Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 47 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Dolphin Tale is inspired by the amazing true story of a brave dolphin and the compassionate strangers who banded together to save her life. Swimming free, a young dolphin is caught in a crab trap, severely damaging her tail. She is rescued and transported to the Clearwater Marine Hospital, where she is named Winter. But her fight for survival has just begun. Without a tail, Winter's prognosis is dire. It will take the expertise of a dedicated marine biologist, the ingenuity of a brilliant prosthetics doctor, and the unwavering devotion of a young boy to bring about a groundbreaking miracle—a miracle that might not only save Winter but could also help scores of people around the world. The real Winter, who plays herself in Dolphin Tale, today serves as a symbol of courage, perseverance and hope to millions of people—both able and disabled—who have been touched by her remarkable story of recovery and rehabilitation. (Warner Bros.)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Sep 21, 2011
    Director Charles Martin Smith presents the kind of movie that gives squeaky-clean a good name.
  2. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Sep 22, 2011
    The dolphin is, quite simply, remarkable, and the unstated message of resilience and adaptation ripples easily off the screen to the smallest viewers.
  3. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Sep 22, 2011
    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."
  4. Reviewed by: Keith Staskiewicz
    Sep 21, 2011
    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.
  5. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Sep 23, 2011
    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.
  6. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Sep 21, 2011
    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.
  7. Reviewed by: M. E. Russell
    Sep 22, 2011
    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.

See all 31 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 18
  2. Negative: 2 out of 18
  1. Oct 11, 2011
    I'm a huge Morgan Freeman fan so I guess I was a little bit bias giving this movie a 10, but it was worth it. The animation needs more polishing but the storyline especially the end part gave this movie that edge over free willy Expand
  2. Feb 3, 2012
    This movie has a good message for kids.Never give up.Live out side of the box.Love with all of your heart and make the most of every moment.Dolphin Tale is not all that predictable for the target audience it was made for.Very entertaining Kiddie food for the soul. Expand
  3. Apr 3, 2012
    First off, I would give this a 8.75 out of 10. This is a great family movie, that's for anyone. Performances are all right. Score s descent. The story is good, but predictable every second. Overall, Dolphin tale is a good, family movie for everyone. You and your family should go see. Expand
  4. Jan 13, 2012
    Its a good movie because it has the formula of an old classic film that delivered well.It is good for young audiences that will surely touch and inspire them and realized to be matured enough on helping others .the narrative is simple,well detailed ,the performance is decent but there is no a great impact on every scene that will mark to the mind of the viewers. Expand
  5. Mar 28, 2013
    First, let me say that I find these based on a true story animal movies to be annoying. I went into this movie with practically no expectation (mainly because I find Nathan Gamble, the lead kid extremely annoying) but I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, most of it is cliche and there were only 2 good performances, but families will enjoy it. Just don't expect it to be great. Expand
  6. Aug 6, 2012
    Predictable fun. Fantastic for family audiences. Acting was good, dolphins interesting to see.
  7. Apr 19, 2012
    For a film that's supposed to be based off a true story, the whole film feels as fake as the many prosthetic tales made for the star of the film; a dolphin named Winter. The movie is about a young boy named Sawyer, who is very anti-social, and not doing very well in Summer school. One day, he finds a beached dolphin entangled in a rope and a crab trap. The boy immediately has feelings for the dolphin, and stops by the marine animals hospital everyday to check on the creature. It appears there is little hope for the dolphin to survive, do the dolphin's tale (or more specifically; lack of). Among many problems with this film, the biggest is the movie's lack of a reason to exist. The story has obviously been greatly fabricated from it's source, the acting is passible, the attempts at humor will only make kids laugh, and there are some parts that are so unbearably cheesy, even a child may feel skeptical. I myself, laughed only once during the film's entire duration; nearly two hours. The film is not exciting, and it's very slow and un-rewarding. It's not unwatchable, it's just very boring. There are countless cliches in this film, more than I'd like to count. Every soap opera idea in the book has been yanked out of the book and thrown into this movie. I imagine some kids might enjoy this film, as long as they don't have a short attention span, but any one else will be able to see through this cheese fest. Expand

See all 18 User Reviews