In the Heart of the Sea Reviews

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December 10, 2015
It is mounted as a handsome period piece in period style, except for the modern special effects to make the close-ups of the whale look real. But it is also a bridge to modern thinking and a desperately thrilling adventure story.
December 10, 2015
Alternately awesome and wooden.
December 10, 2015
Ron Howard's grand maritime adventure has spectacular effects, literary polish and just the right touch of modern-day relevance.
December 10, 2015
Sorry to beat a dead whale, since "In the Heart of the Sea" clearly lacks whatever it takes to engage a contemporary audience, but what were they thinking when they put such a ponderous picture into production?
December 10, 2015
I wish Howard's film had more of a distinct personality and drive behind it; Howard's made some supremely enjoyable films, in various keys, but this waterlogged, effects-crazed picture isn't one of them.
December 10, 2015
This whale tale doesn't blow, but it does sniffle a bit too much.
December 10, 2015
The most compelling onscreen presence is the whale- who, unlike the rest of the cast, is spared the wooden dialogue.
December 10, 2015
Sure it's old-school. So what. Howard puts every computerized whale trick in the book into crafting a seafaring adventure to rock your boat.
December 10, 2015
Moby-Dick was a story of fever and obsession. Ron Howard is interested in something more cynically modern: corporate greed.
December 10, 2015
We never doubt the enormity or ferocity of the beast, nor the trials of the men who unwisely went hunting for it. We just don't live and die by the outcome.
December 10, 2015
In the Heart of the Sea is everything you might expect and a little bit less. It's solid if rarely spectacular, engaging if rarely engrossing.
December 10, 2015
A predictable disaster-at-sea story that follows the pattern of all disaster-at-sea stories, with guys floating in still water, under a hot sun, getting so hungry that they start looking at each other with a funny expression.
December 10, 2015
If In The Heart Of The Sea has its share of clunks and groans, it also looks suspiciously like bona fide big-screen art.
Top Critic
December 10, 2015
It's a harrowing tale that still packs an entertaining wallop. But any attempt at character development seems to have ended on an editing-room table.
December 10, 2015
In the Heart of the Sea is a savage story of survival encased in Ron Howard amber - the gooey, dull coating of self-importance and respectability that typifies most of the pictures he has directed.
December 10, 2015
Although the film desperately strives to achieve the salt-stained realism of, say, Peter Weir's 2003 beautifully rough-hewn epic, Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World, In the Heart of the Sea falls far short of such lofty goals.
December 10, 2015
There is something curiously flat about Ron Howard's recounting of the final voyage of the ill-fated, 19th-century whale ship the Essex.
December 9, 2015
It's a tentative, half-realized tale that ultimately suffers from a significant identity crisis.
December 9, 2015
As adventure, it's fair to average. As metaphysical inquiry, it has more to give, partly because Gleeson brings such dignity and sadness to the now decrepit and whisky-soaked Nickerson. It's hardly enough to save the film but it is enough to savour.
December 9, 2015
Sure, Hemsworth looks great, and the whale's attacks are genuinely exciting. And some of the everyday details of life at sea are fascinating, too, if disgusting. But sorry, maties, but this is the one that got away.
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