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Heart tugging
StInSanDiego18 April 2012
Okay, The Big Miracle is not an epic or a grand movie. What it is, is a totally enjoyable feature with a good and simple story with no unusual surprises that people can relate to. It is good to see the Hollywood factory machine put out a movie like this. Much credit has to be given to Drew Barrymore (sort of a mogul herself these days).

Ken Kwapis does a really good job in telling this story without relying on massive special effects. He also works very well with his actors. He was given a good script from Jack Amiel and Michael Begler, both of whom also resisted going for any kind of cheap humor.

Drew Barrymore and John Krasinski have a nice chemistry together as they deliver fine performances.

This movie was, I am told, inspired by a true story about a small town reporter and a Greenpeace volunteer who are joined by rival superpowers to save a family of gray whales that are trapped by ice in the Arctic Circle.

The story, the visuals and the very fact that whales are a main character in this movie, all tug at the heart strings.
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Wholesome Family Movie
contact-951-69193718 August 2012
Bravo for creating a refreshingly clean family movie! It's encouraging and rare these days to have an opportunity to view a film the whole family can enjoy. Big Miracle is a wholesome, educational and entertaining movie that I happily recommend to anyone struggling like we often to to find a movie suitable for the under 15 crowd, that adults will also enjoy.

Big Miracle is loosely based on a true story and utilizes TV news clips from the Reagan era that we felt made the film very realistic. Ancient traditions, multi-generational challenges, morality, ethics, friendship, love and social responsibility are weaved into a story set in beautiful Alaska that made us laugh, cry and cheer along with the characters - it was a fun adventure into a world we didn't know much about.
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Well Executed Story For Both Adults and Kids
slitherk4 February 2012
Yes, there were simplistic clichés, but for a PG-rated movie and the confines therein, Big Miracle is about as good as it can get. The Inupiat people, the reporters, the extraction industry - all sides were treated with a degree of nuance. The take-away message was really important too - that you can accomplish things with people you don't agree with or even like. And we really enjoyed the efforts made to set the film properly in its late 80s period.

I disagree with the other reviews that found the special effects lacking. I don't think they detracted from the story, which in the end was quite compelling.
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We liked it!
ocjetsfan4 February 2012
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.
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Great Family Film with Strong Environmental Message
rannynm13 February 2012
Nine-year-old KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Anthony Aranda loved this film. Watch his video review or read below what he had to say: "This is one of the best movies I have ever seen that is based on a true story. This movie is really awesome because there were so many people that came together to save three whales. It was really heart-breaking because a lot of people put their own lives in danger to save the lives of the whales. This movie is all about Adam and Nathan who are out and see three whales that are trapped under the ice and can't find their way to the ocean. There is a small hole that the whales keep using to breathe so first they try digging that whole to make it bigger. Adam's friend Rachel comes to help save the whales and do everything she can. She asks the governor for help but he says no so she tells the news about what he said. The governor then decides to help. They have to work fast because the hole keeps freezing and getting smaller and the ice leading to the ocean keeps freezing over making the distance even longer. Some of the main characters in the movie are Adam, Rachel, and Nathan. My favorite character is Nathan because he is such a funny character at first and then he really starts to care about the whales. He also starts to spend a lot of time with his grandfather because his grandfather likes to spend a lot of time around the ocean and helps animals in need. My favorite part in the movie is when everyone started to dig the holes to help the whales breathe and get back to the ocean. I really like this part because it really shows how everyone cares about saving the whales and how much people love the whales. A part that was really funny was when the Governor had to help save the whales because Rachel told the news that he wouldn't help. It was funny to see him shaking the hand of a guy dressed up as a whale. I would recommend this movie for all ages because it is a really good movie. There are not any violent parts in this movie. This movie is a really great family movie. Go out and see this movie in theaters on February 3rd." Review by Anthony Aranda, age 9, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
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Well staged feelgood movie with message
Neil Welch17 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Based on a 1988 true story (which, apparently, had a more ambiguous ending), Big Miracle tells of a family of three whales which get trapped beneath the ice near Barrow, Alaska, with only a rapidly freezing hole to breathe out of. The mutually antagonistic factions of the oil business, the Inupiat locals, and the environmental lobby combine to try to keep the whales alive until it becomes possible to get them the 5 miles from their breathing hole to open water, augmented (if not aided and abetted) by a sizeable press faction. Even the end of the Cold War gets a look in.

