Big Miracle

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +3

Content: +3

Drew Barrymore, John Krasinski, Ahmaogak Sweeney, John Pingayak. Directed by Jack Amiel.

FILM SYNOPSIS: It’s 1988 and the cold war is in full bloom; the Russians are the bad guys – aren’t they? Greenpeace tree huggers are upset over the environment and big business tycoons are pushing for pipelines to access our country’s oil. Then on the evening news one night, a small story from Barrows, Alaska, turns the country into (gasp) a united frenzy. Three whales are trapped under a thickening layer of ice, blocking their way to the sea and the path to southern California. Big Miracle is inspired by a true story and stars Drew Barrymore as Rachel, the Greenpeace volunteer who spearheads the rescue. She is aided by her former boyfriend Adam (John Krasinski), the television reporter who first spots the troubled whales.

PREVIEW REVIEW: It’s interesting to see how diversity creates unity. In the beginning the trapped whales are perceived by some of the Eskimos as a money-making opportunity because of the influx of reporters and politicians from all over descending on the tiny North Arctic village. A young boy, Nathan (Ahmaogak Sweeney), sells squares of cardboard for $18 to the outsiders to stand on the ice, while his grandfather Malik (John Pingayak) resents efforts to save the whales because they are what Eskimos feed their families. The billionaire (Ted Danson), trying to get approval of the pipeline, sees it as an opportunity to change his image from villain to savior by financing the equipment required to break up the ice. Even the White House calls in the National Guard, which will help win votes in the upcoming election. Then come the Russians. Selfish motives fade, however, as their combined efforts seem to be failing and the possibility of tragedy looms.

As the title implies, there is a happy ending that can only be called a miracle, making it obvious God was in control. Plenty of suspense holds the audience’s attention without violence but some scenes may be too intense for children under six. Strong emotional outbursts and anger are expressed that include one or two exclamatory profanities. Families can enjoy Big Miracle together and learn that diversity is part of our American heritage. How familiar are most of us with life in the North Arctic? While this movie is not a documentary, it may tweak the interest of many to find out more about a remote corner of the world.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Universal Pictures

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: A few crude words (crap, damns)

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: One or two “oh my G-d”

Violence: Action scenes of rescue attempts are tense with a few dangerous moments; opposing factions have a shouting match, but no hitting.

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Some beer drinking; one reporter gets drunk in cafe.

Other: Whales in distress can be upsetting as they struggle to breathe under difficult circumstances.

Running Time: 107 minutes
Intended Audience: Families, 6 and up

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