In the Heart of the Sea

In the Heart of the Sea


Director Ron Howard and actor Chris Hemsworth reunite after 2013’s Rush with this retelling of the true story that inspired Herman Melville’s classic novel Moby Dick. Co-stars Cillian Murphy and Brendon Gleeson.... More

In the winter of 1820, the New England whaling ship Essex was assaulted by something no one could believe: a whale of mammoth size and will, and an almost human sense of vengeance. The maritime disaster brought on a harrowing aftermath, pushing the ship’s surviving crew to their limits stranded at sea for 90 days and forced to do the unthinkable to stay alive.Hide

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Flicks Review

Ron Howard has always been a pretty meat-and-potatoes filmmaker, but it’s remarkable how he manages to take the story of a huge murderous whale ruthlessly stalking its human prey, and make a movie as dull as In the Heart of the Sea. Rather than ramping up the pulpy thrills that are there for the taking, the film adopts a deadly serious tone throughout, as characters are put through terrible hardships, seemingly intended to wring out anguished, awards-friendly performances.... More

Chris Hemsworth plays the first mate of a New England whaling ship, circa 1820, who becomes stranded along with his crew when a particularly large specimen decides to turn the tables. Early scenes of whale slaughter suggest Howard might take an interest in the relationship between industry and nature, but these ideas are quickly set adrift.

The main story is presented to us as a tale being told to Herman Melville (Ben Wishaw), as fodder for his novel Moby Dick. Despite valiant efforts from the usually stellar Wishaw and Brendan Gleeson, these scenes only provide unnecessary clutter, and are somehow more of a slog than the ones that involve slowly dying at sea.

It’s not all bad. Howard and his cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle make sure In the Heart of the Sea looks great, stuffing in beautiful vistas, nifty CGI and adventurous camera work. But the conclusion to the face-off between man and beast is so ridiculous and vague, you’ll likely leave the cinema wondering what the point of all that misery was.Hide

The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 11 ratings, 8 reviews
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BY flapper123 superstar

The Pacific Ocean at that time was ship, plastic and fishnet free, I know this is a movie but what a joy to see whales in their element, frisky and free, days before it becomes Harpoon Alley. What hardships these men faced during that period.

I heard the story about the Essex on radio, which I found really sombre and heartbreaking than this film

Good points about the film, the period settings, costumes, the sea, The actors made good with a difficult story to tell.

BY thorinoak superstar

Rich in period detail, beautifully shot, a few exciting and terrifying set pieces but lacking any kind of heart. It also again begs the question: is Chris Hemsworth really a Hollywood leading man outside of the Marvel franchise with this and the dismal Blackhat under his belt? I think not.

BY Gaspardation superstar

I'd admire the visual effect, but the plot... Moby Dick should run away from this film.

BY ems superstar

A very nicely told tail, Beautifully filmed. For the people who get motion sickness take some ginger. I had motion sickness bad.

BY rweeks superstar

Not quite three stars, although certainly deserving of more than two stars. There is nothing particularly wrong with the film (except a few dodgy accents), but as others have already noted, it fails to excite. This is an incredible story that should have been more engrossing.

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The Press Reviews

62% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • Hemsworth, botched New England accent and all, is a movie star, and this is movie star material. Full Review

  • Kudos to Ron Howard for taking a slightly different approach, even if it never quite matches the resonance of Ahab's epic quest. Full Review

The Talk
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