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983 Ratings


United States, 2013
Documentary, Drama


Using unseen footage, Blackfish tells the story of the orca bull Tilikum, caught in 1983 aged about two. Since then, it has been appearing in a theme park show—and has already killed several people. As whales never usually attack humans in the wild, what exactly went wrong with this animal?

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Blackfish Directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite
Blackfish" is a highly compelling film that’s already being touted as a likely Oscar contender. It uses the gruesome 2010 death of a SeaWorld trainer named Dawn Brancheau, and the troubled life history of a six-ton bull orca named Tilikum – who drowned and partly ate Brancheau, and has apparently killed two other people – as the starting points for a disturbing and much larger story.
July 20, 2013
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Unapologetically designed both to inform and affect, Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s delicately lacerating documentary, “Blackfish,” uses the tragic tale of a single whale and his human victims as the backbone of a hypercritical investigation into the marine-park giant SeaWorld Entertainment.
July 18, 2013
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Cowperthwaite backs her emotional-heavy argument of admonishing animal entertainment shows with enough facts from marine researchers to make it sound, but she still holds a one-sided argument against SeaWorld as no current worker is represented in the film. Despite this potential weakness, the film is padded with enough diverse outside voices and intellectuals to still create a story comparing the animal hierarchy in nature to the greedy capitalistic ladder in corporations.
October 11, 2013
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What are people saying?

  • Jimmi HRS's rating of the film Blackfish

    A tear-jerking look at SeaWorld and how humans use their evolutionary dominance to exploit and control intelligent animals for their own selfish entertainment. Lets hope this is the final nail in the coffin for SeaWorld and other barbaric parks like it! Orca's are beautiful sentient creatures that deserve to roam free in the wild.

  • amysimpson's rating of the film Blackfish

    One of my favourite documentaries I've seen so far, and I've been endlessly recommending it to people. It sounds so cliché, but it really did "open my eyes" to the reality of SeaWorld and similar places and it was shocking and some parts were really upsetting. I was disgusted by the fact that I'd been there and seen the Shamu Show while all the cruelty was going on under the noses of everyone. A must-watch, truly.

  • Caitlin's rating of the film Blackfish

    An important documentary that will hopefully wake all of us up to the cruelty of placing whales in captivity.

  • Harry Rossi's rating of the film Blackfish

    An incredibly frustrating documentary that delivers its message with a good ole punch. After seeing what these creatures go through I feel like the audience deserved a punch for being so blissfully unaware! It made me feel guilty for ever attending SeaWorld. However this film's biggest problem is in its very messy and unorganized structure which stopped my loving it. But content wise this is powerful and important!

  • Endless Eye's rating of the film Blackfish

    Blackfish tells the story of Tilikum's sad journey into captivity and shows definitively time and time again that these magnificent creatures cannot be kept as slaves in bathtubs. Perhaps what is most appalling of all in this film is the continued ugly spin Seaworld would put on any orca incident, blaming their own trainers for their death or injury and keeping them in the dark on the real danger of these animals.

  • Andre Rehal's rating of the film Blackfish

    Having no stake in animal activism whatsoever this doc presents a more than reasonable case to shut down all sea world parks. Despite criticisms of it being a one sided argument and that animal psychology should play a large part doesn't excuse the issue of a corporation willingly ignoring known problems and putting its staff in danger all in the name of profit.

  • mad.lucas's rating of the film Blackfish

    Although I'm not really a fan of documentaries, this one was really disturbing for me. A necessary record about the poor situation of those big animals locked up in sea parks all over the world and the tragic consequences that are frequently hidden out by the media. Prepare your nerves for the real footage scenes.

  • This is Jake Kath's rating of the film Blackfish

    A beautifully upsetting documentary that explores the complexity and the morally grey of family entertainment. This would make for a great origin story for a whale revenge flick, where the whale is the main character! That would be satisfying. This on the other hand, is frustrating! And rightfully so.

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