Beneath the Blue

Movie review by
Barbara Shulgas..., Common Sense Media
Beneath the Blue Movie Poster Image
Fact-based dolphin tale has some tense moments.
  • PG
  • 2010
  • 92 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

It's possible to forgive people who have betrayed you. "We all have a compass. All we have to do is find it and trust it." We are all capable of overcoming challenges if we try.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Alyssa and her dad are caring, dedicated marine-life research scientists. They treat dolphins humanely. They are smart and seemingly well-educated. A dolphin poacher bamboozles an innocent into helping her steal a dolphin, then threatens to ruin him if he exposes her. Craig makes a mistake and does his best to atone for it.

Violence

A dolphin is subdued and abducted by black-market thieves. A woman holds a gun to someone's head. She also threatens to derail someone's career if he reveals her nefarious plot. A girl dives too deep, loses consciousness, and is rescued.

Sex

A girl is attracted to a newcomer. Her friends push them together. "His eyes was all over you, girl," one says. The girls all wear bikinis. There is talk of flirting, but only kissing is seen.

Language

"Crap," "screw up."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Hawk wants to have a beer.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Beneath the Blue is a 2010 drama that depicts marine-life scientists protecting dolphins from poachers and government sonar testing. Dolphins at this Bahamas lab learn to communicate with humans. One of them gets abducted but is later returned. A woman holds a gun to someone's head. She also threatens to derail someone's career if he reveals her nefarious plot. A girl dives too deep, loses consciousness, and is rescued. Girls swim in bikinis. There is talk of flirting, but only kissing is seen.

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What's the story?

BENEATH THE BLUE is a 2010 drama that addresses the concerns of many marine-life scientists trying to protect dolphins from poachers and lethal underwater government sonar testing. An actual court case about Navy testing is cited. Alyssa (Caitlin Wachs) helps her scientist father, Hawk (David Keith), who has developed a language humans and dolphins can use to communicate with each other. When Craig (Paul Wesley), an attractive young man, inserts himself into the lab, Caitlin falls for him but (spoiler alert) he turns out to be a spy for a dolphin poacher. It's later revealed that Craig, an undercover ensign in the U.S. Navy, thought he was following legitimate Navy orders but was in fact being manipulated by a greedy rogue lieutenant. The dolphin is abducted and recovered.

Is it any good?

The filmmakers do a solid and intelligent job of weaving a fictional tale of romance and marine biology espionage with the facts of a real-life legal dispute. The conflict here is between environmentalists and the U.S. Navy over its lethal underwater sonar-testing policy. This sequel (with a different cast) to the 2006 Eye of the Dolphin, was also shot in the Bahamas. Underwater footage of humans romping with playful dolphins is beautiful and engaging.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the movie's message. Does it seem like an evenhanded look at efforts to save marine wildlife?

  • Do you think a fictional portrayal is an effective way of explaining a real-life problem to an audience? How would a documentary or TV news story do it differently?

  • How can you tell if the information in a fictionalized portrayal is trustworthy?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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