This film arrived with no fanfare and, despite a couple of irritations, proved to be a feelgood movie which I enjoyed.It is very well mounted, with most of the scenes involving the whales and the ice field being convincingly staged. The unexpectedly starry cast all did well, although I found Drew Barrymore's Greenpeace girl a bit excessively preachy (by the time the film finished I had come to the conclusion that she was meant to be), John Kasinsky is a pleasing low-key leading man, and Kristin Bell is happy to portray a shallow young woman of over-riding ambition and little compassion.

It may be a little too leisurely for young children but, otherwise, I think it makes a good family movie despite the fact that the film's title isn't very good.
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A surprisingly smart family drama.
Ryan_MYeah7 September 2012
Big Miracle looks deceiving due to its advertising. Looking like a sappy, clichéd mess of a cash in. Even at first impression, it's deceiving. Characters like the oft-seen charismatic ex-boyfriend, the spunky animal rights activist, the street-smart young kid, the pretty fish out of water journalist, the local elderly wiseman, the mean old oil tycoon turned good guy, the unlikely geniuses who provide comic relief, and even the self-absorbed douchebag news anchor had me fearing for its quality.

However, something about this true story just sticks. The script is overly clichéd, but there's a surprising heart and lack of cheap corniness to it that feels more honest than its sappy sounding premise may let on. It also boasts another surprising element: actual intelligence. It may not be groundbreaking, but it's done plenty of justice by an excellent cast. Even if it's not always focused, the powerful ending is happily earned, adding up to a satisfying family drama.

***1/2 / *****
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Whale of a good time.
DarkVulcan2913 February 2012
In the late 80's, in the Alaska wilderness, three whales are trapped in foaming ice, they must be get free or they'll die. This becomes big news, every news person from country to country is covering it. Politicians star getting involved, so does the coast guard. But time is running out for the whales, will they get free, or will it be too late?

John Krasinski is good, playing his typical likable, smart Alec self. Drew Barrymore is also good playing a strong female role, who is very determined to save the whales at any cost. Ted Danson and Dermot Mulroney are also in there supporting roles. The whales are also quite memorable. This is a movie for everybody to enjoy.
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The Politics of Saving Whales
Chris_Pandolfi9 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
An international effort to free three gray whales – Bonnet, Crossbeak, and Bone – briefly made headlines in October of 1988. In the Beaufort Sea near the town of Point Barrow, Alaska, an Inuit hunter discovered the whales trapped beneath pack ice; using only chainsaws and water pumps, the hunter and his fellow villagers took it upon themselves to cut through the ice and attempt to lead the whales towards open water. A week later, word had already spread to the remainder of the Inuit community, local biologists, and an Anchorage news station. The story then caught the attention of national media journalists, leading to a series of actions that became known as Operation Breakthrough. Whale biologists, the United States Department of State, and two Soviet icebreakers all became involved. By the end of the month, the calf whale had died. And although the icebreakers successfully broke through a ridge of Arctic ice, the fate of the remaining two whales could not be determined.

It comes as no surprise to me that "Big Miracle," a dramatization of Operation Breakthrough, not only renames the whales Fred, Wilma, and Bam Bam but also presents audiences with a more conclusive ending. It also doesn't bother me in the slightest. Movies like this give us what we often times don't get in real life, namely a sense of optimism, the satisfaction of achieving the impossible, and most importantly, emotional resolution. We go to them not only expecting to feel good, but actually craving it. If you think I'm wrong, you need only to reflect on the strong positive reactions to "Free Willy," "Dolphin Tale," and even non-marine animal movies as recent as "War Horse." I value authentic films that deal with life's harsh realities, but I also recognize that we need movies like "Big Miracle" in our lives. They're entertaining, but more to the point, they instill hope, even if it's only for a few hours.

