Dolphin Tale - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Dolphin Tale Reviews

Top Critic
Derek Adams
Time Out
October 11, 2011
As much as it grates, it still manages to warm the cockles.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
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
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
September 23, 2011
That it manages to be not insufferable while still being so predictable is a small tribute to its cast and crew.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
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
Top Critic
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
September 23, 2011
Most of the family films churned out today are so junky it's almost a shock to find one in which the animals never spout sassy one-liners, or show off their hilarious hip-hop moves.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
September 23, 2011
Effective as the movie is, it nevertheless left me slightly put off.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Sean O'Connell
Washington Post
September 23, 2011
A heartwarmingly hokey and accessible production.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Bruce Demara
Toronto Star
September 23, 2011
Dolphin Tale is a reasonably well-made and likable story about the courageous efforts of a small, determined band of people who come to the rescue of a badly injured sea creature.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
September 22, 2011
This is not only kid-friendly fare, but a lovely family movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Andrea Gronvall
Chicago Reader
September 22, 2011
Gamble's rapport with his finned costar is so touching that the movie works anyway.
Top Critic
Peter Hartlaub
San Francisco Chronicle
September 22, 2011
It gives young audiences credit for having patience and imagination, and rewards them with an engaging narrative.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
September 22, 2011
The cast is delightful, the story corny without being cloyingly high-fructose, the direction first-rate.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Tom Keogh
Seattle Times
September 22, 2011
A lively, winning family movie starring the very sea mammal at the center of a true story that inspired this film.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
September 22, 2011
It may not be a great movie, but it is an exceptionally touching one.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
September 22, 2011
The result is an excellent family film - maybe not up to 1996's "Fly Away Home'' in the kid-helps-wildlife genre but eye-opening and heartwarming and sensibility-expanding all the same.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
September 22, 2011
It's rudimentary and even a little clumsy in its filmmaking technique (not a small matter), but there's some narrative ambition, at least...
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Mary F. Pols
TIME Magazine
September 22, 2011
Kids are going to eat this up. Given what a dismal year it's been for the family film, it's likely their parents will, too.
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+
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
September 22, 2011
A pleasant family film with an improbable true story at its heart.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Keith Staskiewicz
Entertainment Weekly
September 21, 2011
While the plot occasionally feels like Free Willy without the drama, it's a cute story if you don't mind temporarily trading in your cynicism for a bag of popcorn.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Randy Cordova
Arizona Republic
September 21, 2011
Attacking a film like this for being a tad cloying seems to be missing the point. It's an intrinsic part of what "Dolphin Tale" is. It's like getting mad at a dog for barking.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
September 21, 2011
Adorable...
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
September 21, 2011
...if it doesn't bring a tear or two to your eye, you might need a visit to the cardiologist to see what you've got in there in place of a heart.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
September 21, 2011
Winter is friendly, loving, emotional, playful, brave and intelligent. Before her Dolphin Tale is over, I dare even the most jaded cynic not to shed a tear of admiration and joy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Alison Willmore
Time Out
September 21, 2011
You'd have to have a heart of stone to not be moved by the nonfiction footage of disabled children and war vets finding inspiration in Winter.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Aaron Hillis
Village Voice
September 20, 2011
By the end of the movie, Winter has become a mascot for human disability, especially for children, and Dolphin Tale has enough depth and sensitivity to tap into emotion without feeling manipulative.
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
September 19, 2011
The sheer goodness of it all might be too much to bear.
Top Critic
Andrew Barker
Variety
September 19, 2011
Though garnished with some heavy dollops of cheese, Dolphin Tale is a surprisingly solid, earnest family pic.