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Surfer, Dude (2008)

R  |   |  Comedy  |  5 September 2008 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.7/10 from 7,080 users   Metascore: 16/100
Reviews: 37 user | 26 critic | 6 from

A wave twisting tale of a soul searching surfer experiencing an existential crisis.



, (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Brillo Murphy (as Zach Knighton)
April-May (as KD Aubert)
Technical Director


Steve Addington is the world's preeminent surfer - cool, laid back, stoned, shirtless and barefoot, living off endorsements for surfboards and trunks, paid in cash. In Malibu his endorsement contract has been bought by Eddie Zarno, a surfer turned businessman who wants Steve to record his moves for an electronic virtual reality game. Steve just wants to surf. While Zarno tries to change Steve's mind, the Pacific goes calm - there are no waves for days on end. Steve's attracted to Danni, recently fired by Zarno, but the lack of surfing drains him. Plus, he's low on dough. Will he sign with Zarno, get paid, and lose his self-respect? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


"love and waves, that's what we need in these dark days."



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive drug use, language and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

5 September 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Conquistando las olas  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$5,971 (USA) (5 September 2008)


$36,497 (USA) (12 September 2008)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The hearse driven by surfers and carrying surfboards is likely a tribute to mid 20th century big wave surfing pioneers who drove such a vehicle. See more »


Baker Smith: Herb will get you through times with no money, better than money will get you through times with no herb.
See more »


Virgin Lust
Written by Jonathan Mulkey, Aaron Anderson, Randy Bray
Performed by Higore
Produced by David Bindler
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

it's not bad, it's not good... it's harmless surfer fluff for the whole stoner family
14 July 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I rarely do this, and I either feel vindicated or embarrassed doing it, but I went into Surfer, Dude prepared to not like it at all. Matter of fact, I rented the movie (from my library on a 25 cent charge) with the intent to have a good laugh at it, and maybe get in with my wife on a Mystery Science Theater 3000 style poke-and-jab job. As it turned out, by the near of the end of its slim 82 minute running time, we felt the same way: it's not hate-worthy. It's simply too filled with well-intentions to simply stomp and kick the crap out of. While one can argue a lot of misplaced ego-trips go that way (i.e. M. Night Shyamalan) I didn't really sense hubris or too much faulty technical craft going on.

It's simply what it appears to be: a bunch of surfer dudes, and I include in that group the filmmakers and McConaughey, got together after many years of prep (you read that right, many years, like seven according to the DVD making-of) and made a movie for themselves, and the California surfer community. Indeed there's been a minor cult that has risen in California around the movie; screenings spring up with masses of dirty and stoned surfers trudging into the theater ready to soak up the waves. At least, that's my assumption having never been to the California surfing community nor a surfer's cult movie screening. I can't help but wonder if it was for the 'plot' or the 'comedy'.

So why isn't the movie hateful? For one thing, for all of his incessant I-don't-need-to-wear-a-shirt-ness, McConaughey is a likable guy as Steve, a guy who has a craving for a wave, all the time, every time it's possible. There is not much conflict to speak of except this: either Steve rides the wave, or he doesn't, and for much of Surfer, Dude he actually doesn't ride waves but rather try and fend off a corporate leech that wants to sign him up for a reality TV show gig. That's basically the whole movie. Oh, and Willie Nelson shows up as a goat farmer who smokes lots of doobs (of course), and Woody Harrelson pops up from time to time as a, uh, manager of sorts who smokes a lot of doobs (of course) and is sometimes hard to differentiate from McConaughey if not for the shirt situation and, uh, other actors like Jack's father on Lost.

Here's what it comes down to: there are plenty of totally cringe-worthy moments, scenes where laughs are attempted and fall flat, and some lazy cinematography and music and a story that is so easy to read through you know who every character is and what their destination will be within ten seconds of seeing him or her (and that goes for miss wannabe Baywatch star too). And yet, it's also a laid back movie for a niche crowd that doesn't try to please to audiences that aren't meant for it. Maybe I wasn't meant for it either, and I do like some of these actors and comedies with stoners and surfing and waves and uh virtual reality plots hatched by... oh what the hell, it's a retarded puppy of modern movies. It may be stupid, but it's still a puppy!

7 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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