‘Soul Surfer:’ Great movie for the whole family?

For the past couple of years, people have been recommending I see “Soul Surfer,” the real life story of champion girl surfer, Bethany Hamilton, who resurrected her career after her arm was bit off by a shark.


I delayed seeing the movie because I wasn’t sure at what age my kids would be ready to see a shark attack. I remember being traumatized by “Jaws,” and it’s hard enough to get them in the ocean. But I was in a store– I think it was Office Depot– and there was the DVD, and I bought it.

I told my oldest daughter Bethany’s story, she is 10, and planned to watch it with her. My husband, who is into surfing, sat down with us. My two younger daughters, usually not interested in what my 10 year old is watching, couldn’t resist seeing their parents captivated by something and joined the party.

I love the movie. It’s all about competition, winning, excelling, resilience, faith, and love. The montage at the end showing real life Bethany Hamilton will make you cry. It is so amazing. Here she is in real life.


But watching the montage won’t be the first time you cry during this movie. My babysitter texted me when my kids were seeing it for the third time: “I’m in tears!”

So what age do I recommend “Soul Surfer” for? My 4 year old daughter can’t get enough of the movie. Her favorite part is the shark attack– which is very quick. I actually think it’s scarier waiting for the attack then the actual attack. My 7 year old daughter kept glaring at me through the whole movie, furious that I “made” her watch it, but she never left the couch. She has watched it twice since but says she hates it. My 10 year old daughter likes it as well, but not as much as my 4 year old. I don’t really know what to say, except to tell you our experience. “Soul Surfer” is the first movie that my whole family has watched together, fro beginning to end, and all of us were into it. That was so much fun, by the way. I loved everyone sitting together, watching a movie. It is the best feeling.

Reel Girl rates “Soul Surfer” ***HHH***