The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
Despite its sad scenes, it sentimentalizes. It attributes human emotions and motivations to its central animals. Its music instructs us how to feel. And the narration and overall approach get in the way of the visual material.
Watching these endangered species evolve new approaches to hunting and shelter is fascinating, but the movie is seriously marred by a cloying screenplay and such kid-pleasing touches as shots of walruses belching and farting.
Watching bear cubs and walrus pups struggling to survive against increasingly tough odds, and on ever-slushier ice shelves, has both its shamelessly manipulative side and its dramatically necessary side, as handled here.
Whatever problems some might have with its execution, it's hard to argue against a film whose intent is to kindle youthful compassion for living things and inspire action to protect Earth and its creatures.
I'm no holdout about the reality of global warming, but fictionalizing and anthropomorphizing animal adventures to make the point and then calling it a documentary puts these filmmakers in a league with pre-Sicko Michael Moore.