Inspired by a true story, Big Miracle tells the endearing tale of a small town news reporter, Adam Carlson (Krasinski), and a Greenpeace volunteer, Rachel Kramer (Barrymore), who are joined by rival world superpowers in a bid to save a family of majestic grey whales who have been trapped by rapidly forming ice in the Arctic Circle.
Carlson has been stuck in at the northernmost tip of the Arctic for some time, and just as he is about to escape the freezing temperatures, the biggest story of his career breaks, hitting news channels across the world.
The world’s media descends on the small town of Barrow and a rescue mission to save the whales ensues. Helping the locals is a powerful oil tycoon (Ted Danson), who brings money and resources to the mission, albeit looking to create a green image for his company. Following him is the US President and finally jumping on the bandwagon is America’s superpower rival, Russia. Will the whales be freed? If you don’t know the story, I’ll leave that for you to find out.
I will tell you however that love complicates the rescue effort, with Kramer being Carlson’s ex-girlfriend. As time ticks by, they manage to set aside their differences and work together for the good of the whales. In fact, as the world’s attention is turned to the top of the globe, freeing these endangered creatures becomes a shared task for nations, families and colleagues, who set aside differences to get the job done.
All in all, Big Miracle is a heartwarming and well-meaning movie that will have you rooting for the whales' survival. There are a few too many subplots, and the romance is a bit dead in the water (no pun intended), but with the charms of Krasinski and Barrymore (for the most part) coupled with a great story, it’s definitely worth a watch on a rainy Sunday afternoon.