The Bottom Line
- Riveting, suspenseful drama
- Will appeal to adventure-film lovers as much as animal-rights activists
- Interesting camera work using infrared imagery
- Those indifferent to animal rights may have little interest
- Does not present an opposing point-of-view
- Children or those with squeamish sensitivities may find it difficult to watch
- Movie: The Cove
- Director: Louie Psihoyos
- Producers: Fisher Stevens and Paula DuPre Pesmen
- Unrated documentary, 90 minutes long
- Awards: Academy Award, Best Feature Documentary; Audience Award, Sundance Film Festival.
Guide Review - Review: The Cove Movie
Dolphins are, most scientists agree, among the most intelligent and friendly animals in the world. Any film that forces you to watch their ruthless slaughter is therefore a trying emotional experience. But The Cove movie is no ordinary documentary, and the experience of watching it will leave most viewers deeply shaken.
The documentary follows an international group of activists -- including Ric O'Barry, who trained several of the dolphins that starred in the television show Flipper -- while they stage a SWAT-style operation to secretly film the annual slaughter of dolphins that occurs each September in the small fishing village of Taiji, Japan. Their presence in the village is met with resistance and physical confrontations by the local fisherman who, it is discovered, sell the meat to local schoolchildren even though it is heavily tainted with mercury.
Using military-grade infrared and thermal imaging cameras for nighttime filming under life-threatening conditions, The Cove movie makes for great entertainment as well as being a moving work of environmental activism.