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Big Miracle

4.4 out of 5 stars 364 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Drew Barrymore and John Krasinski star in this incredible rescue adventure – the amazing true story that inspired the world and captured the hearts of millions. When a family of whales is trapped by rapidly forming ice in the Arctic Circle, a small-town reporter (Krasinski) and an animal-loving volunteer (Barrymore) rally an unlikely coalition of Alaskan natives, oil tycoons and the Russian and American military to set aside their differences and free the whales before it’s too late. Kristen Bell, Dermot Mulroney and Ted Danson costar in this charming feel-good movie that the whole family can enjoy!

The oil business, politics, Inuit customs, and animal preservation normally don't mix, especially when the press gets involved. But a funny thing happens when Alaska television reporter Adam Carlson (John Krasinski) discovers a trio of gray whales trapped in the ice near the small town of Point Barrow. Adam's report gets national exposure, and his ex-girlfriend and Greenpeace worker Rachel (Drew Barrymore) hears the story, begins lobbying politicians to save the whales, and hops a plane for Alaska. The story reaches the local Inupiat people and millions of Americans, including oil tycoon J.W. McGraw (Ted Danson), presidential aide Kelly Meyers (Vinessa Shaw), Marine colonel Scott Boyer (Dermot Mulroney), and Los Angeles reporter Jill Jerard (Kristen Bell). Each gets involved in the fight for their own distinct reason. The Inupiat whalers decide to help the whales rather than hunt them, in a round-about effort to preserve their way of life, while McGraw sees the project as an opportunity to make his environmentally unfriendly oil-drilling business look like it cares about the earth. Meyers sees an opportunity to curry political popularity for President Reagan, while Boyer is simply following orders and Jerard is looking to advance her career. The group forms an unlikely alliance and pools their resources in an effort to save the three gray whales, but the experience leaves each of them unexpectedly changed. Based on a true story from 1988, the film is a masterful blend of pure entertainment and a sometimes almost documentary style that manages to be quite appealing to both children and adults. The references to '80s culture and politics are spot-on and will inspire more than a few smirks and snickers from adult audience members, and the environmental message of the film is heartening to all ages. But perhaps the most powerful thing about the film is its honest look at what motivates people and how, in America, even the most diametrically opposed factions can occasionally join forces to achieve a common good. (Ages 7 and older) --Tami Horiuchi

Special Features

  • Deleted Scenes with Intros by Director Ken Kwapis
  • Truth is Stranger than Fiction
  • Feature Commentary with Director Ken Kwapis

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Drew Barrymore, John Krasinski
    • Directors: Ken Kwapis
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
    • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
    • Studio: Universal
    • DVD Release Date: June 19, 2012
    • Run Time: 107 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (364 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B005LAIGQ4
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,884 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Big Miracle" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    Format: DVD
    My wife and I were living in Barrow back in 1988 when the three California Gray Whales got stuck in the ice near Point Barrow. It was an exciting time and we were eagerly waiting to see the movie --how Hollywood would tell the story. When the whales were first discovered, I had just started working as the newsperson for local radio station KBRW. Got busy very quickly!

    It was great to see some places there again, like the Mexican Restaurant ---really named Pepes.
    And young Ahmaogak Sweeney in the role of Nathan, who learns about the Inupiat Eskimos and their relationships with whales from his Appa, or Grandfather. Nathan also figures out a way to supplement his allowance when some 200 outside Media folks arrived in Barrow and wanted to get out to the Arctic Ocean ice where the whales were trapped.
    He gathers up some cardboard and sells it to the reporters so their feet won't get cold standing on the ice.
    I was out there on the ice and don't remember such a thing, but it might have been a good idea.

    The movie is listed as "Inspired by a True Story." So we were prepared for Hollywood to stretch and substitute.

    Two major ones: It was an Inupiat Eskimo hunter, Roy Ahmaogak, who first discovered the stranded whales, not a newsman.
    And second ---the Barrow whalers do not hunt the California Gray Whales. They hunt the larger Bowhead whales.
    The movie includes arguments that a quick rescue was needed so the Native crews would not hunt them.
    The Whaling captains held their meeting early on, before most media arrived, and said they would do all they could to rescue the whales.

    One of the movie's strong points is recreating the whales, barnacles and all.
    Read more ›
    7 Comments 79 of 80 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD
    this is an awesome movie. this movie is based on a true story where three whales two adults and thier baby gets traped in the ice and fights for thier lives. when a news caster descovers that the whales are in trouble he broadcast it all over the news. when people descover how much the whales need help they help them. this was a really good movie and was heartwarming. if you have not seen this movie then i recommend you do
    6 Comments 25 of 26 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD
    1988 Barrow Point, Alaska.

    This film is based on a true story and includes news feeds from that era. Three migrating whales are trapped in the ice due to early freezing. It was a fluke they were reported on in the first place. Once attention grew, unlikely forces and alliances came together to save the whales. This included an oil company, Greenpeace, US and Soviet governments, the military, Eskimos, the community, private entrepreneurs, and a Barbie reporter. That was the Big Miracle.

    The film contains the right mix of drama and comedy in this heart warming tale on what people can accomplish when they come together.

    The end of the film shows a clip of Sarah Palin, then Heath, as a sportscaster.

    Family safe.
    Comment 7 of 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD
    "In Alaska there are no simple rescues." While filming a story about a kid who can do sno-mobile tricks, reporter Adam (Krasinski) spots a strange sight. When he sends his report of three whales trapped in the ice with only days left to live it becomes national news. Now with the help of his Greenpeace girlfriend Rachel (Barrymore) and a few others the race is on to save the whales. After being totally surprised with how much I liked "Dolphin Tale" my expectations for this one were pretty high. Once again I was shocked by how much I enjoyed this movie. Almost immediately it sucks you in and holds you through all the highs and lows. This is also another movie that is based on events that happened when I was old enough to remember but I knew nothing about this. Not knowing what happened made the movie seem more tense to me and I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. Much like "Dolphin Tale" this is a great family movie that everyone, not just the kids will love. It is rated PG for language but other then a character saying Hell and bastard I don't remember anything other that that so you won't have to worry about what your kids are hearing. I highly recommend this as a great movie for family night. Overall, one of the best family movies in the last few years. A must see. I give it an A.
    Comment 8 of 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD
    Sometimes it takes a film about the environmental crises to bring to the attention of the entire populace that not only MUST we do something about our bruising of our natural environment, but that when certain people take action it does indeed make a difference. This is a gently made film that gets its point across in a warmly entertaining way - and it is a true story!

    Thomas Rose' book FREEING THE WHALES forms the basis for this story, adapted for the screen by Jack Amiel and Michael Begler. Ken Kwapis directs. In brief summery (everyone knows this story by now), an animal-loving volunteer and a small-town news reporter are joined by a native Alaskan boy to rally an entire community - and eventually rival world superpowers - to save a family of majestic gray whales trapped by rapidly forming ice in the Arctic Circle.'

    The cast is a large one with some actors only appearing briefly but in roles that show their professional an also their emotional support for placing this subject before the public. In the lead roles are John Krasinski, Drew Barrymore, Ted Danson and Tim Blake Nelson, but the remainder of the cast includes Dermot Mulroney, Kathy Baker, Kristin Bell, James LeGros and a fine supporting cast of Inuit actors and others.

    The special effects are credible and deeply moving as the whales are released form their frozen captivity. The film adds much to the understanding of environmental problems and how multinational efforts are necessary to tame the destructive threats to the future of our globe. Grady Harp, January 13
    Comment 2 of 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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