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Big Miracle (2012)

PG  |   |  Biography, Drama, Romance  |  3 February 2012 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 14,642 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 64 user | 124 critic | 28 from Metacritic.com

In small town Alaska, a news reporter recruits his ex-girlfriend - a Greenpeace volunteer - on a campaign to save a family of gray whales trapped by rapidly forming ice in the Arctic Circle.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Pingayak ...
John Chase ...
Ishmael Angalook Hope ...
Othniel 'Anaqulutuq' Oomittuk Jr. ...
Thomas R. Daly ...
Maliaq Kairaiuak ...
Jeffrey Evan ...
Randy Eledge ...


An animal-loving volunteer and a small-town news reporter are joined by a native Alaskan boy to rally an entire community - and eventually rival world superpowers - to save a family of majestic gray whales trapped by rapidly forming ice in the Arctic Circle. Written by Universal Pictures

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

3 February 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Everybody Loves Whales  »

Box Office


$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$7,760,205 (USA) (3 February 2012)


$20,113,965 (USA) (30 March 2012)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


One of the reporters shown in the movie is played by Jackie Purcell, real-life chief meteorologist for KTUU-NBC Channel 2 in Anchorage, Alaska - the station for which Adam Carlson, John Krasinski's character, works in the film. See more »


When the Green Peace activist dives under the ice in a wetsuit, she has red thermal gloves on. While submerged and using her knife to cut away the net on the baby whale's fluke, her bare hands are visible. When she surfaces, the red gloves are back on again. See more »


Jill Jerard: [Doing a news report on the ice] Cut! God, my feet are numb. These boots are useless.
Jill Jerard: [motions to Nathan]
Jill Jerard: Hey kid, you still got that cardboard?
Nathan: I sold it to the other guy. But I can still get more! It's forty now, though.
Jill Jerard: Forty dollars?
Nathan: Shipping and handling.
Jill Jerard: ...Shipping and handling?
Nathan: [smirks] It's not my first rodeo, either.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the very end of the credits, when the Working Title logo appears, we hear the songs of the whales. See more »


Referenced in Big Miracle: A Look Inside (2012) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

We liked it!
4 February 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a slow movie. Prepare to watch people standing around a hole in the ice. If you think gray whales are a waste of time, you won't be moved. On the other hand, if you can pull for a family of marine mammals in danger of freezing to death, you will probably find satisfaction in this movie's numerous charms. You'll enjoy the dignity given to the Inuit people, environmentalists, oil executives, Soviets, journalists, and even Republicans(!) who collaborate in dramatic efforts to save the trapped whales. You'll appreciate the care taken with a late 80's period piece, down to the silk blouses, big glasses, hair, and Peter Jennings. You may even be moved by the warm and unguarded performances of Drew Berrymore, John Kasinksi, and others.

It's possible you may have your heart enlarged by the uncommon efforts of truly diverse people on behalf of beautiful and vulnerable earthlings like the grays. There is an unabashed love for both the whales and the humans portrayed in this movie, whose lives and futures are at stake in a variety of ways. Some may regard this affection as sentimentality, but the sense of humor sustained throughout the film argues against this. Somehow I think the worst-ever portrayal of Ronald Reagan was hardly unintentional. This director definitely has it in for for Minnesotans, too.

My ten and thirteen year-old sons were engrossed by this true story brought to the screen and gave it two thumbs up. My wife and I enjoyed being unembarrassed in their presence throughout.

Simply as an introduction to Barrow, Alaska, the movie is totally worthwhile.

My biggest complaint: Drew Barrymore's lips should be blue when scuba diving in frigid Artic waters.

36 of 48 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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