Dolphin Tale - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Dolphin Tale Reviews

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Grae Drake
September 23, 2011
Dolphin Tale works best when it's not actively trying to manipulate your tear ducts.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
September 23, 2011
Plenty of ambition. But the dialogue can be tin-eared, and the comedy has a cater- to-kids quality that sells youngsters short.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Jeff Bayer
The Scorecard Review
September 26, 2011
There is heart here, but that's only during the closing credits when we see a glimpse of the true story.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/10
Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy
October 8, 2011
An eminently fine inspiring true-ish story of beating the odds and being the best you you can be, and if that's your poison, great.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
Brian Gibson
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
November 11, 2011
Sometimes drifts into the emotional shallows rather than letting its 'inspired by a true story' soar on its own.
Anthony Quinn
October 14, 2011
Two hours of redemptive hugs, triumphant whoops and tearful smiles later we learn that pinning a tail on a dolphin is, on the scale of human achievement, not far behind winning the Nobel Peace Prize and discovering a cure for cancer.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Matt Pais
September 22, 2011
The power behind including footage of real people interacting with Winter reiterates how much better Dolphin Tale would have worked as a documentary or, say, a 'Dateline' special.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Kevin Carr
7M Pictures
September 23, 2011
Dolphin Tale gets bogged down with the family drama. These and other elements raise the level of cheese to that of a white trash Velveeta casserole.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Mike Russell
September 22, 2011
It's a mild shame that "Dolphin Tale" director Charles Martin Smith and his screenwriters have chosen to lard the true-life saga up with a bunch of easily digested imaginary detail straight out of the bland Hollywood feel-good recipe mix.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
September 23, 2011
Instead of steering toward deep and troubled waters, "Dolphin Tale" jumps through hoops to engage a young audience.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Jennie Kermode
Eye for Film
October 13, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Nathan Rabin
AV Club
September 22, 2011
Freeman is clearly enjoying himself, but his mega-watt presence and some unnecessary 3D are just about the only things separating Dolphin Tale from an Animal Planet original movie.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Alicia Potter
Boston Phoenix
September 21, 2011
Winter may be a moving symbol of resiliency, but Smith's film unfortunately sticks to shallow waters.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Neil Genzlinger
New York Times
September 22, 2011
Accompanying grown-ups or older siblings will have to choke down a sizable dose of schmaltz with their fish milkshakes.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Mike McGranaghan
Aisle Seat
December 19, 2011
One wonders why the filmmakers felt the need to turn a fascinating true story into a cliche-ridden, formulaic family film.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Jason McKiernan
September 22, 2011
a staggering compilation of various cinematic cliches so transparent a kid could see through them
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Dave White
September 23, 2011
It's very sweet and earnest. That's the good news. The bad news is that it's also kind of dull and packed too full of superfluous stuff.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
September 23, 2011
A potentially appealing story about a rescued disabled dolphin gets smothered with inspirational family values guff.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Michael Dequina
April 6, 2012
Middle-of-the-road milquetoast.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Will Leitch
June 22, 2013
It just wants to make you leave the theater in a good mood. It certainly accomplishes that.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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