In terms of marine-themed movies, its most recent basis of comparison is "Dolphin Tale," which was also a dramatic adaptation of a true story. Although both films show considerable artistic license for the sake of appealing to a family audience, "Big Miracle" is refreshing in that it isn't quite as innocent. It's made clear, almost from the very start, that the effort to save the whales has less to do with the whales themselves and more to do with the characters' personal, professional, and political agendas. It's not about setting aside their differences and working together so much as it is about doing what it takes to make a point and get ahead. In a few instances, director Ken Kwapis has the temerity to espouse the validity of opposing viewpoints. Ultimately, it's good to know that the all the partisanship and personality deficits are only bringing the whales that much close to freedom.

We have an Anchorage news reporter named Adam Carlson (John Krasinski), who has been living in Point Barrow for four years covering menial stories, many centering around the town's only Mexican restaurant; when he discovers the whales trying to break through the ice for air, he realizes that this could be his opportunity to enter larger, more respected news organizations. We have Adam's ex-girlfriend, a Greenpeace activist named Rachel Kramer (Drew Barrymore), who protests everything from Alaskan oil drilling to Inuit whaling and sees the trapped whales as a way to give Greenpeace a bigger voice. We have the Inuit people; although they rely on whales for food, they recognize that the American journalists will interpret their actions as murder instead of survival, and so they join the rescue effort to paint themselves in a better light.

We have J.W. McGraw (Ted Danson), an oil tycoon whose company won the rights to drill for oil in the Point Barrow area. His wife (Kathy Baker), rather cleverly, subliminally convinces him that funding the transportation of an icebreaking hovercraft will give his company good P.R. A White House aide named Kelly Meyers (Vinessa Shaw) thinks along similar lines; this rescue effort would not only add credibility to Vice President George Bush's election campaign, it would also do wonders for turning the public's attention away from the mistakes of the Reagan administration. She gets into contact Col. Scott Boyer (Dermot Mulroney), who begrudgingly oversees the mission to transport the hovercraft towards Point Barrow.

The list goes on. There's a Los Angeles news reporter (Kristen Bell), who isn't taken seriously by her superiors, is always under pressure to look beautiful for the camera, and is just as ambitious as Adam. She's also aware that, because of the attention the whales are getting, the public remains unaware of the thirty-plus wars going on in the world. And then there's a pair of Minnesota businessmen who see this rescue as an opportunity to test their ice-melting fans and ultimately drum up business. It all comes down to all-American heroism, which seems to be the attitude that unifies everyone in this effort. So imagine the shock and reluctance when it becomes clear that the assistance of a Soviet icebreaker ship will be required. How nice of "Big Miracle" to remind us that, however momentarily, even enemies can believe in the same cause.

-- Chris Pandolfi (
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Big Miracle is a Big Surprise
KarenSantaFe16 July 2012
I watched this film on a whim. Wow, I was really surprised, it was GOOD! In addition to being thoroughly entertained and moved, it was very moving to know that the film is based on a true story.

I don't know how they rendered the whales (CGI, mechanical, etc.), but they were extremely life-like. It was also interesting to see how many different cultures interacted -- political realms, the media, the local Inuit community, the oil industry, environmentalists. The script was terrific, and be sure to stay tuned for the end credits, where the actors are shown alongside the real-life players in this drama.

It should be noted that Kristin Bell was excellent in the film, along with the rest of the cast. She appears pretty far down in the credits, and I'm not sure why, as she had a fairly prominent role.

