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Big Miracle

GENRE: Family Adventure
DIRECTOR: Ken Kwapis
WRITERS: Jack Amiel and Michael Berger, based on the book “Freeing the Whales” by Tom Rose
WHO’S IN IT: John Krasinski, Drew Barrymore, Ted Danson, Kristen Bell, Dermot Mulroney
THE STORY: Big Miracle is based on the 1988 true story of the efforts to save a family of three gray whales trapped in the sea near Barrow, Alaska. A small town news reporter (John Krasinski) and ex-girlfriend (Drew Barrymore) — a Greenpeace volunteer — campaign to get the Alaskan governor, an oil baron, the National Guard, President Regan and eventually the world to get behind their efforts to save the family of whales before they drown.

IN MY OPINION: While this may seem like a sappy feel-good movie on the surface, you need to remember it is a true story. Due to the nature of the story, this could be the top family movie of the year. It’s rated PG for the language. Even though I already knew the outcome, I found myself cheering for the whales and tearing up when Bam Bam died. The actors did a good job with an occasionally weak script. Actual news footage from 1988 and the Native Alaskan actors really added to the story. Stick around for the credits and you’ll see additional news footage blended with film clips. Also check out the clip of the young female sportscaster who ran for VP last time around.


It was a great family film, which is hard to find today. Nice to see two countries at odds all the time come together to save the whales. The Inuit culture showed old ways can be used even today with great respect and have value. — Deb Bauder, Mt. Pleasant

I really enjoyed it and my kids did too. It was nice to have an adventure-type film we could all watch together. I can’t believe I cried so much. — Debbie Thompson, Grand Rapids

(On the Big Screen is a regular monthly feature of The Laker Current and is compiled by staff writers. It is designed to spotlight movies being shown in local theaters.)

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