The Cove

2009 PG-13 1h 32m DVD

The Cove

2009 PG-13 1h 32m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
A group of activists and filmmakers travels to the small village of Taiji, Japan, to secretly obtain footage of a heavily guarded operation that captures and kills scores of dolphins to use as meat.
Richard O'Barry, Joe Chisholm, Mandy-Rae Cruikshank, Charles Hambleton, Simon Hutchins, Kirk Krack, Isabel Lucas, Hayden Panettiere, Roger Payne, John Potter
Louie Psihoyos
Widescreen 1.85:1
English, Spanish (Neutral)
English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
PG-13 - Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Parents are urged to be cautious. Some material may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers.
age 14+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 14+
age 14+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that this movie is the 2009 Oscar winner for Best Documentary. It contains brief, but disturbing and gruesome imagery around the slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, Japan. Though the movie contains a plethora of information about dolphins, the arc of the story focuses on the dangerous attempts to gather proof of the dolphin slaughters. The movie is informative, interesting, and inspiring, but contains shocking pictures: blood-red water, fishermen striking blows, and dolphins struggling and dying. Also, there's an almost constant tension in the film, an ever-present threat of violence. The goal of the movie is to inspire audiences that something can be done, but sensitive and younger viewers might wish to avoid it.

Sexual Content

Not an issue, though there are images of women swimming in bikinis.


Though the movie doesn't feature wall-to-wall violence, it contains life-changing moments, notably the brief but powerful imagery of dolphins being slaughtered. We mainly see the water turn red with blood, but there are images of fishermen striking blows and images of struggling dolphins. Otherwise, there is the almost-constant threat of violence, as the filmmakers attempt to get close to the killing grounds. There are aggressive face-offs, and other vaguely sinister confrontations.


Very brief, sporadic language, including uses of "Goddammit" and "Christ."

Social Behavior

This is a very inspirational and heroic movie. This band of characters employs teamwork and problem solving in order to triumph over terrible odds. They don't necessarily risk their lives, but they do risk their livelihoods as well as some jail time. (They compare themselves to a real-life Ocean's Eleven team.) They do all this to right an egregious wrong (and the movie goes into detail about why it's wrong). Parents, however, may break into a cold sweat at the thought of their own children participating in similar activities.


The film mentions and shows pictures from Sea World several times, but in an effort to demonstrate the downside of the theme parks. The movie does not entice viewers to rush out and buy tickets.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Not applicable

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

How it works

  • 1

    Create your list

    Browse from thousands of movies and shows.

  • 2

    Free delivery

    We send out your disc the next business day.

  • 3

    Watch and repeat

    Free returns, plus no due dates or late fees.

Unlimited movies sent to your door, starting at $9.99 a month.