Watch this one, you won't regret it!
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Strange Alliances
sddavis635 June 2012
It's amazing how much good can be accomplished when a group of largely self-interested people whose primary interest is self-promotion come together for a common cause. In a way, that's really the "big miracle" of this movie. The story revolves around a family of grey whales who are trapped by thick ice in Alaska and have no way to get to the open ocean. With temperatures plummeting, the only breathing hole they have is rapidly freezing over and the whales are in danger of drowning. When a local reporter makes the situation known to the outside world, saving the whales becomes a cause celebre, and brings together a very diverse group of people.

Into the mix steps a Greenpeace organizer (Drew Barrymore) - undoubtedly committed to the whales, but also aware that the issue will get a lot of good publicity for the organization, an oil executive (Ted Danson) who wants permission to drill in a wildlife reserve and figures that saving the whales will get him a lot of good publicity, the native community of Barrow, Alaska, who would really prefer to kill the whales for food, various townsfolk who use the situation to their advantage and make lots of money with ridiculously jacked up prices as outsiders fill the town, politicians (including the Governor of Alaska and President Reagan) who know there's votes in the issue, various reporters who know there's ratings in the issue, a couple of guys from Minnesota who seize the opportunity to make their new de-icing machine known and even a Soviet ice breaker called in to help who take the opportunity to soften American attitudes toward their country.

The whales (nicknamed Fred, Wilma and Bam-Bam) become the backdrop for the story of uneasy co-operation taking place around them, but they are the real lure for the viewer, even if the most interesting part of the movie is the strange alliances being formed. There's no doubt that the viewer gets drawn into the whales' plight and you root for them all the way through.

This is based on a true story that occurred in 1988. Like most "based on a true story" movies, this one takes license with the actual events. The ending of the movie is happier than what happened in real life, which is actually a mystery, as no one knows whether the two adult whales escaped after the baby died. What I really appreciated about this was that it was a marvellous family movie - enough "meat" to keep adults interested all the way through, and an animal story that will appeal to the kids and really very little anywhere that you wouldn't want your kids to watch. I thought it was very well done, and deserving of a much higher rating than it currently has, which is 5.9. (8/10)
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Good Family Movie With Whales & Ensemble Cast
CaptMTS4 February 2012
Big Miracle dramatizes the real life struggle of three gray whales trapped in the ice near Barrow, Alaska. While my daughter told me what happens before we saw the movie, I still enjoyed the movie for its heart-warming and touching story of humans and nature.

Big Miracle has an ensemble cast that was very good. Drew Barrymore, in particular, did an outstanding job as a Greenpeace activist trying to save the gray whales. And, Ten Danson was fun as the oil magnate who sees an opportunity to help save the whales for some good PR.

The highlight of the movie was the Inupiat actors, who were charming and added warmth to the movie. The grandfather Inupiat stole every scene with his strong and quiet presence, and he provided several funny moments. His young grandson was also outstanding as the young friend to John Krasinki's character.

