"Soul Surfer" hits it off with a splash. AnnaSophia Robb plays Bethany Hamilton, the teenage surfer who lost her arm in a shark attack. This movie is based on a real-life story and stays pretty true to it.
Bethany Hamilton wins all her competitions in her home surf around Hawaii. She is homeschooled along with her best friend, Alana Blanchard (Lorraine Nicholson), who also is a good surfer. Bethany's loving and supporting parents are played by Helen Hunt and Dennis Quaid. Her two older brothers are played by Chris Brochu and Ross Thomas. All five Hamiltons are die-hard surfers -- it's all they do.
One day while surfing with Alana and her family, Bethany is attacked by a shark and loses her arm. It's a miracle she survives. Now she and her family struggle to cope with her disability. Bethany desperately wants to get back in the water, but finds out that's easier said than done.
The movie mainly focuses on Bethany, her family, how they deal with losing an arm, and, of course, surfing. This incredible story will move you to tears. All the actors were believable and worked well together. My only complaint is that the script is exceptionally cheesy and filled with clichés.
My initial reaction was that it was a great story but not a very well done film. A day later, I couldn't stop thinking about how badly I wanted to see it again. Everyone can watch this movie and enjoy it. This is a terrific family movie for all ages. I give "Soul Surfer" an 8 out of 10 for its likable characters, great acting and tremendously moving story.
Katherine Grace Marra is a sophomore at Weston High School who reviews films from a teen's perspective on her blog, www.katherinegracem.tumblr.com .
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