80

The Hollywood Reporter

By Todd McCarthy
The Whale is a thoughtful, philosophical, political and ultimately sad documentary that ponders the impulses behind, and advisability of, intense interaction between human beings and another smart species.
Full Review
70

Los Angeles Times

Thoughtful and moving, if often heavy-handed, The Whale follows the remarkable story of Luna and will appeal to animal lovers of all ages.
Full Review
70

Variety

By Ronnie Scheib
When a baby orca strayed from its family pod near Puget Sound and showed up 200 miles away in Canada in 2001, it became the center of a long-running human drama by turns cute, inspirational, ludicrous and tragic, as documented in The Whale.
Full Review
63

New Orleans Times-Picayune

By Mike Scott
What most saw as entirely charming behavior others saw as a nuisance. After all, a playful whale has a way of unwittingly damaging rudders and outriggers and outboard motors and such. Worse, wildlife officials saw Luna's behavior as potentially dangerous, for the people he encountered -- and for the whale himself.
Full Review
63

Slant Magazine

By Glenn Heath Jr.
When considering the best voiceover artists in cinema history, Ryan Reynolds doesn't immediately come to mind as an especially dynamic one.
Full Review
60

New York Daily News

By Joe Neumaier
Parents should know that the ending makes the last moments of this family-friendly documentary as tough as "Bambi." But the lessons about friendship are gigantic, indeed.
Full Review
60

Time Out New York

While The Whale indulges in hippyish sentiments about the connection between man and beast a little too often, the footage of Luna at play is singular and breathtaking.
Full Review
60

Village Voice

If your children love animals, by all means, take them to see The Whale. If you appreciate gorgeous scenery, the movie doubles as a picture postcard for the region. If you simply want to indulge in warm-and-fuzzy scenes of whale petting, this movie is also for you. What it is not, however, is remotely new.
Full Review
64 out of 100
Generally favorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.