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Killer whales are beloved, majestic, friendly giants, yet infamous for their capacity to kill viciously. Blackfish unravels the complexities of this dichotomy, employing the story of the notorious performing whale Tilikum, who — unlike any orca in the wild — has taken the lives of several people while in captivity. Blackfish expands on the discussion of keeping such intelligent creatures in captivity.
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 118
- Fresh: 116
- Rotten: 2
- Average Rating: 8.0/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: It not only delivers astonishing, suspenseful footage that makes it a legitimate thriller, but also serves up thoughtful meditations about using wild animals for our own entertainment.
Fresh: "Blackfish" is no trumped up horror story fueled by Hollywood brand names and special effects. In this riveting documentary directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, all of the creatures are real, and all seem entitled to the serious chip on their shoulders.
Fresh: Informative, earnest, but less than briskly paced.
Fresh: In the wild, orcas live between 50 and a hundred years. In captivity, it's half that. It's simply a strong argument to free all the Willies.
This documentary will leave you speechless. With emotions swirling you'll have a hard time grasping what you just watched and how you should feel. From heart stopping attacks to heart wrenching vocalizations, this documentary will leave you questioning your stance on captive whales.
A documentary which only tells one side of the story is clearly meant to promote the film makers bias. I watched this movie carefully, waiting to hear from trainers who would give "their side” of the story… not gonna happen. We simply get the inconsistent and shallow comments of disgruntled employees. “I was young and didn’t know what I was doing”. “I believed whatever Sea World told me… how was I to know?” Then we hear the “scientific input”: Tilacom was kept in a small metal box which clearly would lead any animal to become aggressive. (I agree)… HOWEVER, later in the “documentary”, he is used for breeding, and this statement is made "How could Sea World breed an Orca who is genetically aggressive”. HUHHH?? Are you kidding me? What a bunch of rot! As proof of his “danger”, someone snuck into the park and was killed by Tilacom during the night. This docu-dummary goes on to say "How could they keep such a dangerous animal in the park?” Huhhhh… Are you kidding me?? A meathead sneaks in and goes for a swim with a killer whale, and this is Sea World’s fault?? Even the best trainers are NEVER to be in without s out a spotter nearby. We are further lead to believe that the trainers aren’t told of the risks involved and that this show should never happen because people can and do get killed. Huhhh… Are you kidding me??? Well then, let’s outlaw any activity where someone may be killed. Does anyone really believe the trainers don’t know of the risk? This movie has some very good points, especially the first 35-40 minutes.We see true atrocities in the capture of baby Orcas and the small poor facilities at “Sea Land”- clearly abusive. It then becomes a pure mess of a presentation- it is highly manipulative… It is a great film to study the effective use of partial truth in propaganda. Believe it or not, I am conflicted over the Sea World Orca shows- but let’s hear the whole unbiased story. You certainly won’t get it here.
Horrifying and heartbreaking.
I'm so happy I never have been to sea world because after this documentary, I WILL NEVER SET FOOT THERE!!! Poor Tilly. These intelligent animals are ripped from their families then tortured by solitude,bullying, and food deprivation. If it was in my state, or perhaps a petition to be signed, id be all over it. This is humanity at its most immoral, it's most inhumane, and most egotistical.