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The Cove (2009)

PG-13  |   |  Documentary, Crime  |  7 August 2009 (USA)
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Using state-of-the-art equipment, a group of activists, led by renowned dolphin trainer Ric O'Barry, infiltrate a cove near Taijii, Japan to expose both a shocking instance of animal abuse and a serious threat to human health.



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Won 1 Oscar. Another 36 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Himself (as Ric O'Barry)
Hardy Jones ...
Michael Illiff ...
Joji Morishita ...
Ian Campbell ...
Himself (as Captain Paul Watson)
Doug DeMaster ...
Dave Rastovich ...
Himself / Surfer
Hayato Sakurai ...
Kazutaka Sangen ...
Simon Hutchins ...
Joe Chisholm ...
Mandy-Rae Cruikshank ...
Herself / Freediver


Richard O'Barry was the man who captured and trained the dolphins for the television show Flipper (1964). O'Barry's view of cetaceans in captivity changed from that experience when as the last straw he saw that one of the dolphins playing Flipper - her name being Kathy - basically committed suicide in his arms because of the stress of being in captivity. Since that time, he has become one of the leading advocates against cetaceans in captivity and for the preservation of cetaceans in the wild. O'Barry and filmmaker 'Louie Psihoyos (I)' go about trying to expose one of what they see as the most cruel acts against wild dolphins in the world in Taiji, Japan, where dolphins are routinely corralled, either to be sold alive to aquariums and marine parks, or slaughtered for meat. The primary secluded cove where this activity is taking place is heavily guarded. O'Barry and Psihoyos are well known as enemies by the authorities in Taiji, the authorities who will use whatever tactic to expel the... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Shallow Water. Deep Secret.


Documentary | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for disturbing content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

7 August 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Rising  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$57,640 (USA) (31 July 2009)


$869,730 (USA) (19 March 2010)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Kerner Optical, previously the Industrial Light and Magic model shop, created special camouflaged (rock-like) cameras that helped capture some of the footage in the cove. See more »


John Potter: As a scientist, I'm trained to recognize intelligence through objective measures... tool use, cognitive processes, and so on. As a human being, when I see a dolphin looking at me and his eyes tracking me and I lock eyes with that animal, there's a human response that makes it undeniable that I'm connecting with an intelligent being.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the end credits there is a humorous scene involving the team's Whale Blimp and local police. See more »


Featured in Pauw & Witteman: Episode #6.86 (2012) See more »


Written by David Bowie & Brian Eno
Performed by David Bowie
Published by Tintoretto Music (BMI)
Administered by RZO Music, Inc.
Courtesy of RZO Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Important movie, powerful and beautifully shot
23 August 2009 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

This is an important movie, not only because of the content matter, but also because it demonstrates the capacity for people to care with such passion and conviction. The movie is cleverly presented, taking you on an emotional and eye-opening journey, and building to a powerful climax.

I personally found the movie to be moving and beautiful, and by far one of the most exciting and powerful documentaries I have ever seen. I am hugely impressed by the film makers ability to translate their experiences and passion into a very well made movie, and hope they inspire others to do the same.

99 of 152 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
Hypocrisy at its peak harsha2
Can't the dolphins easily save themselves? ArkhamsMostWanted
This Movie, Hypocrisy and Meat Eating hyperlogik
only 5 minutes of actual footage tapavko
Could we survive if we all became Vegetarians? PsychoticPlayer
quick question about the dolphin meat in schools grannyshirt
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