• Released
  • July 19, 2013
  • (Limited)
  • PG-13 , 1 hr 23 min
  • Documentary
  • 273 Fan Ratings
Synopsis: The story of Tilikum, a marine-park killer whale, reveals how little man knows about the orca.

Movie Reviews

Critic Ratings

83
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100

San Francisco Chronicle

For the most part, Cowperthwaite keeps the preachiness in check, letting the scientists, former SeaWorld trainers and other witnesses tell...
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100

New York Daily News

By Joe Neumaier
An extraordinary, must-see examination of what humans do to killer whales so that these amazing creatures can become one more...
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100

Variety

By Justin Chang
Righteous, captivating and entirely successful as single-issue-focused documentaries go, Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s film draws on startling...
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91

indieWIRE

By Eric Kohn
The movie makes a strong case against the captivity of killer whales under sub-circus conditions, but the stance is made even more...
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90

Village Voice

By Alan Scherstuhl
The movie is revealing, wrenching, and important, a reminder that what feels wrong in our gut—the effort to turn free-roaming and...
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90

The Hollywood Reporter

By David Rooney
Focusing on the notoriously aggressive orca Tilikum, this gripping film presents a persuasive case against keeping the species – and by...
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88

Boston Globe

By Janice Page
What’s on camera is both damning and expertly assembled, a filmmaking effort worthy of standing with 2009’s Oscar-winning documentary about...
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88

Movie Nation

By Roger Moore
This is as thorough a take-down of a business and its practices as you’re likely to ever see.
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75

Chicago Sun-Times

By Bill Stamets
Dispiriting as Blackfish is at times, it offers beautiful advocacy for orca freedom. Anecdotes and data indicate these mammals are highly...
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70

Los Angeles Times

By Gary Goldstein
Blackfish, named after the Native American term for orcas, remains decidedly one-sided. But when that "side" is such a vital, convincing...
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Fan Reviews

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More Info

Rated PG-13 | For Mature Thematic Elements and Disturbing Violent Images
What Parents Need to Know
Common Sense Media says Pause for kids 13 & under Powerful, heartbreaking, disturbing doc about captive orcas.
Read the Common Sense Media Review
POSITIVE MESSAGES
POSITIVE ROLE MODELS
VIOLENCE & SCARINESS
LANGUAGE
CONSUMERISM
SEXY STUFF