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The Z-Boys, mostly kids with rough home lives and rougher attitudes became sensations, local legends. They transferred the aggressive wave-riding moves to concrete. They turned empty pools into the genesis of today's "extreme sports."
Drama Action - This is a youth-centered drama about the legendary '70s
skateboarding team of the Z-Boys, but there isn't a whole lot of
skateboarding action. There is a lot of drinking and raunchiness
(albeit PG-13) among teen characters, however.
PROFANITY: 25 S-words, a number of others. SEX/NUDITY: Clothed teen fooling around. VIOLENCE: Fighting/brawling. DRUGS/ALCOHOL: Alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana by teens. ACTION: Skateboard action; foot chases. COMEDY: Some comic situations and dialogue.
The above rating is an average of the critic reviews below.
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Berardinelli, Internet CriticFull Review Average Inept storytelling is one of "Lords of Dogtown's" great frustrations. Subplots are dropped. Romances start up, then vanish. Betrayals occur without consequences. There's a sense that more than half of the narrative was either left on the cutting room floor or never filmed. What's left is less a cohesive story than a series of episodes to propel the characters from point A to point B - and the destination doesn't impress. We end up with a manipulative denouement that is supposed to make us feel something. Unfortunately, since the character at the center of the melodrama is so poorly developed, the most heartfelt reaction Hardwicke elicits is a shrug.
Roger EbertFull Review Average Not only is there no need for this movie, but its weaknesses underline the strength of the doc. How and why Peralta found so much old footage of skateboarding in 1975 is a mystery, but he was able to give us a good sense of those kids at that time. Although Catherine Hardwicke, the director of "Lords of Dogtown," has a good sense for the period and does what she can with her actors, we've seen the originals, and these aren't the originals. Nobody in the fiction film pulls off stunts as spectacular as those we see for real in the documentary.
USA TodayFull Review Good Hardwicke (director) is a comer, and her storytelling has the rawness required. But it's legitimate to ask how necessary this movie is when Z-Boys (with a second, expanded DVD just out) spun the yarn so well. Still, the skating scenes are their own reward: It's hard to think of a movie since 1950's Sunset Boulevard that has gotten more dramatic impact out of a pool.
Note: The rating
above is our interpretation of what the critic would give this movie based on
their review. We are not affiliated with these critic's in any way.
OPINION OVERVIEW The following is the original "What's Worth
Watching" write-up for this movie.
We collected 52 moviegoer opinions. These aren't great opinions but they certainly aren't bad. Around two-thirds of most groups truly enjoyed "Lords of Dogtown" rating it "very good" or higher. As could be expected teen males rated it extremely high. It's certainly a movie they enjoyed. For everyone else, I believe this movie will appeal mainly to skate board fans, which is certainly no surprise, but it may also appeal to those who enjoy stories based on true life.
The tough, gritty streets of "Dogtown" in Venice, California didn't look like much to outsiders, but to a handful of teenage surfers (Stacy Peralta, Tony Alva and Jay Adams) in the 1970s they were the hard, winding, sloping inspiration for a revolutionary style of skateboarding. Transferring the aggressive wave-riding moves to concrete from their death-defying surfing skills at the Pacific Ocean Park pier, the Z-Boys - mostly kids with rough home lives and rougher attitudes - became sensations, local legends. They were freestyle wizards on urethane wheels, turning empty pools into arenas of wild, beautiful athleticism, the genesis of today's "extreme sports." Skating competitions didn't know what to make of them, girls threw themselves at them, and suddenly marketers and promoters wanted to grab a piece of them and what was fast becoming a worldwide counterculture phenomenon. But would the friendships of this tightly knit group last as a teenage pastime turned into big business, and energetic personalities became out-of-control celebrities?