(2009)

Critic Reviews

84

Metascore

Based on 26 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Shot rivetingly by cinematographer Brooke Aitken, who combines digital, night-vision and thermal-imaging formats into a formidable package, the footage is edited tautly by Geoffrey Richman and enhanced measurably by J. Ralph's suspenseful score.
100
Variety
Eco-activist documentaries don't get much more compelling than The Cove, an impassioned piece of advocacy filmmaking that follows "Flipper" trainer-turned-marine crusader Richard O'Barry in his efforts to end dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan.
100
The end of The Cove is as rousing as anything from Hollywood. Manipulative? Sure--but isn't that fitting? Capitalism has driven an entire village to massacre dolphins and keep its work hidden.
100
Salon.com
What's so remarkable about Louie Psihoyos' documentary The Cove isn't just that it's a powerful work of agitprop that's going to have you sending furious e-mails to the Japanese Embassy on your way out of the theater. That's definitely true, but the effectiveness of The Cove also comes from its explosive cinematic craft, its surprising good humor and its pure excitement.
90
Village Voice
The Cove is properly enchanting, horrifying, and rousing, but it comes dangerously close to making the narcissistic case that dolphins deserve to be saved because they're cute and breathe air like we do.
90
Like the director's cover story, the movie is a Trojan horse: an exceptionally well-made documentary that unfolds like a spy thriller, complete with bugged hotel rooms, clandestine derring-do and mysterious men in gray flannel suits.
83
The Cove is the rare documentary specifically designed as a thriller.
75
Rolling Stone
The Cove plays like a thriller. It has the breathless pace of a "Bourne" movie, but none of the comfort of fiction. This is documentary filmmaking at its most exciting and purposeful.
70
Wall Street Journal
The film makes its case graphically, to say the least, yet muddies its bloody waters with an excess of artifice and a dearth of facts.
67
The Cove's ultimate message gets muddled, especially since Psihoyos limits all counter-arguments to a few inarticulate or thuggish boobs.

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