Riding Giants
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A semi-serious, often rollicking, multigenerational insider's look at the origins of surfing, the colorful and subversive birth of surf culture, and the mythology and lure of the "big wave." This passionate and fluid film is the first authentic history of surfing from its humble Hawaiian beginnings to the big business it became to the still-rebellious universe it inhabits today. "Riding Giants" is a study in individuality and freedom, the pursuit and techniques of pure kinetic pleasure, and the risk taking and attitudes that characterize its leading figures. For some… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"This is vicarious cinema at its best."
‑ Bill Stamets, Chicago Reader
"Before seeing Riding Giants, my ideas about surfing were formed by the Gidget movies, Endless Summer, the Beach Boys, Elvis and lots of TV commercials. ... Riding Giants is about altogether another reality."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Lively look at big wave surfing."
‑ Beth Pratt, Common Sense Media
"At its heart, Riding Giants is a work of pure joy."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Through gently panned-over photos (one of many debts to Burns) and home-movie footage, Peralta traces the graceful arc of the sport, its culture, and its icons."
‑ Blake DePastino, Baltimore City Paper
"It's all pretty swanky."
‑ , Time Out
"Peralta has a knack for taking a niche sport and drawing out its universal appeal."
‑ Allison Benedikt, Chicago Tribune
"Just short of dropping you into the ocean with a surfboard, Riding Giants serves as the definitive (and immersive) guide to the essence of all that is surfing.""
‑ Jay Antani, Cinema Writer
"Easily bearing comparison with Bruce Brown's seminal The Endless Summer, this stands as the second-best surf documentary ever made."
‑ Adam Smith, Empire Magazine
"...an enjoyable, well-paced look at the discovery and evolution of big wave riding"
‑ Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"Instead of weighing the film down with spaced-out surfer-dude quotes, director Stacy Peralta traces the sport's origins back to the ancient Hawaiians."
‑ Bill Muller, Arizona Republic
"There's no denying that much of this is spectacular."
‑ Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press
"This even more exhilarating documentary focuses more on the history of the sport."
‑ Mark Halverson, Sacramento News & Review
"Peralta has a great sense of pacing and a good eye for B-roll footage."
‑ Ethan Alter, NYC Film Critic
"Wonderfully entertaining while being genuinely educational."
‑ Emily Blunt, Blunt Review
More reviews for Riding Giants on Rotten Tomatoes