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Big Miracle

Big Miracle

4.3 3
Director: Ken Kwapis

Cast: John Krasinski, Drew Barrymore, Kristen Bell


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When a family of gray whales becomes trapped in the Arctic Circle, a Greenpeace volunteer and a small-town reporter go to extraordinary lengths to save the majestic creatures in this romantic adventure inspired by actual events. Alaskan newsman Adam Carlson (John Krasinski) has grown weary of working in such a small market. He's eager


When a family of gray whales becomes trapped in the Arctic Circle, a Greenpeace volunteer and a small-town reporter go to extraordinary lengths to save the majestic creatures in this romantic adventure inspired by actual events. Alaskan newsman Adam Carlson (John Krasinski) has grown weary of working in such a small market. He's eager to move on to bigger and better things when the story of a lifetime lands right in his lap. Ice has been forming in the Arctic Circle at a rate so fast that a family of gray whales has become hopelessly stranded. As the eyes of the world turn toward this small, chilly corner of the globe, an oil tycoon, slews of politicians, and countless journalists descend upon Alaska -- each with their own hidden agenda. Meanwhile, the only one Adam notices is Rachel Kramer (Drew Barrymore), a devout environmentalist who also happens to be his ex-girlfriend. As the situation grows dire, the unlikely pair rallies a diverse coalition of allies to work together toward the common goal of saving the endangered marine mammals. The result is a rescue mission that will help to thaw Cold War tensions between America and Russia, and show the entire world just what can be accomplished when we start working together, instead of pulling apart. Dermot Mulroney, Tim Blake Nelson, Ted Danson, and Kristen Bell co-star.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Big Miracle has basically everything you'd want from an inspiring movie about a group effort to help a family of three California gray whales escape from being trapped in an ice dam in northern Alaska: It's sincere, moving, family friendly, and just to up the tear-jerking ante, it's based on a true story. The tale begins in 1988 with Anchorage-area TV reporter Adam Carlson (John Krasinski), who's humoring his 12-year-old buddy Nathan by videotaping his friends doing donuts in their snowmobiles on the frozen water, when he notices a momentary geyser blowing up in the distance. It turns out to be a whale exhaling through its blowhole below a ten-square-foot hole in the ice, where the mammal, his mate, and their baby have become trapped due to the water freezing over earlier in the season than usual. The three whales would have to swim under the ice for five miles to find open water, and that's too long for them to go without coming up for air, leaving them with nothing to do but wait to die when this hole also freezes over. All hope is not lost, however, as Adam does a story about the whales that gets picked up by the national news. It also gains the attention of his ex-girlfriend Rachel Kramer (Drew Barrymore), a passionate Greenpeace worker who's recently been busy making a public stink about the drilling contract awarded to J.W. McGraw (Ted Danson), whose oil company sees dollar signs where she sees acres of precious Alaskan wildlife refuge. Soon, sides that seem polar opposites to each other (no pun intended) begin combining their efforts to save the whales, each seeking their own interest while working towards a common goal: A staffer for the Reagan administration (Vinessa Shaw) enlists the help of a National Guard colonel (Dermot Mulroney) in the hopes of improving the president's poor environmental record, an ambitious journalist (Kristen Bell) keeps public support high because interest in the story is helping to fuel her career, and a patriarch of the native Inupiat population (John Pingayak) tries to obtain the help of the locals because respecting the whales serves his people's traditional way of life. As the story gets going, even oilman J.W. McGraw is pitching in. His own interest lies in PR, but as you can imagine, by the time everyone is on the ice together, differences are put aside for the simple sake of compassion and togetherness. In an exasperated moment, Barrymore's character, the earnest Greenpeace champion, points out that the reason the creatures' struggles are so important is because humans know what it's like to be powerful but also vulnerable, to be frightened sometimes and need help. Big Miracle is a success as an inspirational story, probably because it hammers this point home so well. Even when Kristen Bell's character points out that there are wars being waged all over the world and yet every TV set is locked on the story of three whales trapped under the ice in Alaska, the underlying sentiment of the film is never lost: It's a big world full of big problems, but even in the face of partisanship and division, there's always hope to be found in human kindness.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Universal Studios
Region Code:
[Wide Screen, Color]
[Dolby Digital Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Deleted scenes; Truth is stronger than fiction; Feature commentary with director Ken Kwapis

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Krasinski Adam Carlson
Drew Barrymore Rachel Kramer
Kristen Bell Jill Jerard
Dermot Mulroney Colonel Scott Boyer
Tim Blake Nelson Pat Lafayette
Vinessa Shaw Kelly Meyers
John Pingayak Malik
John Chase Roy
Ahmaogak Sweeney Nathan
Ted Danson J.W. McGraw
Stephen Root Actor
John Michael Higgins Actor
Rob Riggle Actor
James LeGros Actor
Bruce Altman Actor
Michael Gaston Actor
Mark Ivanir Actor
Stefan Kapicic Actor
Shea Whigham Actor

Technical Credits
Ken Kwapis Director
Jack Amiel Screenwriter
John Bailey Cinematographer
Michael Begler Screenwriter
Stuart M. Besser Executive Producer
Tim Bevan Producer
Liza Chasin Executive Producer
Nelson Coates Production Designer
Shay Cunliffe Costumes/Costume Designer
Cliff Eidelman Score Composer
Eric Fellner Producer
Steve Golin Producer
Paul Green Executive Producer
Debra Hayward Executive Producer
Cara Silverman Editor
Michael Sugar Producer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Big Miracle
1. Chapter 1 [4:37]
2. Chapter 2 [6:02]
3. Chapter 3 [6:00]
4. Chapter 4 [4:09]
5. Chapter 5 [4:46]
6. Chapter 6 [5:09]
7. Chapter 7 [4:50]
8. Chapter 8 [4:14]
9. Chapter 9 [5:59]
10. Chapter 10 [3:25]
11. Chapter 11 [2:26]
12. Chapter 12 [6:31]
13. Chapter 13 [4:54]
14. Chapter 14 [4:47]
15. Chapter 15 [4:07]
16. Chapter 16 [5:18]
17. Chapter 17 [7:27]
18. Chapter 18 [3:11]
19. Chapter 19 [7:36]
20. Chapter 20 [3:03]


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Big Miracle 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Labradorlover0SM More than 1 year ago
I got this movie from the redbox and found it okay.This is a movie i would not like to watch agien.I never saw a whale before,any in books and movie s. I when on a whale watch before, but I did not see one. Sad but good movie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago