Big Eyes

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Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critics What's this?

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7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 147 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Big Eyes is based on the true story of Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz), who was one of the most successful painters of the 1950s and early 1960s. The artist earned staggering notoriety by revolutionizing the commercialization and accessibility of popular art with his enigmatic paintings ofBig Eyes is based on the true story of Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz), who was one of the most successful painters of the 1950s and early 1960s. The artist earned staggering notoriety by revolutionizing the commercialization and accessibility of popular art with his enigmatic paintings of waifs with big eyes. The truth would eventually be discovered though: Keane's art was actually not created by him at all, but by his wife, Margaret (Amy Adams). The Keanes, it seemed, had been living a lie that had grown to gigantic proportions. Big Eyes centers on Margaret's awakening as an artist, the phenomenal success of her paintings, and her tumultuous relationship with her husband, who was catapulted to international fame while taking credit for her work. [The Weinstein Company] Expand

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 40
  2. Negative: 3 out of 40
  1. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Dec 23, 2014
    100
    Shot for shot, Big Eyes is one of the most beautiful-looking movies of 2014, but to say that isn’t enough, because it’s not just pretty, not just pleasing to the eye. It’s visually astute. It is made by people aware of what these screen images mean, what they refer to, and the psychological effect that they will have on an audience.
  2. Reviewed by: Inkoo Kang
    Nov 14, 2014
    80
    Especially in a year so devoid of serious female-led dramas, it's invigorating to see a feminist crowd-pleaser with the force of moral righteousness on its side. But Big Eyes is good, not great. What keeps it from excellence is its reluctance to explore the very questions it raises.
  3. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Dec 23, 2014
    75
    As provocative as the questions it raises are — questions about connoisseurship vs. populism, personal expression vs. the market, and the dark arts of press, publicity and shrewd self-invention — the film’s achievements stay on the surface of those themes rather than plunging deeper.
  4. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Dec 30, 2014
    63
    A recent showing of Burton's artwork at New York's Museum of Modern Art attracted long lines and critical brickbats. Maybe that's why Big Eyes, for all its tonal shifts and erratic pacing, seems like Burton's most personal and heartfelt film in years, a tribute to the yearning that drives even the most marginalized artist to self expression no matter what the hell anyone thinks.
  5. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Dec 24, 2014
    60
    The Keane story is a rich parable that deserves either a wilder or a more acute telling than Burton provides here.
  6. Reviewed by: Jordan Hoffman
    Dec 22, 2014
    60
    Certainly we care for Margaret and the way Walter has her trapped, but her character comes across as a cypher representing a great number of issues without being a real individual. This movie wants to be an oil painting, but ends up being more of a mass-produced, though good-quality print.
  7. Reviewed by: Rodrigo Perez
    Dec 22, 2014
    33
    Campy and cartoonish, Burton’s Big Eyes is not the return to form many were hoping for. It is another phony and hollow piece of sugary kitschploitation masquerading under the guise of an “important true story” that places a nearly grotesque premium on style over any traces over substance.

See all 40 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 34
  2. Negative: 3 out of 34
  1. Apr 15, 2015
    9
    Hugely entertaining movie with Burton's fine direction and great performances from Adams and Waltz. I didn't believe Keane was so extreme butHugely entertaining movie with Burton's fine direction and great performances from Adams and Waltz. I didn't believe Keane was so extreme but on reading about him it seems Waltz nailed him! As csw12 commented, this is nearly as good as the sublime "Big Fish" Expand
  2. Aug 8, 2015
    9
    Amazing story is one of the most beautiful directed films I have ever seen. Great performances from Amy Adams and Christopher Waltz. TheAmazing story is one of the most beautiful directed films I have ever seen. Great performances from Amy Adams and Christopher Waltz. The paintings were just gorgeous and the film overall was just entertaining and fun to watch with the whole family. It also has a beautiful message for us at the end. Expand
  3. Dec 28, 2014
    8
    Two enrapturing leads, beautifully idyllic imagery, and a near too-ridiculously-outlandish-to-be-true story all firmly confirm "Big Eyes" asTwo enrapturing leads, beautifully idyllic imagery, and a near too-ridiculously-outlandish-to-be-true story all firmly confirm "Big Eyes" as quite possibly Tim Burton's best live-action film in nearly a decade. Expand
  4. Jan 28, 2015
    7
    "Big Eyes" 10 Scale Rating: 7.0 (Good) ...

