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Chasing Mavericks


Latest Home Video

Feb 25, 2013

MPAA Rating:


Run Time:



Michael Apted

Curtis Hanson


Jonny Weston

Gerard Butler

Elisabeth Shue

Abigail Spencer


2012 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Official Website >>

Still shot from the movie: Chasing Mavericks.

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Reviewed by

Overall A-
Run Time117

Making the Grades

Those who know about real life surfer Jay Moriarty know how this movie ends. For those who don’t, I’m not giving it away. Despite criticism from some regions that this film doesn’t “capture” the true surfer dude, this film is well worth sitting through to see the outcome.

The movie portrays Jay’s (Jonny Weston) home life as troubled. Deserted by his father and left to parent a mother (Elizabeth Shue) that can barely function, Jay fends for himself remarkably well for an 8-year-old. Somehow he gets himself to the water and with the encouragement of a friend (Devin Crittenden) learns to surf.

Already an accomplished long boarder at age 15, Jay discovers one of the biggest waves on the planet is only miles from his home in Santa Cruz, California. But this isn’t the kind of wave one approaches unprepared. Determined to ride it, he asks his neighbor Frosty Hesson (Gerard Butler) to train him. Refusing as first, Frosty changes his mind when his long-suffering wife (Abigail Spencer) encourages him to step up and be the kind of father to Jay that he hasn’t been to his own daughter Roquet (Maya Raines).

Catching the big one may be where the story’s climax is headed, but the path to get there is what makes the journey significant. Jay doesn’t appear to be driven by the fame of winning, though a few trophies appear in his room. He loves to surf, pure and simple. And he loves the challenge of pursuing something that far exceeds his abilities when he begins training. Frosty’s involvement proves to be life changing for both of them as they are forced to face not only their fears in the water but in the rest of life.

Visually stunning images of huge waves crashing on the rocks give a sense of Mother Nature’s temperament on this shoreline. Like Jay’s film mom, she is anything but coddling or accommodating. And though some viewers might question the value of putting one’s life in peril for the sake of sport, who is to say what goals are worth pursuing. Eager to honor Jay Moriarty, seasoned surfers Greg Long, Peter Mel and Zach Wormhoudt, who consulted on the script as well as appeared as Frosty’s buddies, ensure the scenes’ accuracy.

While I can’t argue whether or not this movie captures the real surfer or even the real Jay Moriarty, Chasing Maverick’s speaks to the courage, tenacity and drive of one young athlete who overcomes a dysfunctional home life to achieve something great and the man who overcame his own issues to mentor him. That’s worth the price of tickets for me.

Discussion Ideas After The Movie

Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Chasing Mavericks.

Why is it seemingly easier for Frosty to be a father figure to Jay than to his own daughter? What role can caring adults play in the lives of children and teens that are not a part of their family? Why are positive role models important for children?

Why does Frosty’s training regime include more than just physically preparing for the big wave? What are his four pillars? What does Jay learn about himself along the way? What things does Frosty discover? How does Frosty put his own children ahead of his personal passion for surfing?

What is the difference between fear and panic according to this script? Why does Frosty want Jay to confront his fears? Are there fears that are not easy to admit to?

To learn more about the real Jay Moriarity, check here:

Trailers & Clips

Canadian Movie Ratings

ON PG Not Recommended for Young Children.

Canadian Home Video Rating: PG

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Details on home video releases of Chasing Mavericks...

Home Video Notes: Chasing Mavericks

Release Date: 26 February 2013

Chasing Mavericks releases to home video (DVD and Blu-ray) with th following extras:

- Deleted Scenes: Frosty and Jay Paddle, Jay Plays the Bills, Power of Money, Jay Laments.

- Surf City

- Shooting Waves

- Live Like Jay

- Surfer Zen

- Commentary from Director Michael Apted and Writers Brandon Hooper and Jim Meenaghan

- Ultraviolet

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Danielle says: Nov. 07, 2012

Loved this film! Saw it with a girlfriend but will definitely take my 10 and 9 year-old boys to see it. Very good messages included here regarding discipline, safety and being prepared for life. Additionally helping other people and kids having positive adult role models in their lives that they can trust. I don’t get the D- rating re; drugs/alcohol. Yes, drug dealing is shown but it is portrayed negatively. In one scene the boy threw out his mom’s alcoholic drink after smelling it. The drug activity by the boy’s friend was frowned upon by the boy himself, even when he was under peer pressure. I think this is a good lesson for our kids. Who needs drugs when you can get a natural high off competing in athletics? It also depicts how to tell your friend he’s ruining his life with drugs. I give this movie an A!

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