Big Miracle, however, did move slowly and many scenes seemed forced in drawing laughter or empathy. My wife and I enjoyed the movie for its touching story and appealing characters, but our kids said they were bored and uninterested. At the very least, catch Big Miracle at a matinée.
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Somehow lacks the heart that you hope for
Robert W.26 May 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Big Miracle is based on a true story, we get it. They made it explicitly clear in the commercials. Unfortunately, the story of a community in Northern Alaska banding together to save three whales trapped in ice, spends more time shoving an environmental story down your throat that they forgot to focus on the true heart of the story. Not once did the film give me the heart warming feeling I thought I would get from this. Yes it's sweet, and yes the way everyone bands together is uplifting but where is the heart? The two dimensional characters are to blame for a lot of that. John Krasinski spends more time making funny faces, and trying to be comedic than looking for any sort of dramatic turn. Drew Barrymore is the emptiest she has ever been and the chemistry between the two of them is non-existent. Add in a downright awful performance by Kristen Bell and a completely wooden performance by Ted Danson, someone I like a lot, and you have what can only be described as an empty film. Director Ken Kwapis comes from mostly Television and even more comedy. This isn't a comedy, or it shouldn't be. It should be a sweet drama. In some ways it is sweet and young kids may enjoy it but for adults it holds very little depth and will leave you feeling rather blah about the whole situation. 6.5/10
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Exciting and very well done
bob-rutzel-119 July 2012
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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jlj9675-13 February 2012
As an animal lover, I looked forward to this movie but ended up being offended by it. It mostly amounted to anti-Reagan, anti-Republican, anti-oil drilling propaganda and pro-tree hugger philosophy. The opportunistic price-gouging of the townspeople in the frozen tundra was made light of ($40 for a 1x2' piece of cardboard to stand on?) yet the wealth of the oilman was mercilessly persecuted. Although the efforts to save a small family of whales is laudable, I somehow find it ludicrous that so much time, effort, human risk and financial funding was spent when those resources could go to medical research, education, etc. The main message seemed to be how the media can spin anything to suit the biggest spender who is only interested in PR for his/her cause; this is disgusting to everyone, including Greenpeace and insulting to the general public. I cannot recommend it despite the good acting and cinematography.
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That whale...
Dr. Wise Meng2 February 2012
This movie has a really bad plot, it was a complete waste of time. The effects were mediocre, the actors weren't really good, hopefully they won't make a sequel out of this. I do NOT recommend this movie to anyone, wait for it to come to TV or something if you really want to watch it, but for now it is just an awful recycled Hollywood movie with the happy ending. The movie is as bad as the cover. Honestly, movies nowadays feel like you have already watched it, not enough Christopher Nolans around. I'm tired of seeing "The best movie of the year" comment. The media industry has really gone downhill with this one and a few others, you can't trust "honest" reviews anymore. If I had known this movie was this bad, I could have saved enough for a week of food since I went to see it with my family. Avoid this movie at all costs.
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All that for three whales?
zombiefan892 September 2013
It seemed like everyone went out of their way to save those three whales. Why? Granted their life span is comparable to a humans, but they're just whales. Nature is cruel, and the whales' situation was not uncommon. Should people spend millions of dollars to rescue ever future whale or seal trapped in ice? No, of course not. I'll say it again, nature is cruel. Animals die. It happens every second of every day, and it has been that way since the dawn of time. Some whales get trapped in ice during migration, while others make it safely to their destination. Instead of saving those whales, the money could have been spent on fixing the environmental pollution, recycling, something, anything else! Those whales shouldn't have gotten trapped like that!
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Not technical accurate
Zrpb031 January 2013
There are quite a few technical errors in this movie. Normally these may not take away from the story but in this case some did. Some were so ridiculous that they became a big distraction in the scene. When you see this you question the validity of the rest the movie.

Actors that may have been good in other movies seem to struggle in this movie. Both overacting and under acting was evident throughout and in some places, "no acting". Many slow scenes, some were trying to convey a message but that was lost in the poor performances.

