Movie Review: Dolphin Tale

For the first time ever, my wife, my daughter and I went to a movie theater together. Usually it’s the daughter and I, or the wife and I. On Columbus Day, we all went to the neighborhood cinema, the Madison, to see Dolphin Tale.

It could have been called Dolphin Tail. From Rotten Tomatoes: “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.”

I was surprised to discover that it turned out to be a good movie. Not a great one, but one where I was willing to be taken in by young Sawyer Haskell (Nathan Gamble), disaffected at school but with a peculiar connection with the mammal he helped to save. He ends up being a regular at the sanctuary where the dolphin was being treated, without the knowledge of his mother (Ashley Judd). Clearwater Marine Hospital is run by marine biologist Dr. Clay Haskett (Harry Connick Jr.) with the assistance of his staff; his wise father Reed (Kris Kristofferson) tries to let his son do things his way. Morgan Freeman shows up about halfway through the film in a critical role.

Yes, it’s a message film, where Sawyer, along with Clay’s daughter Hazel (Cozi Zuehlsdorff), show the grown-ups that they ought not give up too easily, even after bad weather and worse finances. And at 1:52, it was about 15 minutes too long. But it was inspirational in the end, and it’s the kind of movie one can take a child 1) without being mortified by what’s on the screen and 2) without being bored to death.

I liked it, and my wife and daughter, probably moreso.

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2 thoughts on “Movie Review: Dolphin Tale

  1. I love the story behind this film, and the big name actors made it a joy to watch!! I took my son, and he absolutely loved it!! I’m not usually at the theaters for releases however, due to the crazy cost of tickets and snacks. This one was worth it though. If you’d rather watch your films in the comfort of your own home, but still love catching new releases while they’re “new”, take a look at the new Blockbuster Movie Pass from DISH network. It’s where I work, and I know that DISH now offers more than 100,000 games, shows and titles through the mail or streaming live!! It’s amazingly convenient also. One package, one company, one price!! Definitely a must-see for film fans!

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