Riding Giants
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With the documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys, skater-cum-filmmaker Stacy Peralta introduced viewers to the history of the West Coast skateboarding culture and made a huge splash at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival, taking home both the Documentary Directing Award and the Documentary Audience Award. For this follow-up effort, Peralta leaves the land for the sea, focusing his lens on the world of surfing. Narrated by Sean Penn, just as Dogtown and Z-Boys was, Riding Giants attempts to trace the origins of surfing and also explore the growth and progress of surf culture. Among the surfing luminaries… 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