(1993)

Critic Reviews

79

Metascore

Based on 14 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
Free Willy (for some strange reason, that tiny imperative just gives me the giggles) is a family picture that stays safely within the haven of a cozy formula, yet does a whole lot of inventive work in the process.
100
An astute, intelligent family picture, the film is a potent reminder that you can have your heart in the right place and still produce a gripping, satisfying entertainment.
90
Los Angeles Times
There's a muscular sincerity to this movie, a power and spread to its imagery that triumphs over the occasional candied purple patches or strained plot twists. [16 Jul 1993 Pg. F1]
88
The movie is sure to be appealing to younger viewers (they may find it more accessible and certainly less frightening than "Jurassic Park"), and it's smart enough to keep older viewers involved, too.
67
Entertainment Weekly
It's an irony too significant to ignore that the movie, which proselytizes against penning up whales in order to make them do cute tricks for humans, spends much of its time making Willy do cute tricks for humans.
63
USA Today
The film does what it can to dramatize the bond, but Richter has a disproportionate acting load because his co-star's emoting is below the water line. Happily, he carries it. [16 Jul 1993 Pg. 08.D]
63
Shamelessly manipulative and heavyhanded, it may be an endurance test for those not absolutely entranced by large aquatic mammals.
63
ReelViews
This is one of those unusual films that is capable of enthralling those under twelve while not sending older members of the audience rushing for the exit.
60
Empire
Despite a cliched plot and some ropey performances, this is still a well-made and entertaining children's film.
50
It's all pretty involving and sweetly ingratiating in a Charlotte's Web-by kind of way.

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