DRIFT – Review

Two Brothers. One Dream. No Rules.


Morgan O’Neill and Ben Nott‘s DRIFT are an Australian surfer film set in the 1970s with picturesque shots of beaches and waves. Based on a true story, the movie falls prey to many of the standard Hollywood cliches:  a struggling business has run-ins with criminals and cops, the eventual romance and the all too necessary “evil” banker ready to swipe a lifetime of hard work and struggle at a moments notice. However, pair this with an amazing set of characters and stunning visuals results to a decent movie. I enjoyed the genre 70s story that is so adequately laid out. Top that with great music, laid-back surfer vibe and what you have is a film that you can wrap your mind around. For a near run-time of 2-hours, the action is slow at time. Pollard and Samuel have great onscreen brotherly chemistry. As a whole, the Kelly’s portray a realistic family unit that navigate their worse situations together.DRIFT 2013

The Kelly brothers Andy (Myles Pollard) and Jimmy (Xavier Samuel) relocate with their mother Kat (Robyn Malcolm) to a small town in Western Australia after escaping an abusive husband and father. Early in life, the brothers discovered that they both enjoy being near the ocean. As adults and with their mother’s help, they start their own surfing equipment business. While they try to expand their brand they face threats from local criminals, corrupt enforcement from the police, and failing relationships and romance.

The other supporting characters in the film–the featured gang that love to start trouble, serve as nothing more than pure caricatures. JB (Sam Worthington) serves as a great mentor archetype, offering wisdom when needed to the brothers and even when their unfortunate good friend Gus (Aaron Glenane) becomes addicted to drugs. The overall plot is a tad inconsistent, overwhelming, and at times tiring. As mentioned, visuals are the film’s strongest point. The cinematography is mind-blowing at times and especially when the brothers take to the waves.

Overall, Drift is an extremely well-made Australian production and audiences will be able to take something positive away from a “very 70s” viewing experience.


Drift took home Best Narrative Feature and Best Film of the Festival awards from the RINCON International film festival, as well as the Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking award from the Newport Beach Film Festival. DVD special features for Morgan O’Neill and Ben Nott’s DRIFT includes a behind-the-scenes cast and crew interviews, DVD featuring Digital ULTRAVIOLET. DVD closed captioned for the hearing impaired. English and Spanish subtitles. Presents in 16×9 widescreen (2.35:1) format. DVD 5.1 Dolby Digital audio. Total run-time 114 minutes.

Art and supplementary materials courtesy ©2013 of Lionsgate Home Entertainment. All rights reserved.

  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 3 stars
  • Good

  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: 2013-09-22

Review Summary:

In the 70s two brothers battle killer waves, conservative society and ruthless bikers to kick-start the modern surf industry.

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