In Theaters: In the Heart of the Sea


Main Plot Points:

  • Oscar winner Ron Howard (“A Beautiful Mind”) directs the action adventure “In the Heart of the Sea,” based on Nathaniel Philbrick’s best-selling book about the dramatic true journey of the Essex.
  • In the winter of 1820, the New England whaling ship Essex was assaulted by something no one could believe: a whale of mammoth size and will, and an almost human sense of vengeance. The real-life maritime disaster would inspire Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. But that told only half the story. “In the Heart of the Sea” reveals the encounter’s harrowing aftermath, as the ship’s surviving crew is pushed to their limits and forced to do the unthinkable to stay alive. Braving storms, starvation, panic and despair, the men will call into question their deepest beliefs, from the value of their lives to the morality of their trade, as their captain searches for direction on the open sea and his first mate still seeks to bring the great whale down.

What We Thought:

  • In the Heart of the Sea isn’t 2015’s biggest disappointment, but I have to say, it’s not very good.
  • I’m from New England and grew up on the water. I love ships, fishing and of course I read Moby Dick in school. I usually love older styled films like this because of their set design, costuming and backdrops.
  • I pretty much like everyone in the cast which makes it quite shocking that I didn’t enjoy it too. I like Chris Hemsworth a lot especially outside Thor/The Avengers. I love Brendan Gleeson. I’m pretty high on Cillian Murphy as well. Plus Michelle Fairley is always good and I like Ben Whishaw a lot too.
  • Add in that it’s directed by Ron Howard and I simply don’t get how I didn’t like it. Well I understand why I didn’t, it’s just incredibly surprising that with all this talent, this is the resulting movie we got.
  • It’s extremely slow at times. It’s around two hours long, but feels much longer. It takes forever for the white whale to show up and by then I was kind of checked out of the movie. The action sequences with the whale just didn’t do it for me especially after watching men going out and hunting for whales for what felt like at least an hour.
  • I think my biggest issue (besides the pacing) was the look and feel of the movie. It’s way too CGI looking to me. Yes I understand it would be impossible to get an actual monster sized whale to shoot with, but beyond the whale(s), all the backdrops looked horrendous. Nothing on the boats seemed real. The city looked awful and completely fake.
  • Plus, was the entire film shot with an Instagram filter? Sure you’re trying to go for a vintage/old time-y look, but the whole film looked extremely yellow and out of focus at time. Whoever pulled focus on the film shouldn’t be hired again.
  • The fact that In the Heart of the Sea is coming out now should tell you something. It’s not an awards worthy film so it’s not out to get some nominations. It’s opening a week before Star Wars so it will get lost quickly at theaters. It didn’t open in the summer when a big blockbuster styled film like this should open. It’s all because it just isn’t that good. It’s slow and boring at times and looks bad. I was really disappointed in it.

Notable Cast & Crew:

  • Chris Hemsworth
  • Brendan Gleeson
  • Cillian Murphy
  • Ron Howard

Recommended if You Like:

  • Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
  • Moby Dick