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The Cove (2009)

PG-13 | | Documentary, Crime | 7 August 2009 (USA)
2:16 | Trailer

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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.



Won 1 Oscar. Another 39 wins & 17 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:



Official Sites:

| |  »




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?


People Concerned for the Ocean, a local Taiji activist group, distributed DVDs in March of 2011 of the film, dubbed in Japanese, to all 3,500 residents of Taiji. 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 The 82nd Annual Academy Awards (2010) See more »


Music by Charles Chaplin
Words by John Turner & Geoffrey Parsons
© Copyright by Nat King Cole
Produced and Arranged by MATTER Music
Performed & Sung by Gaby Moreno & Chris Joyner
Courtesy of MATTER Music
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User Reviews

Disturbing and eye-opening
12 August 2009 | by (San Jose, CA) – See all my reviews

Enough has been said about this excellent documentary, but I wanted to comment on the negative responses, some of which are posted here and which also can be read on the message board. If you have not seen this movie, DON'T PAY ANY ATTENTION to the moronic comments, view this film and judge for yourself. If you are an intelligent, caring person, concerned about the environment and the animals, you must see this documentary. The film was made with great risks involved and all who took part in making it have to be commended for their courage and desire to show the truth. I saw the film several days ago and I cannot get it out of my head. It is the most disturbing film I have seen since "The Witness" (not to be confused with the one starring Harrison Ford). When I saw the movie, the theatre was practically empty, and that was disappointing because people should be made aware of the horrors documented in this film.

155 of 217 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Hypocrisy at its peak harsha2
Can't the dolphins easily save themselves? ArkhamsMostWanted
Could we survive if we all became Vegetarians? PsychoticPlayer
only 5 minutes of actual footage tapavko
quick question about the dolphin meat in schools grannyshirt
Don't F-cking kill Dolphins or Monkeys dherman951
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