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The Cove (2009)

PG-13  |   |  Documentary, Crime  |  7 August 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.5/10 from 38,688 users   Metascore: 84/100
Reviews: 146 user | 181 critic | 26 from Metacritic.com

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 »


Richard O'Barry: The thing that turned me around was the death of Flipper, of Cathy. She was really depressed. I could feel it. I could see it. And she committed suicide in my arms. That's a very strong word, suicide. But you have to understand dolphins and other whales are not automatic air breathers, like we are. Every breath they take is a conscious effort. And so they can end their life whenever life becomes too unbearable by not taking the next breath. And it's in that context I use the word suicide. She ...
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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 #6.109 (2012) See more »


Written by Henry Vars & 'By' Dunham (as By Dunham)
Used by permission of EMI April Music Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Courtesy of TGH Records, LLC
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User Reviews

Powerful, disturbing and will make you want to take action
28 November 2009 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Words can hardly describe how powerful this documentary is, and the lengths to which human cruelty can extend to. Louie Psihoyos and his team infiltrate a secret cove near Taiji, Japan and expose a brutal instance of animal cruelty. This film opens your eyes to the truly devastating fates of thousands of dolphins, who are slaughtered without remorse.Being an animal lover, and my dream to become a zoologist, this film has really inspired me to be active and do whatever necessary to protect the beauty of our planet. Alongside Ric O Barry, Psihoyos is able to clearly point out the error of these marvelous creatures in captivity, and how they deserve to be free, just like any other creature.

If you are one of those people that see my ways, then you'll be affected deeply too to take action. Forget the damn critics, this isn't a Hollywood blockbuster, this is a way of life for us and what we've become...what we've turned into.

Support the cause to stop this.

70 of 113 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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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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