Dolphin Tale

Rated 3.0

A sullen Florida adolescent (Nathan Gamble) finds a purpose in life when he befriends a wounded dolphin; he becomes a volunteer at the marine hospital where the dolphin is recuperating and enlists a Veteran’s Administration orthopedist (Morgan Freeman) to design a prosthetic tail for the animal to replace the one that had to be amputated. Evidently director Charles Martin Smith and writers Karen Janszen and Noam Dromi were afraid the true story of the dolphin Winter (who plays herself) couldn’t be made into a movie without an emergency cliché transplant. Well, the results, though sugary and overlong, are pleasant enough. The actors (including Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd, Kris Kristofferson and Cozi Zuehlsdorff) alternate between triumphant grins and wrinkling their brows in worry; Winter’s brow remains smooth throughout.