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Chasing Mavericks; Photo by John P. Johnson

Popcorn Rating


Movie Info


PG for thematic elements and some perilous action


Drama, Sport


October 26, 2012


Gerard Butler, Jonny Weston, Elisabeth Shue, Abigail Spencer, Leven Rambin


Michael Apted, Curtis Hanson


20th Century Fox

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Review: Chasing Mavericks

By Hannah Goodwyn Senior Producer - Based on the true story of American surfer Jay Moriarity, Chasing Mavericks explores the depths of a young man's passion for surfing, the love he longs for, the value of joy and just how fleeting our time is on this Earth.

Starring Gerard Butler (500, Machine Gun Preacher) and newcomer Jonny Weston, as Jay, this new movie from 20th Century Fox is a feel-good, family-friendly flick. Unfortunately, though Chasing Mavericks thrills with some major wave riding (some of which is clearly done by Butler and Weston), the movie is, at times, slow.


Jay knew as a young boy that he was made to surf. Frosty Hesson, a big wave surfer Jay looked up to, needed some convincing when the teen asked to be taught how to surf Mavericks, gigantic waves off the coast of California. Persuaded by Jay's determination to take on the massive waves, the surfing veteran decides to mentor the newbie through a series of mental and physical exercises. What the two learn along the way goes beyond mastering the big surf.


Chasing Mavericks tells Jay Moriarity's story, but it's not just a movie about surfing. At its heart, the movie touches on themes of mentoring, the importance of fathers, the pain of loss and comfort of friends, and how perseverance and hard work can pay off. Getting all of that into one movie is not an easy task. And in some respects, this film tries to do too much.

The on-screen surfing action and heartfelt moments between Gerard Butler and Jonny Weston's characters make it worth seeing. Weston embodies Jay, fully committing to being the surfer the wave-riding community honors and respects to this day. Butler, as Jay's mentor, adds depth, pulling you in to experience the rise and fall of their story. The big wave action is impressive, especially considering the wipeout Butler had during filming that sent the actor to the hospital.

Rated PG for thematic elements and some perilous action, Chasing Mavericks doesn't contain overly offensive content. Safe for kids, this new movie from Walden Media (who brought us The Chronicles of Narnia and Amazing Grace) offers families good content at the theater.


With the tagline of “Legends start somewhere”, Chasing Mavericks sets out to tell the tale about one of surfing's greats. Is it a life-changing movie? Maybe not. Is it worth a watch? For sure.

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Hannah GoodwynHannah Goodwyn serves as the Entertainment producer for For more articles and information, visit Hannah's bio page.

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