Dolphin Tale


Dolphin Tale

Critics Consensus

Wisely dialing down the schmaltz, Dolphin Tale is earnest, sweet, and well-told, a rare family film that both kids and parents can enjoy.



Reviews Counted: 110

liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 45,340


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 4/5

You may have noticed some of the recent changes we have made. To read more about what we’ve been working on behind the scenes, please check out our new RT Product Blog here.

Want to See

Add Rating
My Rating    

Dolphin Tale Photos

Movie Info

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. -- (C) Warner Bros

Watch it now


Harry Connick Jr.
as Dr. Clay Haskett
Ashley Judd
as Lorraine Nelson
Nathan Gamble
as Sawyer Nelson
Kris Kristofferson
as Reed Haskett
Cozi Zuehlsdorff
as Hazel Haskett
Morgan Freeman
as Dr. Cameron McCarthy
Austin Stowell
as Kyle Connellan
Frances Sternhagen
as Gloria Forrest
Megan Lozicki
as Brittany
Jim Fitzpatrick
as Max Connellan
Kim Ostrenko
as Alyce Connellan
Michael Roark
as Donovan Peck
Ray McKinnon
as Mr. Doyle
Ashley White
as Sandra Sinclair
Tom Nowicki
as Philip J. Hordern
Rus Blackwell
as Coach Vansky
Marc Macaulay
as Board Member Fitch
Jennifer De Castroverde
as Board Member Marx
Denise Durette
as Board Member Christina
Vivian Ruiz
as Virginia
Laila Harris
as Little Girl in Wheelchair
Stacy Ann Rose
as Little Girl's Mother
Kurt Yaeger
as Veteran Tim
Mike Maki
as Veteran Mike
Mike Pniewski
as Prosthetic Consultant
Paul Amadi
as Kyle's Friend
Charlotte Connick
as Hordern Grandchild
as Winter
Abby Stone
as Winter Trainer
Cat Rust
as Panama Trainer
Elaina Franklin
as Dolphin Trainer
View All

News & Interviews for Dolphin Tale

Critic Reviews for Dolphin Tale

All Critics (110) | Top Critics (30)

It's easy to roll one's eyes at Dolphin Tale, which is heavy on swelling music and how children - aw, shucks! - can teach adults a thing or two about holding on to hope.

Oct 13, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

As much as it grates, it still manages to warm the cockles.

Oct 11, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

Plenty of ambition. But the dialogue can be tin-eared, and the comedy has a cater- to-kids quality that sells youngsters short.

Sep 23, 2011 | Rating: 2.5/4

Instead of steering toward deep and troubled waters, "Dolphin Tale" jumps through hoops to engage a young audience.

Sep 23, 2011 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

That it manages to be not insufferable while still being so predictable is a small tribute to its cast and crew.

Sep 23, 2011 | Rating: 2.5/4

A potentially appealing story about a rescued disabled dolphin gets smothered with inspirational family values guff.

Sep 23, 2011 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Dolphin Tale

Inspired by the amazing true story of Winter Good inspirational movie!I highly recommend this movie for any family, especially anyone with a disability. And as far as the barely believable and possibly sappy plot, sometime real life is like that and that is a good thing! A lonely and friendless boy finds and untangles a hurt dolphin that is caught in a crab trap. He becomes very attached to the dolphin when the tail must be taken off to save the dolphin's life. The boy believes the dolphin would be able to swim normally if it was given a prosthetic tail.

Manu Gino
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer


This movie seemed a bit like this generations, 'Free Willy', I caught a lot of the same ideas and overall family friendly feel in it. Of course, this movie was inspired by a true story, so not sure what all was legit and what all was added drama but the overall conclusion was it was a decent-family friend feel with a great message to be told. Dolphin Tale focuses on a rescued Dolphin befriended by a boy who discovers it wrapped up in a net on the beach. The boy, struggling with his own problems in life, finds solitude in his time with the Dolphin forming a bond between them that helps them both continue on and keep fighting the hardships of life thrust in their direction. An attempt at a bionic tale (which obviously eventually works) is the core of the movie, the message, is the struggle for those with handicaps and over-coming odds in life no matter what they are. I thought the message for children especially, those with disabilities, who can find some type of encouragement and hope through this film was amazing and that's what won me over in a family-friendly film that typically wouldn't catch my mind or time. It wasn't the greatest acting, wasn't the greatest movie, in fact as a movie by itself I am not sure it stands up to many others very well but the overall but the overall message and reality behind the story is what really stood out to me. It's a sloppy movie for a true movie critic, but, its inspiration and a feel good film, especially for children. So for that, it's not for all, but is for some...average on my rating scale...

Bobby Hobbs
Bobby Hobbs

Super Reviewer

Starring Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd, and Morgan Freeman, "Dolphin Tale" is exactly what you would expect. It's a movie about a boy(Nathan Gamble) who befriends an injured dolphin. The dolphin loses it's tail, and the boy then sets off to get help to get the dolphin a prostetic tail. It's a cross between "Soul Surfer" and "Free Willy". Total family movie, that runs too long and is borderline boring in some parts, but overall it's decent. The performances are good, the dolphin is cool, and the effects are well done. The movie is obviously made for 3D, but I only watched it in 2D on Blu Ray, and it still looks beautiful. That being said, not a movie I will probably watch again, but still okay enough for one watch.

Everett Johnson
Everett Johnson

Super Reviewer


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.

danny d
danny d

Super Reviewer

Dolphin Tale Quotes

News & Features