Critic scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.
For the most part, Cowperthwaite keeps the preachiness in check, letting the scientists, former SeaWorld trainers and other witnesses tell it as it is. Indeed, the scary training scenes - uniformly gripping - do most of the talking. Read full review
An extraordinary, must-see examination of what humans do to killer whales so that these amazing creatures can become one more entertainment.
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Righteous, captivating and entirely successful as single-issue-focused documentaries go, Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s film draws on startling video footage and testimonies from former orca trainers, building an authoritative argument on behalf of this majestic species. Read full review
The movie makes a strong case against the captivity of killer whales under sub-circus conditions, but the stance is made even more horrifying because so little has changed in the history of the organization. Blackfish is less balanced investigation than full-on takedown of a broken system. Read full review
The movie is revealing, wrenching, and important, a reminder that what feels wrong in our gut—the effort to turn free-roaming and unknowable beasts into caged vaudevillians—is always worth investigating. Read full review
Focusing on the notoriously aggressive orca Tilikum, this gripping film presents a persuasive case against keeping the species – and by extension any wild animal – in captivity for the purposes of human entertainment. Read full review
What’s on camera is both damning and expertly assembled, a filmmaking effort worthy of standing with 2009’s Oscar-winning documentary about dolphin abuse, “The Cove.” Read full review
This is as thorough a take-down of a business and its practices as you’re likely to ever see. Read full review
Dispiriting as Blackfish is at times, it offers beautiful advocacy for orca freedom. Anecdotes and data indicate these mammals are highly sensitive and social. Treating them as we do for our entertainment and profit is unconscionable. Read full review
Blackfish, named after the Native American term for orcas, remains decidedly one-sided. But when that "side" is such a vital, convincing proponent for the greater protection and understanding of such evolved and majestic creatures, it can't help but win. Read full review
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