Skateboarding movies have become more popular with the public than with reviewers throughout the years.
Skateboarding is a risky street activity that gained popularity in the 1970s, yet outstanding skateboarding movies are hard to come by. For the most part, narrative films in this category don’t achieve the same level of authenticity as their documentary counterparts.
Real-life professional skaters often star in or serve as executive producers or technical consultants in the dramatized versions that have the greatest impact. Despite this, the general public is more likely to enjoy skate films than reviewers have been in the past.
Kristen Palamara updated the article on January 19th, 2021.
Skateboarding movies continue to be popular among moviegoers. Sports movies in this category tend to be a little more dramatic than the norm, making them stand out from the rest. There are also a great number of documentary films on skateboarding that have been made either about the professional skateboarding industry or about individual skaters, but there are also fictitious films about skateboarding. Both the fictional and the documentary versions have received excellent reviews, indicating that this is a popular genre.
1. Slam (2016) 6.0
Slamis, an Italian Netflix original film, tells the story of two teens who fall in love.
Samuel aspires to be a professional skater and is doing everything he can to make that a reality. A chance encounter with Alice changes Samuel’s plans to move to California to pursue a career as a skateboarder. When Alice becomes pregnant, Samuel has second thoughts about his decision.
2. Wassup Rockers (2005) 6.0
An exclusive group of Los Angeles-based Latino skateboarders, Wassup Rockers is determined to have a good time no matter what happens, including encounters with the authorities. The Ramones have a huge influence on the group, and they aim to live their lives in a similar way to the band while also including their love of skating.
3. Grind (2003) 6.0
Featuring Casey La Scala, Grind follows a group of amicable amateur skaters as they follow their favorite skateboarding idol on his summer tour in the hopes of getting a professional endorsement deal. One setback after another halts their journey, including a rejection from the manager of the idol they’re trying to impersonate.
4. Street Dreams (2009) 6.2
In the 2009 film Street Dreams, Paul Rodriguez, a professional skater, plays Derrick Cabrera, an amateur skater from the Midwest who dreams of making it big in the sport. Skating with his buddies is the one place Derrick feels at ease after being isolated by family and classmates who don’t understand his true passion. To get his skateboarding abilities noticed, Derrick works on the one unique feat that will make him famous, but not before he has an argument with his idol.
5. Gleaming The Cube (1989) 6.3
Gleaming the Cube stars Christian Slater as Brian Kelly, a radical skateboarder who transforms his life after the murder of his half-brother Vinh (Art Chudabala).
Brian and his vast group of friends spend their days skateboarding empty pools, half-pipe ramps, and abandoned warehouses. When his brother Vinh is murdered by the government, he goes on a grief-stricken spiral in which he vows to find out who is responsible for his killing.
6. Paranoid Park (2007) 6.7
Paranoid Park, a murder mystery involving a young skateboarder named Alex (Gabe Nevins) after the strange death of a security guard, with Gus Van Sant’s typical visual flourishes. Alex jumps on a train to get to Eastside Skatepark illegally (aka Paranoid Park). Alex uses his skateboard to smack a stranger as a warning when security notices him boarding. The man, on the other hand, falls from the train and is severly injured, prompting Detective Richard Lu to question him for several hours (Daniel Liu).
7. Thrashin’ (1986) 6.7
In Thrashin’, a film about a teenage skater who is desperate to win an organized competition while defeating a rival gang, Josh Brolin reprised his role as the leading man one year after acting in The Goonies.
Teenager Corey Webster (Brolin) travels to Los Angeles with his buddies with the goal of competing and winning at a downhill skating tournament. He is from the Midwest. Pamela Gidley) is the younger sister of gang rival Hook, and she quickly wins his heart (Robert Rusler). Corey’s tenacity and the tenacity of his gang, “The Ramp Locals,” lead to a titanic battle.
8. Skate Kitchen (2018) 6.8
There has been a welcome shift in the traditionally male-dominated subgenre with Skate Kitchen, the list’s most recent addition. Camille (Rachelle Vinberg) is a shy and lonesome youngster who comes of age while skating with her new female companions in New York City. Camile’s life takes a turn for the better when she meets Devon (Jaden Smith), a cool skater from another crew, and becomes romantically interested in him.
9. Lords Of Dogtown (2005) 7.1
As a former professional skateboarder and filmmaker Stacy Peralta captures the growth of surfing and skateboarding subcultures in Venice and Santa Monica during the 1970s.
The Z-Boys, a group of pioneering skaters who honed their skills in the backyards of unsuspecting homeowners in Los Angeles, are the subject of Catherine Hardwicke’s latest film, Thirteen and Twilight. As a pioneering surfer and skater, Skip Engblom, Heath Ledger’s portrayal of him received amazing accolades from critics and audiences alike.
10. Waiting For Lightning (2012) 7.3
Danny Way, a professional figure skater, is the subject of the documentary Waiting for Lightning. Throughout the film, several elite skaters including Tony Hawk make appearances to discuss the skating industry. Following Danny Way’s life and profession, the film ends with his attempt to scale the Great Wall of China in 2005.
11. Mid90s (2018) 7.4
Coming of age narrative about a Los Angeles teenager in the 1990s depicted in the film Mid90s. When Stevie isn’t juggling his turbulent home life with his new circle of friends, he’s doing his best to navigate the teen years. Summer of Stevie follows him as he struggles to reconcile his home life with his newfound skateboarding friendships, which he meets at a local skate store.
12. Dogtown And Z-Boys (2001) 7.7
It’s based on Stacy Peralta’s 2001 documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys, which was written and directed by the same person. The video depicts the rise of surfing and skating subcultures in the Dogtown district of Santa Monica, California, in the 1970s, much like its dramatized counterpart. Famous skaters from the era are on hand to speak about their memories of the event, including Tony Alva, Steve Cabellero, Jay Adams, and more.
13. All This Mayhem (2014) 7.9
Tas and Ben Pappas, two professional skaters, are featured in All This Mayhem, a documentary on the darker side of the skateboarding industry, which focuses on and tells their narrative. The brothers’ personality and closeness make them popular skaters with the fans.. Their ascent to stardom and eventual demise is depicted in the film through drug abuse and self-destructive actions.
14. Bones Brigade: An Autobiography (2012) 8.1
The Bones Brigade: An Autobiography, Stacy Peralta’s follow-up to Dogtown and Z-Boys, was a fan favorite for a decade. In the 1980s, six teenage skaters formed the Bones Brigade, which is the subject of the film. For decades, skateboarding has been influenced by this team’s pioneering efforts, which are depicted in this documentary.
15. Minding The Gap (2018) 8.1
Award-winning documentary film Minding the Gap received a Best Documentary Feature nomination from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Oscars) in 2019. Skating provides a safe haven for the film’s three protagonists, but the movie is truly about their families and how responsibilities and maturity threaten to sever their connection. Also included in the film are two other skaters who were also nominated for Primetime Emmys: Keire Johnson and Zack Mulligan.