A Fish Called Wanda


Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 17
  2. Negative: 1 out of 17

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Critic Reviews

  1. 100
    The funniest movie I have seen in a long time.
  2. Time
    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]
  3. Los Angeles Times
    Reviewed by: Sheila Benson
    A convulsively funny affair.[15 July 1988, Calendar, p. 6-1]
  4. San Francisco Chronicle
    Reviewed by: Peter Stack
    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]
  5. May be less than the sum of its parts, but its parts are more impressive than most other wholes around.
  6. 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.
  7. Mr. Showbiz
    Reviewed by: Carmel Dagan
    Director Charles Crichton's hilarious romp.
  8. 90
    It's a deliciously dishy comedy, but like sushi an acquired taste.
  9. Crichton keeps the laughs coming with infectious energy.
  10. 80
    Curtis steals the show with her keen sense of comic timing and sneaky little grins and asides.
  11. It'll keep you amused enough to sit still and even remember it fondly.
  12. 80
    If it is indeed possible for a film to be both stylish and tasteless, then A Fish Called Wanda certainly fills the bill.
  13. USA Today
    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]
  14. Chicago Tribune
    Reviewed by: Dave Kehr
    Contains some gaspingly funny moments. [29 July 1988, Friday, p.A]
  15. 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. Christian Science Monitor
    Reviewed by: David Sterritt
    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 New York Times
    Reviewed by: Vincent Canby
    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 107 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 14
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 14
  3. Negative: 1 out of 14
  1. Aug 27, 2014
    Adventures aren't always as funny their creators intend for them to be. This one is. In fact, it's one of the funniest flicks out of BritainAdventures aren't always as funny their creators intend for them to be. This one is. In fact, it's one of the funniest flicks out of Britain ever. Jamie Lee Curtis and Kevin Kline are dynamite. Full Review »
  2. May 20, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. This is the kind of movie you watch again and again, and enjoy every time.

    The plot is hilarious. What was supposed to be a successful diamond robbery turns something completely different when some of the robbers try to get the loot for themselves. Wanda and Otto, siblings with benefits, are trying to cross George, but it seems the man was smarter than that. With George is taken in by the police - thanks to Otto and his sister - there is still George's stuttering accomplice, Ken, to deal with.

    To complicate the matters, Wanda tries to get to the man defending George to find out where the diamonds are, and that takes a bit more than the usual level of persuasion. Otto, who is jealous and definitely not to be called stupid, keeps appearing at the most inconvenient times.

    And to keep the plot going, of course there is an eye-witness who saw George just after the jewel heist; an elderly woman whom Ken must now deal with. His several attempts to cause an "accident" are quite fatal - to the old lady's three Yorkies!

    The characters brilliant, and the acting never leaves you hanging. The most hilarious is perhaps Kevin Kline as Otto, who plays with accents, charms his sister with Italian, and used to be a hitman for CIA - or so he says.

    The plot is solid and funny, especially the end. The way things are going, you cannot tell what is really going to happen before the ending titles start to roll!
    Full Review »
  3. 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 PythonAn 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 »