THIS IS THE true story of how 1980s America chose to ignore more urgent and depressing problems to save some whales. Alaskan news reporter Adam Carlson (John Krasinski) spots a family of gray whales stuck in the Arctic ice, using a small hole to breathe through. The story goes national, and before you know it, Greenpeace (Drew Barrymore, who has reverted back to Gertie in E.T.), Big Oil (Ted Danson), the National Guard (Dermot Mulroney), and the Reagan administration (??) are all trying to get the whales back into the open ocean.
Big Miracle is a neat combination of Free Willy (trapped whales) and Miracle (Cold War relations, ice, "miracles")—although the filmmakers, to their credit, didn't give everybody the Disney treatment. We get to see agencies' cynical motives (good PR), while journalists discuss the triviality of focusing on the whales when there are, you know, real issues. Still, humans helping whales who happen to be named after the Flintstones? Huge cheeseball.
Now, let's get into semantics: A miracle is something inexplicable or preternatural, right? This movie shows scores of people using modern machines to help animals, and their successes were attributed to those machines. It was not fucking miraculous. Whoever named this movie is fired, by me, right now.