63% The Maze Runner Sep 19
65% A Walk Among the Tombstones Sep 19
42% This Is Where I Leave You Sep 19
82% Tracks Sep 19
93% The Guest Sep 17

Top Box Office

11% No Good Deed $24.3M
70% Dolphin Tale 2 $15.9M
92% Guardians of the Galaxy $8.1M
19% Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles $4.9M
20% Let's Be Cops $4.4M
88% The Drop $4.1M
37% If I Stay $3.9M
35% The November Man $2.8M
35% The Giver $2.6M
67% The Hundred-Foot Journey $2.4M

Coming Soon

67% The Equalizer Sep 26
70% The Boxtrolls Sep 26
84% The Two Faces of January Sep 26
—— Two Night Stand Sep 26
91% Jimi: All Is by My Side Sep 26

Premieres Tonight

100% The Good Wife: Season 6
58% Madam Secretary: Season 1
—— Miss Marple: Season 6

New Episodes Tonight

—— American Dad!: Season 11
87% Boardwalk Empire: Season 5
53% The Lottery: Season 1
89% Manhattan: Season 1
97% Masters of Sex: Season 2
78% Ray Donovan: Season 2
87% The Strain: Season 1
—— Witches of East End: Season 2

Discuss Last Night's Shows

91% Doctor Who: Season 8
—— Hell on Wheels: Season 4
40% Intruders: Season 1
90% Outlander: Season 1

Big Miracle (2012)



Average Rating: 6.2/10
Reviews Counted: 98
Fresh: 72 | Rotten: 26

Big Miracle uses real-life events as the basis for a surprisingly satisfying family drama.


Average Rating: 6.5/10
Critic Reviews: 25
Fresh: 19 | Rotten: 6

Big Miracle uses real-life events as the basis for a surprisingly satisfying family drama.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 38,525

My Rating

Movie Info

Inspired by the true story that captured the hearts of people across the world, the rescue adventure Big Miracle tells the amazing tale of a small town news reporter (John Krasinski) and an animal-loving volunteer (Drew Barrymore) who are joined by rival world superpowers to save a family of majestic gray whales trapped by rapidly forming ice in the Arctic Circle. -- (C) Universal


Drama, Action & Adventure, Romance, Comedy

Jack Amiel, Michael Begler

Jun 19, 2012


Universal Pictures - Official Site External Icon

Watch It Now

Latest News on Big Miracle

February 3, 2012:
Critics Consensus: The Woman in Black is a Solid Ghost Story
With awards season in full swing, audiences have plenty to choose from at the multiplex, whether it...
January 31, 2012:
Drew Barrymore and John Krasinski Talk Big Miracle
Krasinski also discusses his upcoming Gus Van Sant project.


Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.

All Critics (100) | Top Critics (27) | Fresh (72) | Rotten (26)

By-the-book dialogue and lame performances do the film no favours but, hey, worse things happen at sea.

February 7, 2012 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's something refreshing about a kids' movie that manages to get through its entire length without a poop joke.

February 3, 2012 Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Comment (1)
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If you're looking for a passable film to take the kids to this weekend, Miracle offers a smart enough take on its feel-good plot to keep adult viewers tuned in.

February 3, 2012 Full Review Source: TheWrap
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"Big Miracle" might be subtitled, "How Hollywood Turned a Real Story Into Bogus Fiction."

February 3, 2012 Full Review Source: Newsday | Comments (6)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Big Miracle is not one of those whale tales that leaves the audience blubbering, but it's open to the allure of the imposing creatures, which resemble long boulders that have come to life.

February 3, 2012 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"Big Miracle" shouldn't really work, but it does.

February 3, 2012 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"Big Miracle" is quite the whale of a tale. Miraculous? Maybe. Predictable? Mostly. Delightful? Absolutely.

September 25, 2013 Full Review Source:

A heavy-handed script and an obnoxious main character help sink this environmental drama.

June 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Big Hollywood
Big Hollywood

There are more subtle movies out there, but few more uplifting.

August 30, 2012 Full Review Source: The National
The National

Big Miracle is invested with solid craftsmanship and a nuanced view of how idealism, pragmatism, and politics intersect.

August 17, 2012 Full Review Source: Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema

This is, well, huge.

August 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

Political cynicism, media opportunism, dogmatic native traditions, corporate greed and environmentalist stubbornness are each, in turn, dashed against this sunny confection.

March 23, 2012 Full Review Source: McClatchy-Tribune News Service
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

funny, tear jerking, smart, and not a little subversive with a few well-place jabs at unexpectedly deserving parties as well as a few kudos in a few surprising places

February 20, 2012 Full Review Source: Killer Movie Reviews
Killer Movie Reviews

Genial feelgood story inspired by a true story that made headlines in 1988.

