Free Willy
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The touching story of a boy and his killer whale made this family drama a surprise box office hit. Jesse (Jason James Richter) is a kid without parents who has bounced from one foster home to another and is living on the streets. One night, he's caught spraying graffiti with his friend Perry (Michael Bacall) in a theme park. Jesse and Perry are caught red handed by Dwight (Mykel T. Williamson), a policeman who thinks that Jesse needs a more stable and disciplined environment. Dwight arranges for Jesse to stay with a new foster family, Glen and Annie Greenwood (Michael Madsen and Jayne… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 57%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A wayward boy befriends a moody killer whale."
‑ Charles Cassady, Common Sense Media
‑ John Wirt, Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
"A good family picture that does not get too sweet; worth a look."
‑ Bob Bloom, Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
"Michael Madsen as a "good guy" foster father? Lori Petty as a whale trainer? Who cast ths movie!?)."
‑ Christopher Null,
"As plotting goes, Free Willy is strictly formula stuff."
‑ Chris Hicks, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
"Save the whale! Still a good family film with a great Michael Jackson title song."
‑ Steve Crum, Kansas City Kansan
"Keiko sure knows how to jump"
‑ Stefan Birgir Stefansson,
"Free Willy focuses on the friendship between a troubled 12-year-old boy and an orca at an adventure park. It will appeal tremendously to all "friends of nature," a term coined by Albert Schweitzer."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"It's like Lassie with whales. Only siller."
‑ Scott Weinberg,
"Good family flick"
‑ Clint Morris, Moviehole
"Gooey pap that drowns in its own phoniness."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"...many adults will find it too blatantly manipulative, but all the same it is decent, lightweight, juvenile entertainment."
‑ John J. Puccio, Movie Metropolis
"Inspiring environmental tale for the kiddie-set."
‑ Audrey Rock-Richardson, Tooele Transcript-Bulletin (Utah)
More reviews for Free Willy on Rotten Tomatoes

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