Drew Barrymore and John Krasinski star in this incredible rescue adventure - the amazing true story that inspired the world and captured the hearts of millions. When a family of whales is trapped by rapidly forming ice in the Arctic Circle, a small-town reporter (Krasinski) and an animal-loving volunteer (Barrymore) rally an unlikely coalition of Alaskan natives, oil tycoons and the Russian and American military to set aside their differences and free the whales before it's too late. Kristen Bell, Dermot Mulroney and Ted Danson costar in this charming feel-good movie that the whole family can enjoy!
The oil business, politics, Inuit customs, and animal preservation normally don't mix, especially when the press gets involved. But a funny thing happens when Alaska television reporter Adam Carlson (John Krasinski) discovers a trio of gray whales trapped in the ice near the small town of Point Barrow. Adam's report gets national exposure, and his ex-girlfriend and Greenpeace worker Rachel (Drew Barrymore) hears the story, begins lobbying politicians to save the whales, and hops a plane for Alaska. The story reaches the local Inupiat people and millions of Americans, including oil tycoon J.W. McGraw (Ted Danson), presidential aide Kelly Meyers (Vinessa Shaw), Marine colonel Scott Boyer (Dermot Mulroney), and Los Angeles reporter Jill Jerard (Kristen Bell). Each gets involved in the fight for their own distinct reason. The Inupiat whalers decide to help the whales rather than hunt them, in a round-about effort to preserve their way of life, while McGraw sees the project as an opportunity to make his environmentally unfriendly oil-drilling business look like it cares about the earth. Meyers sees an opportunity to curry political popularity for President Reagan, while Boyer is simply following orders and Jerard is looking to advance her career. The group forms an unlikely alliance and pools their resources in an effort to save the three gray whales, but the experience leaves each of them unexpectedly changed. Based on a true story from 1988, the film is a masterful blend of pure entertainment and a sometimes almost documentary style that manages to be quite appealing to both children and adults. The references to '80s culture and politics are spot-on and will inspire more than a few smirks and snickers from adult audience members, and the environmental message of the film is heartening to all ages. But perhaps the most powerful thing about the film is its honest look at what motivates people and how, in America, even the most diametrically opposed factions can occasionally join forces to achieve a common good. (Ages 7 and older) --Tami Horiuchi