Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Eve Barlow
    Oct 10, 2011
    60
    A good shout if your kids like this sort of thing, otherwise best head to your local aquarium.
  2. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Sep 23, 2011
    60
    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.
  3. Reviewed by: Andrea Gronvall
    Sep 22, 2011
    60
    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.
  4. Reviewed by: Alison Willmore
    Sep 20, 2011
    60
    The underwater scenes of Sawyer playing with the dolphin are gorgeous, a cinematic daydream of interspecies connection.
  5. Reviewed by: Pete Hammond
    Sep 20, 2011
    60
    Call it Prosthetic Flipper, but the truly inspiring Dolphin Tale is perfect family entertainment.
  6. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Sep 21, 2011
    58
    Dolphin Tale is as casual as a pleasant afternoon nap and about as substantive.
  7. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Sep 22, 2011
    50
    A potentially appealing story about a rescued disabled dolphin gets smothered with inspirational family values guff.
  8. Reviewed by: M. E. Russell
    Sep 22, 2011
    50
    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.
User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 52 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 20
  2. Negative: 2 out of 20
  1. Aug 6, 2012
    5
    Predictable fun. Fantastic for family audiences. Acting was good, dolphins interesting to see.
  2. May 10, 2012
    5
    If it wasn't based on a true story I would rate a zero. It's strictly for kids as the adults play to and through the kids. Mr Connick shouldIf it wasn't based on a true story I would rate a zero. It's strictly for kids as the adults play to and through the kids. Mr Connick should stick to music. He sleepwalks through his dialogue , and is just not believable. The kids add some spice and Mr Freeman does his usual, but the pelican is the standout here. A hint of romance but never developed. Everybody gets together to save the tale / tail and we all smile at the end. So if you really have nothing to do one day and have small children, take the kids but don't expect much. Full Review »
  3. Sep 24, 2011
    9
    I believe that it is a very good movie.The plot is a little predictable because the commercials showed the dolphin swimming with its new tailI believe that it is a very good movie.The plot is a little predictable because the commercials showed the dolphin swimming with its new tail and it is a true story so you could just look it up to spoil it. The plot being predicatable doesn't make it any less impactful. Any marine biologist would be thinking, "ya, dolphins do love to play like that and lot." The only reason I am not giving it a ten, is because you can't relate to the dolphin as much as if the same thing happened all around a human. The older cousin did lose control of his right leg, yes, but the story is about the dolphin. You can tell when the dolphin is sad, but you can't understand the life of a dolphin, so you don't understand 100% why losing its tail is more than just less swimming. Full Review »