6.5/10
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72 user 116 critic

Big Miracle (2012)

Trailer
2:33 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Ken Kwapis

Writers:

Jack Amiel (screenplay), Michael Begler (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Pingayak John Pingayak ... Malik
Ahmaogak Sweeney ... Nathan
John Chase John Chase ... Roy
Ishmael Angalook Hope Ishmael Angalook Hope ... Bud
Othniel 'Anaqulutuq' Oomittuk Jr. Othniel 'Anaqulutuq' Oomittuk Jr. ... Inupiat Whaler
John Krasinski ... Adam Carlson
Andrew Daly ... Don Davis
Thomas R. Daly Thomas R. Daly ... Frank
Maliaq Kairaiuak Maliaq Kairaiuak ... Dana
Jeffrey Evan Jeffrey Evan ... Arnold
Drew Barrymore ... Rachel Kramer
Ted Danson ... J.W. McGraw
Randy Eledge Randy Eledge ... Oil Man
Thom Van Dorp ... Don Carr
Tim Blake Nelson ... Pat Lafayette
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Storyline

October, 1988. Adam Carlson, a reporter for a local Anchorage television station, is currently in Barrow doing a series of pieces on the "local cultural color" of northern Alaska. While out on the sea ice filming a less than promising piece, he spots off in the distance what ends up being three California gray whales - a mother, father and son - who are literally imprisoned by ice which has surrounded them in the earlier than usual onset of winter. They are looking worse for wear as they have been ramming the ice surface to maintain a hole in the ice to be able to breathe and thus survive. The professional and cultural assessment he receives is that the whales, in their current situation, cannot survive for more than a few days, with the ice fives miles in distance to the open ocean with a vertical ice shelf that has developed midway. Adam's piece on the whales not only gets played on his station, but is picked up by news services throughout the States, including the national ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 February 2012 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Whales See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,760,205, 5 February 2012

Gross USA:

$20,157,300

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$24,740,061
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Datasat | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In this film, the three gray whales are named after characters from The Flintstones (1960). Their names were Bonnet, Crossbeak, and Bone in real life. See more »

Goofs

Throughout the film, nobody's breath appears when they are outdoors, especially given the frigid temperatures that they were reporting. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Featured in Chelsea Lately: Episode #6.20 (2012) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Exciting and very well done
19 July 2012 | by bob-rutzel-1See all my reviews

TV news reporter Adam Carlson (John Krasinski) and Green Peace worker, Rachel Kramer (Drew Barrymore), help enlist an Alaskan town to save a family of gray whales trapped by fast moving ice.

This is inspired by a true story in Barrow, Alaska in 1988.

Hey, I found a way to keep cool this summer: watch movies that have Alaska as the location. Seeing all that ice, and extremely cold water does it. If you don't believe this: try it and see for yourself.

In 1988, the trapped whales became a big story throughout the USA. Actual footage by the stars of network news all chimed in, and the president of the US gets updates on the progress.

The whales are cut off from the ocean by 5-miles of ice. They cannot swim underwater for that distance without coming up for air. Hence, the townspeople cut holes in the ice so the whales can come up and breathe. In time, the holes are cut as stepping stones all the way to the ocean. Will the whales follow the newly cut holes? The hated oilmen see a good PR scenario and jump in to help out. Two Minnesota men had invented a De-Icer and they want to use it to keep the ice from forming quickly in the holes as the temperature falls dangerously low. Will it work in the freezing temperature?

A Hover Barge, being flown by 2-helicopters, is on the way to the whales. The Hover Barge uses compressed air to break up the ice it passes over. Will it be in time? Can the townspeople cut the holes fast enough for the required 5-miles? There is some talk of getting the Russians to help out with their ice-breaking vessel. Some like that idea, some do not.

I had no idea this would be as exciting as it was. Very good. This was an extremely well done production. The entire cast were unbelievably good. Nothing dragged. Dialogues were spot on. The editing made everything run smoothly and the photography was unbelievably sharp. I knew from the title above that all would be okay, but still there was suspense throughout. I have no idea how the whale shots were accomplished whether using actual whales or CGI. Whatever made these shots look real, this was truly spectacular. Kudos.

All in all a very good family movie about people coming together to save the whales. At the end you might want to keep a box of Kleenex handy. When the credits run, you will see actual footage of the people working to help the rescue effort in 1988.

Now I have to find another movie that has ice and snow to keep me cool as I was with Big Miracle. There is THIN ICE, but that location is in Wisconsin. Gets cold there, doesn't it? It has "ice" in the title………hmmm……….will have to check it out. (7/10)

Violence: No. Sex: No. Nudity: No. Language: Some, not much.


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