    The Good: Amy Adams is fantastic and while she won a Golden Globe for her performance, she was
    "Big Eyes" 10 Scale Rating: 7.0 (Good) ...

    The Good: Amy Adams is fantastic and while she won a Golden Globe for her performance, she was completely overlooked by the Academy and wasn't even nominated. That's a shame because she at least deserved that much as she shows amazing range in this film morphing from meek pushover, to scared and abused, and finally to strong and independent ... which was highly frowned upon in the era that the film takes place in. Christoph Waltz was uneven, but when he was on he was also great. The supporting cast excels as well with standout performances from Terence Stamp, Danny Huston, Krysten Ritter, and Jason Schwartzman. At times powerful and poignant, Big Eyes is an entertaining tale overall.

    The Bad: What prevents the film from truly being great is the film's oddly placed comedic moments. At times, the film almost becomes a full blown comedy, which was an odd decision and felt out of place. Christoph Waltz's Walter Keane was presented as an especially comedic and slapstickish character at times which was a waste of his talent. While the film would shift gears and go back to it's more entertaining dramatic tone, the back and forth was jarring and takes away from the film.
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  5. Dec 29, 2014
    7
    Big Eyes is a pretty good film that has some major strengths and some real negatives. First, the positives. Amy Adams is stupendous in thisBig Eyes is a pretty good film that has some major strengths and some real negatives. First, the positives. Amy Adams is stupendous in this film. I had high expectations for her performance and she certainly lived up to them. She was awesome. The soundtrack here, highlighted by the Lana Del Rey track, is also great. The song "Big Eyes" was used perfectly in the film and truly communicated the feelings Margaret Keane was feeling at the moment. On top of that, the script and plot were awesome, plus they were told very well through Tim Burton's direction. I do not love Burton, but he was great here in telling the story. On that note, the plot was very interesting. Very interesting story and enjoyable to watch unfold. Art is not something that really interests me, but when put on screen in this fashion, it was riveting. I also loved the cinematography. I do not know if I was seeing things, but there seemed to be some effect put on Adams' eyes reminiscent of the eyes in her paintings, which I thought was really cool.

    On the negative, some plot elements felt...extra. Namely Krysten Ritter's entire character (her acting was also sub-par). I typically love Christoph Waltz and Jason Schwartzman, but neither were amazing here. They were solid and, in particular Waltz, had moments of sheer brilliance, but felt comically over the top at times, which really messed with the tone of the film. Finally, the film has a really contained feel to it. Biographical films can feel this way sometimes and this one certainly does. It felt very small and as if it was just trying to hit certain marks, which is something I never really enjoy.

    As a whole, Big Eyes is a good, enjoyable film with a fantastic performance from Amy Adams and good direction from Tim Burton that both combine to make this one well worth your time.
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  6. Apr 18, 2015
    6
    This was a solid film, but it had its issues. This film definitely had the feel of a Tim Burton film, and I feel that it was totallyThis was a solid film, but it had its issues. This film definitely had the feel of a Tim Burton film, and I feel that it was totally unnecessary. Had David O. Russell (American Hustle) directed it, it would have been even better. Christopher Waltz delivers in his performance, and Amy Adams is good, but her fake accent got a bit annoying. The pacing was uneven, as the beginning and end felt rushed, but the middle seemed dragged out. Overall, this was an enjoyable film, but it did not perform to its full potential. Expand
  7. Dec 28, 2014
    2
    What "Big Eyes" you have?
    The better to see- the story is too small for the big screen and Christoph Waltz -same old song and dance
    What "Big Eyes" you have?
    The better to see- the story is too small for the big screen and Christoph Waltz -same old song and dance performance-too big. An opening scene paints a portrait of an independent woman way before her time- then proceeds to drain her of all her color. Her muted relationships with daughter and "friend" are barely visible. Why she is so blind to all that surrounds her - remains a mystery. A beautifully shot film that hangs too much on one big lie.
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See all 34 User Reviews

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