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In the Heart of the Sea (2015)

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A recounting of a New England whaling ship's sinking by a giant whale in 1820, an experience that later inspired the great novel Moby-Dick.

Director:

Ron Howard

Writers:

Charles Leavitt (screenplay), Charles Leavitt (story) | 3 more credits »
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1,310 ( 539)
1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chris Hemsworth ... Owen Chase
Benjamin Walker ... George Pollard
Cillian Murphy ... Matthew Joy
Brendan Gleeson ... Tom Nickerson
Ben Whishaw ... Herman Melville
Michelle Fairley ... Mrs. Nickerson
Tom Holland ... Thomas Nickerson
Paul Anderson ... Caleb Chappel
Frank Dillane ... Henry Coffin
Joseph Mawle ... Benjamin Lawrence
Edward Ashley ... Barzillai Ray
Sam Keeley ... Ramsdell
Osy Ikhile ... Richard Peterson
Gary Beadle ... William Bond
Jamie Sives ... Cole
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Storyline

In the winter of 1820, the New England whaling ship Essex was assaulted by something no one could believe: a whale of mammoth size and will, and an almost human sense of vengeance. The real-life maritime disaster would inspire Herman Melville's Moby-Dick. But that told only half the story. "In the Heart of the Sea" reveals the encounter's harrowing aftermath, as the ship's surviving crew is pushed to their limits and forced to do the unthinkable to stay alive. Braving storms, starvation, panic and despair, the men will call into question their deepest beliefs, from the value of their lives to the morality of their trade, as their captain searches for direction on the open sea and his first mate still seeks to bring the great whale down.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

From the director of Apollo 13 and A Beautiful Mind. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and peril, brief startling violence, and thematic material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA | Australia | Spain

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 December 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

In the Heart of the Sea See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$100,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,053,366, 13 December 2015

Gross USA:

$25,020,758

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$93,920,758
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on the true story of the Essex, a whaling ship that was attacked and sunk by a sperm whale in the southern Pacific Ocean in 1820. The incident inspired Herman Melville's "Moby Dick". See more »

Goofs

The Essex was three masted (probably bark rigged) as described in Chase's own book about the voyage. The vessel in the movie is two masted (a brig) See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Herman Melville: [in his letter] How does one come to know the unknowable? What faculties must a man possess? Since it was discovered that whale oil could light our cities in ways never achieved before, it created global demand. It has pushed man to venture further and further into the deep blue unknown. We know not its depths, nor the host of creatures that live there. Monsters. Are they real?
[a huge whale passes]
Herman Melville: Or do the stories exist only to make us respect the sea's dark secrets?
Title Card: NANTUCKET ...
[...]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Memory of waves and whales
7 December 2015 | by quincytheodoreSee all my reviews

It is said that we understand more about space than our own sea, although one thing both realms have in common is the propensity to convey epic journeys to silver screen. There's an inherent romantic feel to maritime life, even as a tragic showing like Life of Pi or Titanic. This is the same attribute "In the Heart of the Sea" has, and even though there are minor blemishes, it still produces a good human drama shown by impeccable visual atmosphere.

This is a retelling of a particular ship's ordeal, also an inspiration for the novel Moby Dick. It is told from an account of then young crew member, he now tells the story of adventure and misery in his older days. While it's a good ground for characterization and set-up, it might overhype its own story and break the pacing slightly. Fortunately, Brendan Gleeson and Michelle Fairley are capable enough to maintain their own mini subplot.

The actual voyage consists of two leads, Owen Chase (Chris Hemsworth) and George Pollard (Benjamin Walker). Owen is a veteran sailor, who is promised a captain seat, but ultimately denied of the right because of nepotism favoring George. The two collides frequently, and more than once their dispute ends up bringing malady to the ship and its crew.

Chris Hemsworth is a great actor, however this is not the same level of rivalry he had in Rush. It is by no fault of Benjamin Walker who does try to fulfill the role, but he doesn't portray the personality clash of an epic saga. In fact, Hemsworth has more connection with Gillian Murphy, the third in command, even though they have lesser screen time together. The rest of the crew isn't compelling enough, in exception of young Nickerson who will eventually narrates it.

For most part the visual is splendid, mainly when it transcends the barrier between sea line and underwater. On some scenes it pans out so nicely it brings an alluringly harrowing view of ocean, its human drifters and beastly occupants. It has overall bluish tone that keeps the cold isolation vibe while the gigantic whale, though we know it's CG as whale is too much of a diva to work with, is still pretty convincing in close up.

Plot keeps a straightforward momentum, although it may be inconsistent sometimes. There are parts where it seems to dawdle for ten or fifteen minute more than needs be, while some scenes are cut short and ultimately feels disjointed. It's not a big issue, but it does make the story skips rather abruptly or plods at times.

In the Heart of the Sea is an interesting excursion with fine visual. Granted, it doesn't navigate well enough under some waves, yet this homage to a great classic has its enchanting and inspiring moments.


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