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Big Miracle | 2012 | PG | - 1.3.3

Inspired by a true story: a reporter (John Krasinski) in a small Alaska town breaks the story of three gray whales trapped beneath the ice. After his Greenpeace activist ex-girlfriend (Drew Barrymore) gets involved, the story becomes international news as the world hopes that the family of whales can escape the rapidly forming Arctic ice. Also with John Pingayak, Ted Danson, Kirsten Bell and Kathy Baker. Directed by Ken Kwapis. [2:03]

SEX/NUDITY 1 - A man and a woman kiss, and as they kiss, the man lifts the woman and hugs her. We see a man and a woman kiss, and later see a photograph of a man and a woman kissing. A man comforts a woman, and he hugs her and kisses her forehead. A man and a woman hug on multiple occasions.
 A boy tells a man that he thinks a woman is "hot" and teases the man, saying that he likes the woman. A man jokingly tells a woman that if he had known she was so pretty he would have called her back.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 3 - Several men in a small boat, with a boy at the hull, throw a harpoon at a whale; the screen cuts and we do not see the harpoon hit the whale.
 Throughout the movie we see a small bloody wound on a younger whale's nose grow larger until it appears raw around the edges and it looks like bone is visible. We see whales repeatedly slam their heads into ice as they try to surface for air, we hear a thud and the whales cry.
 A woman panics and cries when she believes a baby whale had died; we hear from news reports and a man that the baby whale had not surfaced for over a day and is believed to be dead. A group of people panic when two whales do not surface; a man shouts and moments later the whales appear unharmed.
 A woman stands before a crowd and shouts into a megaphone and two men drag her away as she continues shouting; we later see the woman watching news footage of herself being dragged away. Two women and two men sit around a table and shout angrily at one another while a boy watches; one woman shouts that three whales will die if they do nothing, and adds that she will tell people that the President of the United States was responsible for the death of the whales.
 A man is alarmed when a metal pen sticks to his lips from the cold. A helicopter pilot warns a man and two women that they cannot bring a running generator onto the helicopter because the fumes will cause them to pass out; the man suggests they fly with the doors open so the fumes escape, and we see them flying with icicles on their faces and the helicopter pilot panics when his eye freezes shut and the man suggests that he can cut open the pilot's eye, the pilot shouts at him and the man then licks the pilot's eye (we see the man putting his mouth next to the man's eye but do not see him actually licking the eye and the pilot opens his eye unharmed).
 People standing on a large stretch of ice shake as a massive tanker slams into an ice wall, and they steady themselves unharmed. We see a large ice-tanker stranded on a patch of ice as a television reporter announces that the ice-tanker had run into an "ocean pothole" and crashed, almost causing two helicopters carrying it to also crash. A woman diving underwater uses a diving knife to rip netting from a small whale's tail and she throws the netting on the ground as she surfaces and storms away. A man warns a woman that it is dangerous for her to go diving with three whales, saying that the swipe from one of their fins could kill her; the man remarks, "It's suicide," as the woman dives into the water (she later surfaces unharmed).
 An older man warns a group of men that if they allow reporters to take photographs of them harvesting three whales that all people would see is "blood." A woman shouts in a crowded room that Inuit men should not kill three trapped whales, one of the men responds that it would be to feed his family and to teach his family how to hunt so they will not starve. A man tells a woman that a group of Inuit men will possibly harvest three whales. A man announces to a crowd that several Inuit men will not be harvesting three whales. A man tells a woman that he is putting lives in danger when he deploys the National Guard; the woman responds by saying the lives of three whales are in danger and the man dismisses her, saying that if a whale dies he does not have to tell its wife or children. A man asks two men if any lives are in danger, and a man responds that the lives of whales are in danger. A woman tearfully tells a man over a walkie-talkie that three whales will die. A woman tells a man that she thinks she is the only thing preventing a group of Inuit men killing three whales. A woman tells a man that she will make the press want to "hang" a group of Inuit men for wanting to harvest a whale for food. A man watches news footage of himself reporting on the health of three whales; the man reports that the whales will drown if they do not find a way through the thick ice; the man watches a clip twice, where he mentions that the whales are surfacing with cuts and bruises from trying to break through the ice repeatedly. We see multiple people, including school children, watching news footage of three whales trapped under ice; a man mentions that they will die if they are not freed and that there are visible bruises and cuts on the whales from their attempts to break through the ice. A man reports that a baby whale could be "seriously ill" after overhearing a man and an older man discuss how the whale is having problems breathing and could have pneumonia. A man warns another man that two helicopters could crash to the ground in a "stereophonic explosion"; another man asks the man if that is correct, and the man clarifies that there is a "60/40 chance" of the explosion happening. A man tells a group of people that a situation is "do or die." A man jokes that he would "drop bombs" to break up ice, then adds that it would kill everything else around the whales. A man teases a woman, saying that if a group of whales "went on a killing spree" he would cover the story. A man asks another man if putting a de-icer into the water is safe or if it could electrocute the whales, the man responds that he does not know (we discover that it is safe and the whales are unharmed). A woman shouts warnings about the rise of mercury levels in fish, saying that if people "like tremors and birth defects" to continue eating fish. A woman remarks snidely that another woman is wearing makeup that was probably tested on animals. A man jokingly tells another man that a sign reading, "All raw whale and seal meat must be sealed from leaking" also appears at Disneyland. A man jokes with a woman, saying that the grandmother of a boy has a large knife collection. A man jokingly tells a woman that if he called her every time something was in danger they would never be off the phone.


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LANGUAGE 3 - 2 mild scatological terms, 1 anatomical term, 17 mild obscenities, 1 implied mild obscenity (S.O.B.), name-calling (a bunch of stupid whales, hippies, tree-huggers, those people, witch, nuts, heartless hunters, killers, fat ladies with oily skin, Cocky McGee, Gordon Gecko, endangered critters that need saving, jerk, smelly drunk depressed Barbie, Reds, Ruskie, crazy), exclamations (geez, for Pete's sake), 9 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - On multiple occasions we see men and women drinking wine and liquor, including men toasting and taking shots and a woman remarking that she is "drunk" (we see a collection of small liquor bottles in front of her).


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - American-Soviet relations in the 1980s, The Cold War, whale migration, Greenpeace, environmental activism, oil drilling, Inuit culture, courage, strength of convictions.

MESSAGE - It is important to stand up for what you believe in.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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