User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 46 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 46
  2. Negative: 6 out of 46

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  1. 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 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. Expand
  2. Aug 6, 2012
    5
    Predictable fun. Fantastic for family audiences. Acting was good, dolphins interesting to see.
  3. 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 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. Expand
  4. Oct 8, 2011
    5
    OK, its good for a young target audience who wants a classic formulaic movie. Predictable, oh yes. Almost every step of the way. My six year old was engaged throughout.....and I did not find it offensive. That's about it.
  5. Jan 4, 2012
    6
    An amazing story.....quite simply put. This film is sweet. The performances are decent and the subject matter is affecting. However, this film drags quite a bit and it really goes nowhere in the second act. If not for the touching conclusion, and the Westlife single "Safe" montage, this film would not have been perceived as well. Worth a rental price, and worth no more than a $10 personal copy.
  6. Feb 3, 2012
    8
    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.
  7. Sep 26, 2011
    8
    I am a huge fan of Harry Connick Jr., so I could not wait to see Dolphin Tale. It is a great feel good film that I recommend to everyone! There were so many hilarious moments and many of them provided by Winter, the dolphin, and Roofus, the pelican. And of course, all of the human actors were great too. I especially liked when Dr. Clay Haskett (Harry Connick Jr.) played the saxophone whenever he felt vulnerable. I hear Harry Connick Jr. is headed to On A Clear Day on Broadway next! Iâ Expand
  8. Oct 11, 2011
    10
    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
  9. Oct 13, 2011
    8
    Inspired by an amazing true story, Dolphin Tale goes exactly how you think it will, but thatâ
  10. Apr 19, 2012
    2
    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
  11. Dec 13, 2011
    5
    I had high hopes for this film considering that it's a feel good movie. But it just didn't deliver. Just because a film is feel good doesn't mean that the film is good itself. When you rate a film never rate on the message it gives otherwise you'r just being bias. Try to look at what makes a film good like acting. Which was decent. The directing was decent as well. There was nothing special to this. The worst part of the movie was the plot build up. There was so many scenes that really weren't necessary. For instance, the scene when the kids fly the remote controlled helicopter wasn't necessary. I believe they put unnecessary scenes just to keep the kids interested. After all this is a kid movie. The writing was also decent. There wasn't any dialogue lines that caught my eye. Not even the story about the kids and the dolphins that Dr. Clay told interested me. The best part was that it's was a touching and heart warming true story. I would recommend this to people that want to take a break from good movies and appreciate a delighted story about a kid and his dolphin. Expand
  12. Jan 8, 2012
    7
    animal films are usually terrible, but 2011 has had a short stack of very good ones and this is one of them. the heart works well, the plot moves quickly enough to engage kids and patiently enough to keep their parents interested. the story is inspiring on multiple levels. overall a very good film.
  13. Feb 6, 2012
    8
    I was rather taken aback when I did some background reading subsequently after watching and discovered that the actual events were, in fact, a great deal different from what I saw in the movie.
    Aside from that, it's a happy, charming movie of the feel-good variety, although I was annoyed how the young boy, Slater, was portrayed as "special" and having some sort of profound connection with
    the dolphin that no one else had. Expand
  14. Jan 13, 2012
    7
    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.
  15. Apr 3, 2012
    8
    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.
  16. Mar 28, 2013
    6
    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.
  17. May 3, 2014
    7
    A sappy family flick from first judgment, the entire package is surprisingly an inspiring tale with great performances, which is what the audiences really want to see more often.
Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  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: Joe Williams
    Sep 23, 2011
    63
    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.
  3. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Sep 23, 2011
    63
    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.