In the Heart of the Sea (2015) - Rotten Tomatoes

In the Heart of the Sea2015

In the Heart of the Sea (2015)



Critic Consensus: The admirably old-fashioned In the Heart of the Sea boasts thoughtful storytelling to match its visual panache, even if it can't claim the depth or epic sweep to which it so clearly aspires.

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Movie Info

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. (C) Warner Bros

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Chris Hemsworth
as Owen Chase
Benjamin Walker
as Captain George Pollard
Cillian Murphy
as Second Mate Matthew Joy
Ben Whishaw
as Novelist Herman Melville
Brendan Gleeson
as Tom Nickerson (Age 30 Years)
Jordi Molla
as Captain of Ship Archimedes
Charlotte Riley
as Peggy Chase
Frank Dillane
as Henry Coffin
Michelle Fairley
as Mrs. Nickerson
Joseph Mawle
as Benjamin Lawrence
Donald Sumpter
as Paul Mason
Andrew Crayford
as Customs Officer
Gary Beadle
as William Bond
Edward Ashley
as Barzillai Ray
Osy Ikhile
as Richard Peterson
Sam Keeley
as Ramsdell
Nicholas Jones
as Pollard Senior
Richard Bremmer
as Benjamin Fuller
Nordin Aoures
as First Mate
Santi Lopez
as Second Mate
Harry Jardine
as Rescue Ship Lookout
Jamie Michie
as Rescue Ship Captain
Andy Wareham
as John Sanborn
Frans Huber
as Nye (Sailor)
Mark Southworth
as Francis Easton
Christopher Keegan
as Shareholder
Stephanie Jacob
as Tally Woman
Luca Tosi
as Wright
Martin Wilde
as Benjamin Gardner
Michael Cronin
as Quaker Prayer Leader
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Critic Reviews for In the Heart of the Sea

All Critics (239) | Top Critics (65)

Thor and Spider-Man fight a whale.

July 3, 2020 | Rating: C | Full Review…

In the Heart of the Sea loses the human intimacy that makes this epic what it is, the resulting movie is nothing more than an empty voyage to nowhere that sinks far more often than it swims.

August 16, 2016 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

It's sturdy, watchable, competently mounted, of course -- Howard is nothing if not a pro -- but except for the visuals, which can be quite stunning, it never roused me.

June 12, 2016 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

The huge, whale-sized problem is that Howard can't decide if this is dark, adult fare or a rollicking tale of derring-do.

December 27, 2015 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

While In the Heart of the Sea has the potential to impress, it remains a flawed vessel which struggles to rise above its theatrical artifice.

December 27, 2015 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

For all the special effects and half-starved A-listers, this is a sodden beast. Perhaps there's a reason that Melville only told half the story.

December 26, 2015 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for In the Heart of the Sea


I hate when someone recounts a story in which he was not always present, but even if there is nothing like witnessing the sweet revenge of a beast (monster or victim?), this intense film of evocative visuals grows even more compelling when showing the lengths that people can go to survive a horrible ordeal.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

So Hemsworth seems to have a different accent from moment to moment -- and none of them sound like he's from Nantucket. So what?! No one other than Fairley seems to be able to pull the accent off very well. The score -- while very good, is derivative. The film has its problems. "In The Heart of The Sea" is nevertheless a very good film. The sets, costumes and effects are remarkable. The directing is strong, and although choppy at times, it spares the viewer from what easily could have been a long, slow slog had the director taken this film too seriously. It is, after all, a story about whalers sailing around the world and not catching anything for more than a year. A more "epic" approach almost certainly would have been very, very boring. I liked this film a good deal. If you're a fan of period films like I am, this is a worthwhile movie.

Christian C
Christian C

Super Reviewer

If you're reading this review of this film there's a good chance you might've read a couple of the others out there. A consensus becomes apparent: here is the typical fish story about the big one that got away. There's several reasons put forward and now I'll add mine to the tumult. This one was lost in the editing room where I believe the music of the piece got away. The shots are there for all to see, Howard's made a classic, its still in there, but the work should be recut. As it is you've several powerful what might have been images to gape open-mouthed at ... until there's a Director's Cut released.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

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