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Dolphin Tale

Family . Drama

A story centered on the friendship between a boy and a dolphin whose tail was lost in a crab trap.

Actors: Harry Connick Jr. , Ashley Judd , Morgan Freeman , Carlos Jorge Guerrero , Nicholas Turner Martin , Cozi Zuehlsdorff , Frances Sternhagen , Ray McKinnon , Kris Kristofferson , Nathan Gamble
Directors: Charles Martin Smith
Country: USA
Release: 2011-09-23
More Info:
  • Steve Persall

    Director Charles Martin Smith presents the kind of movie that gives squeaky-clean a good name.

    Tampa Bay Times Full Review
  • Randy Cordova

    Cozi Zuehlsdorff winningly plays a young girl who works at the hospital. With her big smile and natural warmth, she is a charmer. Even better is Gamble, who gives a smart and sensitive performance without relying on any of the normal mannerisms that often afflict child actors.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Peter Hartlaub

    Even with the conflict overkill, most of the small moments ring true. Dolphin Tale has more in common with "The Swiss Family Robinson" than most modern live-action family movies, where slapstick and cheap laughs feed short attention spans.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    The story of healing and courage is told with a refreshing lack of cynicism, not surprising since it's from the same producers as the wonderful "My Dog Skip."

    USA Today Full Review
  • Stephanie Zacharek

    Even if Dolphin Tale hits every note square on the nose - or maybe because it does - watching it is surprisingly pleasurable.

    Movieline Full Review
  • Carrie Rickey

    Between the earnest boy, his playful mammal, the film from actor-turned-director Charles Martin Smith is a winning family entertainment.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    The dolphin is, quite simply, remarkable, and the unstated message of resilience and adaptation ripples easily off the screen to the smallest viewers.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    Learning of this story, I thought, aw, come on, give me a break. But it turns out the story is not only based on fact, but the actual dolphin involved, named Winter, stars in the movie as herself. Her new tail functions admirably.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Rex Reed

    The movie often seems too good to be true, but by the end I wanted a dolphin just like Winter for my own swimming pool.

    New York Observer Full Review
  • Neil Genzlinger

    Pitched awfully young, without a shred of the satire or subtlety that is generally found in films aimed at tweeners and above. That's not a bad thing; it just means accompanying grown-ups or older siblings will have to choke down a sizable dose of schmaltz with their fish milkshakes.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Mary Pols

    It doesn't look particularly special - despite the visual potential of underwater scenes - but kids are going to eat this up.

    Time Full Review
  • Aaron Hillis

    By the end of the movie, Winter has become a mascot for human disability, especially for children, and Dolphin Tale has enough depth and sensitivity to tap into emotion without feeling manipulative.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Todd McCarthy

    This true story of a dolphin with a prosthetic tail has been precision engineered for full inspirational, heart-warming value.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Andrew Barker

    Though garnished with some heavy dollops of cheese, Dolphin Tale is a surprisingly solid, earnest family picture.

    Variety Full Review
  • Marjorie Baumgarten

    Though the film meanders through some chum-heavy patches, this genuine crowd-pleaser from the producers of "The Blind Side" is a worthy new entrant into the boy-and-his-underdog film genre.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Keith Staskiewicz

    While the plot occasionally feels like "Free Willy" without the drama, it's a cute story if you don't mind temporarily trading in your cynicism for a bag of popcorn.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Joe Williams

    A true story of animal rescue, and it even stars the sea creature to whom it happened. But it's the humans who do the cutesy tricks that make it a mixed blessing.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Mike Scott

    It's not a perfect film, mind you. It's too long by a quarter, and actor-turned-director Charles Martin Smith ("The Untouchables") lets any sense of real structure slip away in the film's crowded third act.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    A reasonably uplifting kids movie if you don't think about it too much. I get paid to think about things too much, and effective as the movie is, it nevertheless left me slightly put off.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Sean OConnell

    It's a whale of a tale, made more special by being predominantly true.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    The best of Dolphin Tale takes it easy. Led by Connick and Judd, plus the crucially empathetic Gamble and Zuehlsdorff, the cast includes Kris Kristofferson as the seafaring old salt of a grandpa. The acting has a nice, low-pressure vibe, in contrast to the film's high-pressure peril.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    No, this isn't how it really happened. But director Charles Martin Smith ("Air Bud") wrings plenty of heartfelt tears and a few laughs out of this fictionalized account.

    Orlando Sentinel Full Review
  • Nick Schager

    If its plotting can be slight, the film's restraint and earnestness help prevent it from ever tipping over into outright mawkishness, and its performances similarly avoid over-the-top histrionics.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Eve Barlow

    A good shout if your kids like this sort of thing, otherwise best head to your local aquarium.

    Empire Full Review
  • Elizabeth Weitzman

    Most of the family films churned out today are so junky it's almost a shock to find one in which the animals never spout sassy one-liners, or show off their hilarious hip-hop moves.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Andrea Gronvall

    The parallel between the dolphin and the disabled tourists who flock to see it borders on treacle, but Gamble's rapport with his finned costar is so touching that the movie works anyway.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Alison Willmore

    The underwater scenes of Sawyer playing with the dolphin are gorgeous, a cinematic daydream of interspecies connection.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Pete Hammond

    Call it Prosthetic Flipper, but the truly inspiring Dolphin Tale is perfect family entertainment.

    Boxoffice Magazine Full Review
  • Nathan Rabin

    Dolphin Tale is as casual as a pleasant afternoon nap and about as substantive.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Liam Lacey

    A potentially appealing story about a rescued disabled dolphin gets smothered with inspirational family values guff.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • M. E. Russell

    Dolphin Tale is inoffensive enough -- little kids will probably dig it -- and I'm not suggesting that family-friendly docudramas should tightly conform to real life. But when they do embellish, they should distill the story into something more compelling, rather than watering it down with pleasant-but-utterly-forgettable inspirational boilerplate.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
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