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Recommended age 8-18
96 minutes
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DINOSAUR COVE cover image Click to play video trailer
Dinosaur Cove is an enthralling adventure film with a simple, yet sweet plot and high-quality cinematography. It's a superb family-friendly film and will certainly entertain dinosaur-lovers!

The film follows Riley Harrison (Brayden Eaton), an adventurous young boy. Riley discovers pteranodon eggs in the town where his grandfather lives, aptly named Dinosaur Cove. With the help of Dr. Theresa Starr (Holly Houk), he must protect them from a mad scientist named Dr. Victor Vandersaurian (James Pilachowski) and get them to safety. Throughout his journey, he strengthens old bonds, especially with his writer father Wyatt Harrison (Jared Withrow), whom he has grown distant from after his mother's passing.

Director Daniel Knudsen hits another home run with Dinosaur Cove. It's evident he's coached the talented actors very well -- they deliver dialogues naturally and emote organically. The script by Derrick Steele is also wonderful; there are no stilted scenes where dialogue feels unnatural. I also love Knudsen's cameo in the film as egg expert Terrance Walker. The cinematography is incredible and I especially love the ending shot of pteranodons flying across the horizon at sunset. It's easy for a romantic subplot to be underdeveloped in an indie film, but the subtle romance between Wyatt Harrison and Dr. Theresa Starr is one of the most heartwarming parts of the film and provides for superb character development, especially in the case of Wyatt, who is recovering from the loss of his wife just a year ago. Jared Withrow and Holly Houk do justice to their roles.

Dinosaur Cove promotes always doing the right thing, even if no one is watching. It also emphasizes teamwork and protecting the vulnerable. It truly is a film with great, family-friendly messages.

I give Dinosaur Cove 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8-12, plus adults. Dinosaur Cove released on June 1, 2022 on digital.

By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Who doesn't love a good dinosaur story? Dinosaur Cove is here to entertain you and widen your imagination. With a fun mystery, interesting characters, and a surprising twist, this movie will have you wondering... could dinosaurs still exist?

Dinosaur Cove is about a young boy named Riley (Brayden Eaton) who moves with his dad Jared (Wyatt Harrison) to his grandfather's house after his mom passes away. While they are there, Jared is busy working on a book and Riley is running into trouble. After seeing something that he thinks is a dinosaur, he has to prove that what he saw was real, and then protect it from an evil scientist.

Although the CGI isn't the best, it really helps enhance the plot of the movie. The images of the dinosaurs and the eggs allow the viewers to visualize what it would be like to live amongst dinosaurs. There aren't many dinosaur movies aimed at younger children being released, so Dinosaur Cove is really refreshing. It's a clean and entertaining movie that kids can enjoy. However, although its focus is younger children, there is a deeper meaning and a thicker storyline as Jared is grieving the loss of his wife and Riley's mom. It also shows the process of moving on, and how resilience is a key part of life. This creates a part of the story that older audiences may relate to. At some points of the film, the audio track is uneven, which can be distracting. Nevertheless, Dinosaur Cove is a humorous and action packed movie that will be enjoyed by kids and families.

The message of Dinosaur Cove is that being open-minded can lead you to something amazing. If you rule something out too quickly, you could be missing out on a significant opportunity.

I rate Dinosaur Cove 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. Dinosaur Cove is available now on Digital, so make sure you check it out!

Maica N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, Age 14

Dinosaur Cove is an exhilarating and fun new film that younger children will love! It has great characters and a story that is equally fun. The dinosaurs add the perfect amount of fantasy to the story.

The storyline follows Riley (Brayden Eaton), his dad and his grandpa who have just moved to Dinosaur Cove! As soon as he arrives he finds a creature (a dinosaur) obviously. But the problem is, nobody except for his best friend, Savannah (Addilyn Houk), believes him. Little does he know there's an evil scientist that wants to capture the dinosaur. Can Riley keep his new friend safe?

Something about this film that really sticks out is the songs. I love their poetic lyrics and the melodies are great too. The scenery and cinematography is really beautiful, specifically the shots of ocean. I love the scene when the dad is driving his boat, because the water looks amazing. But by far my favorite scene is earlier in the film, when one of Riley's new friends hits a golf ball into a man's window, hands the golf club to Riley and runs away.

The message of Dinosaur Cove is that teamwork is great. The kids work together in many different situations, but it's not just the kids. The adults also help out in some circumstances. One thing to be aware of is the use of a tranquilizer gun and the fact that the kids go exploring a lot without telling their parents and, in a few cases, end up in dangerous situations as a result.

I give Dinosaur Cove 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 12. Dinosaur Cove is available now on digital platforms.

By Kendall B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

Dinosaur Cove is a movie fit for the whole family, packed with mad scientists, secret agents, and, of course, dinosaurs! Although predictable at times, this film will be very entertaining to young dinosaur lovers.

Coping with the loss of his mother, Riley Harrison (Brayden Eaton) and his father, Wyatt (Jared Withrow) move across the country to live with his grandfather in Dinosaur Cove, which is known for the massive number of fossils found in the area. Riley stumbles upon a top-secret project called the Genesis Project, which, coincidentally, brought dinosaurs back from extinction. And when a Pteranodon escapes, Riley must protect her and her eggs from the evil scientists at the Genesis Project.

I love the sets and locations that Dinosaur Cove features. The beach and forest scenery is absolutely stunning, and the Genesis Project Lab looks very realistic with advanced technology and complex-looking machines. Even though the Pteranodon doesn't look as realistic as it might in a high-budget movie, it still feels like the dinosaur is really alive. My favorite acting performances are from James Pilachowski (Dr. Victor Vandersaurian) and Emily Buckner (Izzy Luther.) James Pilachowski perfectly plays the evil, sometimes corny, scientist that we love to hate, and Emily Buckner, as his assistant, just tries to go along with him. Their chemistry is so strong (and enjoyable) especially in their back and forth banter.

The message of Dinosaur Cove is to believe in the impossible. It also has strong themes about the power of family, teamwork, and friendship. This movie has some violence.

I give Dinosaur Cove 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. It is available on streaming services June 1, 2022.

By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

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Dinosaur Cove is a family adventure film about a boy who discovers dinosaur eggs and must protect them from a crazy scientist.
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