February 20, 2012 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Big Miracle, beyond its bland, nondescript title, delivers exactly what the coming attraction promised, an enjoyable save-the-whales" tale.

February 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Atlantic City Weekly
Atlantic City Weekly

The makers attempt to coat their fascinatingly bitter pill with saccharine. They are, however, only partially successful.

February 11, 2012 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

[S]urprisingly pleasant... Feel-good hokum is achieved with a minimum of groans induced thanks to director Ken Kwapis' light touch...

February 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher
Flick Filosopher

Big Miracle has some decent special effects and a young boy will help it to feel more relevant to children.

February 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Birmingham Mail
Birmingham Mail

Ponderously sincere but it does tell a good story.

February 10, 2012 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

Krasinski and Barrymore are very likable characters with screen charisma. They seem at ease having previously worked with Kwapis. The movie's other chief strengths are the excellent casting choices, the cinematography and the lifelike animatronic puppets.

February 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Entertainment Spectrum
Entertainment Spectrum

It is a laborious, sentimental drama featuring a self-parodic performance from Drew Barrymore, based on a TV news event that briefly gripped the US in 1988.

February 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Guardian | Comments (4)

Inspiring as any family-centric film can be, without being too insipid and manipulative.

February 9, 2012 Full Review Source:

A grounding in the real-life story makes this film much less sentimental than it looks.

February 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

The whales are so appealing, and the fight to free them from their ice prison so excitingly feel-good, that all cynicism is put aside, making this very decent family entertainment.

February 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Much better than the poster or trailer suggests.

February 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

Well made and superbly acted by a strong ensemble cast, this is an enjoyable, warmly written drama that resists the temptation to overdose on sentimentality and delivers a strong message.

February 8, 2012 Full Review Source: ViewLondon

Audience Reviews for Big Miracle

Truly a family movie with an inspiring story about helping the animals..
July 3, 2013
Sanjaya 丘耀文

Super Reviewer

Pretty lame. Felt like a TV movie. Even Drew Barrymore could not really lift this, and geez, couldn't someone have touched up her roots before filming started!
It's got a fairly high rating, so perhaps it just me being harsh, but I really did find this ordinary.
March 31, 2013

Super Reviewer

Based on true events..Overall a wonderful, heart-warming movie. It was a nice change of pace to watch a movie about people coming together for a cause. There were some inaccuracies for the sake of entertainment, but honestly, it can be overlooked. The picture as a whole was sweet, funny, and a nice way to spend an afternoon.
November 11, 2012

Super Reviewer

Inspired by the true story of 3 whales trapped under ice outside of Alaska. Follows a reporter(John Krasinski) and a animal activist(Drew Barrymore) as they try to free the whales, which becomes a huge world wide story. While, no "Free Willy" by any means, the film is still entertaining and good for the whole family. At nearly 2 hours, it does drag, and could really stand to be trimmed up. Krasinski is great in everything I've seen him in, and he is no different here. He plays very well off the cast including Barrymore, Ted Dansen, and Kristen Bell. The whales are beautiful, but something lacked with building an emotional connection to them, like other animal movies. Still, a decent flick if you enjoy animals or feel good stories.
July 2, 2012
Everett Johnson

Super Reviewer

    1. Rachel Kramer: Even though they're big and powerful, they're so much like us. We're vulnerable and we get scared. We need help sometimes too.
    – Submitted by Ahmad Fai R (2 years ago)
    1. Malik: It's not my first rodeo either.
    – Submitted by Austin G (2 years ago)
    1. Malik: Holy crap!
    2. Adam Carlson: Hey. We don't say that kind of- Holy crap!
    – Submitted by Austin G (2 years ago)
    1. Roy: Are you Mexican? Only at work.
    – Submitted by Lee L (2 years ago)
    1. Rachel Kramer: The Governor has basically turned his back on the whales.
    – Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)
    1. Rachel Kramer: There's always something you can do.
    – Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)
View all quotes (6)

Discussion Forum

Discuss Big Miracle on our Movie forum!

What's Hot On RT

Box Office
Box Office

Maze Runner Winds Up At Number One

Author! Author!
Author! Author!

Schwartzman in Listen Up Philip

Everybody Hurts
Everybody Hurts

New Men, Women & Children Trailer

Downtown 81
Downtown 81

New A Most Violent Year Trailer

Foreign Titles

  • Der Ruf der Wale (DE)
  • Big Miracle (UK)
Find us on:                     
Help | About | Jobs | Critics Submission | Press | API | Licensing | Mobile