Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 17
  2. Negative: 1 out of 17
  1. I laughed so hard, my eyes watered. I laughed so loud, I lost track of whether anyone else was laughing. I laughed so much, I ached afterwards. [29 July 1988, Daily Notebook, p.E1]
  2. 100
    One of the best-constructed, funniest, and most clever comedies to grace motion picture screens in recent years. It's outrageous, offensive, and even a little sick -- and all the more enjoyable because of it.
  3. 100
    The funniest movie I have seen in a long time.
  4. May be less than the sum of its parts, but its parts are more impressive than most other wholes around.
  5. Reviewed by: Carmel Dagan
    Director Charles Crichton's hilarious romp.
  6. 100
    A convulsively funny affair.[15 July 1988, Calendar, p. 6-1]
  7. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    Think of A Fish Called Wanda as the next best thing to a Looney Tunes-Merrie Melodies summerfest…Wanda defies gravity, in both senses of the word, and redefines a great comic tradition. [July 18, 1988]
  8. 90
    It's a deliciously dishy comedy, but like sushi an acquired taste.
  9. Crichton keeps the laughs coming with infectious energy.
  10. Reviewed by: Hal Erickson
    If it is indeed possible for a film to be both stylish and tasteless, then A Fish Called Wanda certainly fills the bill.
  11. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    Curtis steals the show with her keen sense of comic timing and sneaky little grins and asides.
  12. It'll keep you amused enough to sit still and even remember it fondly.
  13. 75
    Contains some gaspingly funny moments. [29 July 1988, Friday, p.A]
  14. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    This crumbled-caper comedy is the funniest movie ever from a film maker late in his eighth decade. [22 July 1988, Life, p.4D]
  15. Reviewed by: Staff(not credited)
    With British-American culture clash as its dominant theme, A Fish Called Wanda bristles with wit, enlivened by delightfully over-the-top ensemble acting.
  16. There are a few hilarious moments, and a few more that are foolish and even disgusting. [15 July 1988, Art and Leisure, p.21]
  17. The dialogue reports funny things instead of showing them. The movie remains in a limbo halfway between the informed anarchy of Monty Python comedy stripped of all social and political satire, and the comparatively genteel comedy of "The Lavender Hill Mob." [15 July 1988, p.C8]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 56 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 1 out of 12
  1. Feb 23, 2014
    An awesome script, wonderful acting especially from Kline and Cleese and damn funny from start to finish. Has more than a touch of Python humor in it but it still very sophisticated. This is a movie I have watched time and again over the years and never get tired of it. Full Review »
  2. Aug 24, 2013
    F***ing hilarious. Sophisticated, understandable, and genuinely funny. Me and my brother fell to the ground. Kevin Kline is the real guy to look at. His ineptitude cultivates in everyone else's f**k ups. He deserved the oscar. Why didn't he get the golden globe, I have no idea. Full Review »
  3. Aug 29, 2012
    Hardly a Monty Python vehicle, but its remnants, Cleese and Palin has brought forth perhaps their best work so far (including the python period), a contemporary satire homing in the UK/USA self-mocking kernel, with their US counterparts, Curtis and Kline. Entertaining to its very core, the crime-light, pratfall-heavy comedy ingenuously spikes British humor in its comparatively foolhardy story of a manipulative woman Full Review »