nowhere and seemed to shatter all her dreams.

Soul Surfer reveals Bethany’s fight to recover from her ordeal and how she grappled with the question of her future. Strengthened by the love of her parents, Tom (Dennis Quaid) and Cheri (Helen Hunt), and supported by her youth group leader Sara (Carrie Underwood), Bethany refuses to give in or give up, and begins a bold return to the water.

Dove Review

2011 Crystal Dove Seal Award Winner for Best Drama – Bethany Hamilton is one of the most amazing people we have come across in years; an avid surfer living in Hawaii who had her arm completely removed by a tiger shark when she was only 13 years old. This film, based on the true life story of Bethany’s experience, is one of few truly uplifting family films released by a major Hollywood studio in recent memory. The level of faith in God that Bethany and her family have is clearly portrayed in the film. Most of the story takes place on the water with incredible surfing scenes. (Real-life Bethany does all of the one-arm surfing in the film.)

This inspiring film is well-made and features a very convincing A-list cast; Helen Hunt, Dennis Quaid, Kevin Sorbo and Carrie Underwood. AnnaSophia Robb (Bridge to Terabithia) is spot on as Bethany.

Dove is pleased to award this moving inspirational story our “Family-Approved” Seal for all ages. Caution to parents of young children: there is a very quick scene of a shark attack.

Content Description

Faith: None
Integrity: None
Sex: Husband and wife kiss
Language: None
Violence: A young girl is bitten by a shark causing the loss of her arm - while the scene is not overly graphic, there is quite a lot of blood in the water after the attack.
Drugs: None
Nudity: Bikinis as typically worn by surfers are common throughout
Other: None


Company: Sony/Affirm Films
Director: Sean McNamara
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 106 min.
Reviewer: Scott Rolfe