Soul Surfer | Chicago Reader

Soul Surfer

Bethany Hamilton, a promising surfer from Kauai, nearly died in 2003 after a shark bit off her left arm, and her memoir inspired this biopic. AnnaSophia Robb (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) is too subdued as the teenage heroine; one might expect more affect from a young woman fighting to overcome disability and return to competitive surfing. Hamilton's recovery was spurred by her Christian faith and the loving support of not only her parents (Dennis Quaid, a strong Helen Hunt) but the leader of her church group (Carrie Underwood). There's plenty of God talk here, but it's counterbalanced by the big surfing sequences (for which Hamilton performed some of the stunts). Disney Channel veteran Sean McNamara directed.



  • Sean McNamara


  • AnnaSophia Robb
  • Helen Hunt
  • Dennis Quaid
  • Lorraine Nicholson
  • Carrie Underwood
  • Sonya Balmores
  • Kevin Sorbo
  • Ross Thomas
  • Cody Gomes
  • Arlene Asperen
  • Irie Driscoll


  • David Zelon
  • Douglas Schwartz
  • Dutch Hofstetter
  • David Brookwell
  • Sean McNamara
  • David Tice
  • Dominic Ianno

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