Common Sense Media says

Powerful, heartbreaking, disturbing doc about captive orcas.

Users say

(out of 14 reviews)
age 12+
Review this title!
Parent of a 17 year old Written bycmharrington February 22, 2014

Talk with your teen about the power of the media!

This film completely changed my perception of orcas in captivity. While it is important to note that the film IS propaganda, the question of validity remains. The film presents an excellent opportunity to teach our kids to think for themselves, and not to be manipulated by the media. It's a great conversation starter for tweens and teens, in which parents can encourage them to question information presented to them as factual. Just because it's a "documentary", doesn't necessarily make it true. Parents and kids can easily research both sides of the story (Sea World's response is on their website, as well as a follow-up on www.blackfishmovie.com) and come to their own conclusions. I, personally, am deeply saddened by the false impressions I previously held of happy, healthy orcas in captivity. The evidence presented in Blackfish is undeniable, from their collapsed dorsal fins to their scarred-up skin. Decide for yourselves!
What other families should know
Great messages
Kid, 10 years old February 13, 2014

sad

parents need to know that this is a very sad movie about a killer whale named Tilikum who is captured by seaworld. this movie isn't very violent as common sense said and I don't know how common sense says there are positive messages in this movie because there really isn't. I also don't like that they kept a whale in captivity and didn't let him go and I also felt really angry about how seaworld lies and blame deaths on the trainer who had died from being drowned by the killer whale. It is really upsetting to think about it but worth watching even though the movie is not very good any way
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 11 years old September 13, 2014

Orca cruelty

This movie is very sad but important to watch. It tells about how seaworld abuses captive orcas and the seaworld workers lying about how orcas live longer in captivity (which they dont) and whenever an orca kills a trainer they blame the trainer (sad) and how they capture the orcas. I found out about this movie from the peta website
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Kid, 11 years old October 22, 2014

Heartbreaking documentary on Killer Whales

Violence- 5 (Orcas brutally kill people)
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Adult Written byBestPicture1996 July 27, 2014

A tragedy of whales and human corruption

While SeaWorld does indeed deny the facts that "Blackfish" presents, it is likely they're trying to save their tails from going out of business, as I would like them to after seeing this film, completely snubbed from last year's Oscars. Tilikum is the main focus of the movie, a whale put in captivity whose frustration builds and builds, and he is truly a killer whale, by no fault of Dawn the trainer he mutilated. But is it Tilly's fault? Being trapped in a cement cage would prove trying for anyone, including a whale. How sad it is to see SeaWorld try to wash away their mistakes, but I'm glad to see this film reveal them for what they really are. Show this to your teens!!!!
Teen, 14 years old Written byrebo344 November 16, 2015

Poor Seaworld...

Blackfish is possibly the best documentary I have ever seen. Never have I seen pure intensity and raw and genuine emotion throughout the whole movie. After seeing the movie, I will not go to Seaworld when I travel. What baffles me is that several trainers were killed by killer whales that were taken to Seaworld and they don't do anything about it, and the fact that they lied about Dawn's death, stating that her ponytail was the reason she died. What?? Anyways, this is a flawless documentary. Grade: A+.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 12 years old August 8, 2016

The biggest weapon against SeaWorld.

Sure, there are a few lies, but other than that, just look at the decrease in attendance in SeaWorld. This movie is very powerful, but sad. Some scenes are worse than the scene in Bambi where his mother gets shot! (No, that isn't a spoiler.)
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Adult Written byjmo97 June 20, 2016

Sad and disturbing, but great for starting conversations

This movie is one passionate argument against the use of orca whales for theme parks. I thought it was very engaging, but it is sometimes intense to watch. I think it is interesting that the filmmakers and interviewees in "Blackfish" are calling the people at SeaWorld liars, but the people at SeaWorld who created their defense response (available online) call the filmmakers manipulative. With this in mind it would be great if parents went through both arguments with their mature teens to help them decide what they think about the situation with the orcas in captivity. The movie features frightening footage of orcas attacking trainers with some bloody injury images. This might be too much for some sensitive teens, but I would definitely give it a recommendation to at least be aware of this topic, as the filmmakers show genuine concern for the health of the orcas (and SeaWorld also insists that they are improving the conditions for the mammals). 7.4/10
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Teen, 13 years old Written bycamillabuscus December 9, 2015

Very powerful and educational

Watching this film gave me a whole new perspective on the way that sea parks treat animals, so I think that it's an amazing documentary to show tweens and teens so that they can understand what really happens behind the scenes. But there were a few moments that might scare or worry younger kids like the videos of actual orca attacks on trainers, but the videos aren't too detailed. One of the parts to look out for though is the video of the artificial insemination, which shows and image of the whale's genitals. Other than that, it's a great film which I would recommend to more mature viewers.
What other families should know
Great messages
Educator Written bymaddox121 September 14, 2015

I watched it cuz its seaworld

SEAworld steals whales
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Teen, 13 years old Written byFlowerpower8760 August 8, 2015

So very sad.

I heard about this movie on peta2. It was on netflix and I decided to make some popcorn and watch. It was so very sad! Seaworld is cruel and full of hate to be imprisoning that poor Tillikum. They won't even get rid of him after he killed three people. I suggest that once you watch this you never visit Seaworld. But then again, little kids don't need to hear about Dawn being thrashed and mutilated.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written byAudenC July 4, 2015

Blackfish

An incredible documentary, very sad and thought-provoking. Don't show to young kids because the emotion will be too much and some of the scenes involving the orcas and the trainers are extremely tense. This movie, however, is very important to show to older children and will really make them think.
What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 15 years old Written byrachekatherineclark May 25, 2015

a killerwhale story

i think it would be okay if you watched the preview. i would recomend a udult seeing this with you. it has some blood and voilence too.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written byAmberJewel May 15, 2015

Lies and Propaganda

This movie, quite frankly, disgusted me. The whole movie is filled with lies and animal rights propaganda. I would only recommend it to someone who goes in knowing the truth, or else you'll be mislead by the lies in the movie. In real life, SeaWorld cares for their orcas. They don't abuse them or only want money. They love their whales. And they don't capture wild whales any more. They used to, but they don't anymore. I wish more people would realize the propaganda that this movie is!
What other families should know
Too much consumerism