Even though I think it was a poor movie for most adults, I think most kids might find it enjoyable.
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First handicapped dolphins, now trapped whales, what's next autistic sharks?
Neddy Merrill6 February 2012
"Big Miracle" like its contemporary film "The Grey" demonstrate that coming up with a compelling movie title is not so easy Mr. Smartypants. The title won't be putting any butts in seats but fairly good pacing and a compelling storyline tends to keep them there. Unlike "Free Willy" the three whales trapped in Alaskan ice only modestly get to know the movie goers, instead the film focuses more on the humans, their conflicting motivations and their increasingly irrational efforts at freeing these three particular grey whales. Drew Barrymore plays the shrill, scolding, Greenpeace activist at the center of a vortex that pulled in the Reagan Whitehouse, the media and even the Ruskies. Credit Barrymore for playing a, if not racist, then at least colonialist harpy with credible unattractiveness. She's not Charlize Theron in "Monster" but she plays an unpleasant character with veracity. John Krasinski plays John Krasinski, Ted Danson plays an oil executive with a heart of gold, and for some reason no one plays Ronald Reagan - we just see the back of his suit (an effect that just comes off as amateurish). Otherwise Ken Kwapis' production impresses with broad shots of the white wastelands of Northern Alaska and pretty snazzy animatronic whales. Kwapis also learned the lessons of "Whiteout" and allows his actors to walk around with exposed faces (in reality at 50 degrees below any body parts not covered would quickly fall off). On the downside, the script offers few memorable lines (an Alaskan native Mexican restaurant waitress is asked if she is Mexican and she responds "only at work" - that's about it), the characters' unwavering intent at saving these stupid whales feels smaltzy and what Adam sees in Rachel is never made clear. In short, older kids will enjoy it but a little too complicate for the younger set.
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Seen it. Wasn't worth it.
Kakka Makkara2 February 2012
The story was cute but unoriginal and it's not that emotionally involving and a majority of its run time involves watching the shamu swim. It doesn't have enough cuteness or charm to be a memorable piece. Many adults will find it too blatantly manipulative, for it is lightweight, juvenile entertainment and it has lots of shamu in it. I'd advise proceeding with caution unless you know how to swim and don't have a fear of sharks and shamu. If you are a graying fan of "Flipper" this movie is not for you, because whales are so much bigger than dolphins and there is no scrawny freckled redheads boys in this movie to heckle and went your emotions on. A megaton whales would crush a dolphins if one landed on the other. This is a bad story in a bad wrapper. If you want better whale movie I suggest Whale Rider instead.
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Drew does it again!
plutus194719 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I have no hesitation in giving this movie a 10 rating and if I could give it more I would.

Drew Barrymore has come a very long way since her fresh faced appearance at age seven in ET and as far as I am concerned it is down to Drew herself. She has had many problems in her past and she has overcome them all for which I applaud her without hesitation.

In fact the Barrymore family has had a great deal of trauma over the years but still they keep producing truly great people for the movie world.


Big Miracle is a strange little story based on fact about three California Grey Whales who were trapped under the ice in a town called Barrow in Alaska.

The Inuit Eskimos kill whales, not for fun or profit, but in order to live but this little town worked tirelessly to make sure that a small piece of ice was kept from freezing over in order for the whales to be able to come up for air.

When Greenpeace discovered what was happening Rachel Kramer (Barrymore) the Greenpeace campaigner for whales in Alaska tried to get the US Government to launch a rescue to save the whales. The actual name of the campaigner is Cindy Lowry.

The three whales were mother, father and son. They were named Fred, Wilma and Bam Bam in the movie but two of them were actually called Crossbeak and Bonnet.

In the film sadly the baby died, which I believe actually happened.

I won't tell you what happened to the two remaining whales, you will have to watch the movie.

The incident showed the cooperation that can be achieved between unfriendly nations because the Russians had an icebreaker in the area and offered to break the ice in order to make a pathway for the whales to escape to open water. Eventually Reagan, the President at that time agreed.

One of the most poignant things for me was when the Russian Icebreaker arrived it raised not only the Russian flag but the US flag too. This did actually happen.

What is so ironic is that the Russians were one of the worst nations for whaling at that time but it was they who offered their assistance in order to free the animals they once hunted down mercilessly.


There were several lesser know actors in the cast but each and everyone played their part superbly.

Drew Barrymore (Kramer) and John Krasinski (Adam) were ideal choices for their respective roles.

The writing and direction was flawless in my opinion.

I don't know if this movie is going to be put up for any awards but I certainly hope so and I hope it wins at least a few.

I will never understand the human race. With all the hate, greed and uncaring there is in this world the whole world was praying for the survival of these not so little creatures and the US Government spent over five million dollars in order to try to save them.

