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Based on 20 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( 0 )
  • 75
    Peter Hartlaub San Francisco Chronicle

    Presents an almost fawning portrait of the doctor-turned-surfer. show more

  • 80
    Joe Morgenstern Wall Street Journal

    As you watch Doc Paskowitz perform for Mr. Pray's camera, it's hard not to judge him harshly. His narcissism seems boundless, even when he cloaks it in self-deprecation. show more

  • 88
    Steven Rea Philadelphia Inquirer

    Pray has a great story here, but it's much more than just "The Brady Bunch's Endless Summer." show more

  • 60
    Elizabeth Weitzman New York Daily News

    Pray unfolds the family's story with patience and skill, making it both a compliment and a complaint to say that he leaves us wanting to know much more. show more

  • 70
    Michael Rechtshaffen The Hollywood Reporter

    While the archival footage is fun, it's ultimately those bittersweet recollections of his equally energetic wife and adult children that give Surfwise its compelling edge. show more

  • 75
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    What are we to make of this existence? Doc sees himself a messiah of surfing, clean living and healthy exercise. We might be more inclined to see him as a narcissistic monster, ruling his big family with an iron fist. show more

  • 75
    Chicago Tribune

    The film is a restrained, straightforward report about an iconoclastic family whose pain and dysfunction play out against a backdrop of tumbling ocean waves, muscular surfers and golden sunsets. show more

  • 75
    Maitland McDonagh TV Guide

    Chalk up another family for Leo Tolstoy and Philip Larkin file: The Paskowitz family is unhappy in its own unique way and mum and dad f**cked them up -- they didn't mean to, but they did. show more

  • 75
    Wesley Morris Boston Globe

    The movie feels exhaustive in its loaded 90-something minutes, showing and telling us much while leaving the meaning of the tangles and twists in this family open to interpretation. For once, the tip of the iceberg is enough. show more

  • 78
    Kimberley Jones Austin Chronicle

    Pray maintains a steadfastly objective viewpoint, and it's a testament to his film's success that it can accommodate the audience's inevitably shifting allegiances from one family member to the next. show more

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