There must be hope for humanity yet.
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A heartwarming story and well made
reendav21 July 2012
First review I have written in a long time, but I have to say the negative folks pretty much forced it. First, it was a time of tremendous changes and controversies. The actors (particularly Ted Danson and Drew Barrymore) at times gave some pretty over the top performances. It was the eighties, and they were playing an Oil Executive and a Greenpeace Activist. Putting it in this context, it makes their performances seem almost understated. I was particularly skeptical at first of Ted Danson in his role, but after seeing the film, I cannot conceive of anyone else having been cast in the part. As for the complaints about special effects... Really? Its not Star Wars for crying out loud. The Whales looked real, the ice looked real, the water... OK, you get my point. One reviewer felt that the portrayal of the president was intentionally poor. Considering we're talking about a role that involved 2 scenes and a handful of lines, its possible the films makers were not as concerned about it, as portrayals of characters that had more significance for the story. As far as how one side, or the other was portrayed, they frankly showed all sides involved as looking to get good 'press' out of the deal.

Some will always look for political undertones, things to criticize about the acting or cinematography, or some other way to find fault with a film. But ultimately this was a great dramatization of a true story, a rare occurrence (not because of what happened in '88 - because Hollywood made a family movie), and a heartwarming movie.

You can always find a way to find fault, if that is where you are focused - in life or a theater. I watch a movie to be entertained, and this film did a wonderful job of that.
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No Miracles Here
sella-dorra24 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I'll start off by listing what irks me most about this film. To begin, we find Adam--John Krasinski--doing a story up in the arctic where no one would ever really spend the money to send someone because his original story is that dull. Then, of course, he notices the whales and brings media attention to their dire situation. This wouldn't bother me so much if it weren't for the scenes to follow: The local Inuit instead want to harvest the whales, using a logical, systematic-hunter way of thinking. In comes the white man with the compassionate heart, who wants to save the whales and give them a chance to live. The real, accurate story is that a hunter found them, and it was this hunter and his village that attempted to rescue the whales first. The "hunter" can still be a human--still a carrier of compassion and empathy. This change alone is enough to make me hate this film. They try to make up for it by showing a few scenes where the Inuit man is "one with nature", but to little effect other than corniness. Of course, many other flaws are tied in. Rachel--Drew Barrymore--despite being the one we should be rooting for, is anything but amiable. She's annoying, loud-mouthed, and portrays the stereotypical deranged animal lover that might come to mind when someone ignorant hears the title "Greenpeace". As for the little Inuit kid, I have yet to understand his purpose in the whole film. To show that the culture and tradition of the Inuit is being lost? This is where the film isn't sure where it wants to be--A rescue film about whales, media, and conservation, or a film about Inuit tribes and the loss of innocence to the outside world. The two have entirely different tones, and they do not work together. As well, there are shoehorned-in scenes of comedy and romance, as well as unnecessary extra time given to minor characters simply because they existed in real life. I won't even get started on the politicians.

There are a few good scenes in the film and relatively good special effects, but you can find more touching stories on YouTube. The film is cliché, predictable, and hardly even worth watching just to have a good laugh.
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didn't like it
scotdont3 February 2012
not very entertaining in my opinion. garbage if you ask me. its upsetting to think how much money was spent on making this film, that could have been used for helping needy. I practically fell asleep during this movie, so much to the point where i had to go out side and go for a walk. i took my dog for that walk, he seemed to enjoy the walk so i guess what i am saying is the only thing this movie is good for in my opinion is strengthening your relationship with your dog. so i give it a 1 out of 10 ( because the review system doesn't go into the negatives. ) don't waste your time or money on this movie instead go watch an independent film i bet you will be much more satisfied.
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good family film
SnoopyStyle1 September 2013
This is based on a true story of a family of whales stuck under the freezing ice in Alaska and what happens next. A local news reporter recruits his ex, a Greenpeace volunteer, to save the family of gray whales. Then the whole world started to notice and the world's media descends on them all.

Drew Barrymore is a bit too annoying as a Greenpeace activist. She's too shrill and needed to tone down her performance. John Krasinski is great as the everyman. Ted Danson relishes his role as an oil tycoon a little too much. He may have been miscasted. Kristen Bell is good as the ambitious reporter.
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