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Universal acclaim- based on 278 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 17 out of 278

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  1. Nov 2, 2010
    This was a fairly trite and predictable story in my view. A real dissapoint after watching Edward scissorhandy. You get the feeling that burton has sold out. These kind of mythic, sweeping movies have the same feel as forest gump. They are all too transparent with their message and leave nothing to the imagination. The characters are not believable and it feels an hour too long.
  2. Jul 16, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Big Fish is a peculiar movie, even for being a Tim Burton picture. It is about the life of a man whose father loves to tells stories from the time he was young, but the problem is that the anecdotes are hard to believe, because there are extremely rare and unlikely to happen; for example the story of the eye of a witch that can tell you when you are going to die, the one of a giant who is convinced to leave and stop terrifying a town, the circus that is managed by a werewolf or the scape from a war with two Siamese. All this produce constant fights between Edward and his son; and this is one of the topics that Tim Burton treats on his films. Although the other topics from this great director are less developed they are also noticeable: the gothic and expressionist characters (the witch, the giant and the circus manager) and environments (the forest and the witch house); and the contrast between two worlds represented graphically, the present in which Edward tells his stories (darker or opaque colors) and the past in which the stories take place (bright and attractive colors).
    The thing is that does not matter if the anecdotes were real or not, you decide what you want to believe, you can live a boring life and had nothing interesting to tell, no dreams, no hope, no goals; or you can live an amazing life, with endless stories to tell and enjoy being a Big Fish.
  3. Oct 8, 2010
    One of my favorite movies. It is a fantastic story full of imagination and creativity. It really has a way of making you think. Not many people get the movie or think about it long enough to understand it fully. People who tend to not think about it see it as a bad movie with crude and rude humor. But if you actually use your mind while watching you'll discover so much. It's a movie where you can't just turn off your brain for a couple hours. That's is what is so brilliant about it. Amazing cast and writers. MUST SEE MOVIE. Expand
  4. Oct 23, 2011
    The adventures of a father, narrated by himself, that captivates the senses of any spectator except his son. It's brilliant how Tim draw this adventures, full of bizarre facts, details and characters and show us in a lyrical way that maybe when our parents are narrating their adventures, we should imagine them like Tim does.
  5. Jan 28, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. (7.0) i really think it´s is a magnificent and delicius movie, Sometimes in the real life, we have to incorpore fantastic beauty to find happiness and live better . :) I consider it´s freat, and NOT predictable as so much critics consider . i really love it . Expand
  6. j30
    Nov 9, 2011
    This is a great movie and one of the most underrated films by Tim Burton. The film takes all of Burton's strengths and puts them into one. I can't recommend this enough.
  7. Nov 14, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Bottom Line: Comparable to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Forrest Gump. Questions life and death in a fantastical manner.

    Will Bloom: â
  8. Aug 27, 2011
    Big Fish is a sad film, but not in the way it wants to be. It is a film of such tremendous imagination and such poignancy in its moments of genuine emotion, that when it betrays itself for a shallow and unfair resolution, you're astonished at how everything about it has gone to waste. The audience feels betrayed that everything they've come to enjoy takes a turn for something they would like to avoid, such as unresolved emotion disguised as closure, and selfish actions being accepted. Expand
  9. Mar 31, 2012
    Big Fish is a touching, moving, heartwarming and breathtaking film that will appeal to everyone. It is very creative and Tim Burton brings to life all the characters. One of the best movies of the year.
  10. Feb 23, 2013
    This is a film for anybody that has some concept of what it means to believe in imagination, magic, and stories. It is so enriching and emotionally powerful. Tim Burton may be different than other directors, but that is only because he understands what it takes to create a film that is worth watching no matter how unusual they can be.
  11. Jul 13, 2012
    What a magical movie this is. "Big Fish" challenges our faith and imagination with tales that sound too marvelous to be true, too extraordinary to be believable. But the strongest emotions are found between the broken relationship of a dying father and his doubtful son. After years of no communication, they are reunited when human age reaches its fragile state. The son sits on a chair as he observes his weak father, who lies in what could be his deathbed.

    Old Edward Bloom (Albert Finney) is a devoted storyteller who believes that true stories could use a little fiction for entertainment purposes. On the day his only son, Will, was born, he was out of town selling home appliances. Not a very exciting story for such a very momentous event. When Will is set to be married, his father shares with everyone the false account of how he caught a really big fish with his wedding ring the same day Will was born. This draws smiles from his listeners, but not from Will, who has heard the same lie repeatedly throughout his life. He walks away. And he doesn't return until old Edward becomes confined to his bedroom/

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  12. May 26, 2012
    This movie is for daydreamers. This movie is so perfectly done that I dont know how people dont like it. Tim Burton, a genius. The whole analiysis you can make about this movie is incredible. How everything has a etymological meaning. I enjoyed it so much.
  13. Dec 23, 2013
    A very interesting film. It's beautiful and unique. It's very entertaining and it is great because it causes you to question the boundary between fact and fiction.
  14. Sep 20, 2013
    Not sure how there's so many positive reviews for this one. Honestly, it is quite horrible. The acting is ok and all, but at the end of the day, the story is just boring. It never hooks you in and winds up leaving you wondering why you ever decided to watch it.
  15. Aug 2, 2012
    One of my all time favorite movies an amazing story heart warming a must watch recommend to all great family adventure first time I watched it went straight out & bought it its that kinda good
  16. Sep 10, 2013
    I am a Tim Burton fan, and this film may not have his over the top imagery, but the story draws me in within minutes every time.

    I love the way that this movie is paced. We are always hearing this tale and then finding out about the truth behind the tale and the outcomes that it has. I also like the way this movie reflects story telling and story tellers.
  17. Feb 13, 2013
    Some of the fantasy elements are decidedly hammy, but overall "Big Fish" still manages to entertain the audience with charming visuals, rich sentimentality, and a fine performances from Albert Finney and Ewan McGregor.
  18. Jun 30, 2013
    An incredibly well acted film combines the style of Tim Burton with a story that works emotionally and visually. This is one of Tim Burton's best films.
  19. Jun 15, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This movie is simply not a's a tall tale of an old dieing mans life and the magic that bestows him, the places he goes the people he meets, and how he became what he always was a BIG FISH IN A SMALL RIVER....and there's no doubt that didnt make me cry Expand
  20. Jun 30, 2013
    I loved Big Fish. It was very uplifting and had a Forrest Gump feel to it. All the fairy tales told were engaging and heartwarming. I experienced a variety of emotions during this film and it almost drove me to tears. If you did not enjoy it then it is possible you did not understand it. I certainly did understand it and I still continue to love it.
  21. Aug 6, 2014
    The Tim Burton's masterpiece, as good as Sleepy Hollow, in a different way... I loved this relation father/son and the lesson that we can learn : yes, maybe the stories told by your parents were not true... But it's not the most important. The most important is having a free-imagination ! And I love Ewan McGregor's acting !! And I love Danny Elfman's soundtrack ! In short, I love the atmosphere of this movie. Expand
  22. Nov 14, 2014
    A most imaginative film, this movie shows some thought in plot construction. However, there is no sense of pacing or climax until the movie's end is 4 minutes away.

Mixed or average reviews - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 42
  2. Negative: 3 out of 42
  1. The movie is a gently overstuffed cinematic piñata, crammed with tall tales -- with giants and circuses and fairy-tale woods, plus a huge squirmy catfish, all served up with a literal matter-of-fact fancy that is very pleasing.
  2. Reviewed by: Clint Morris
    A tale that's so enriching, so heartwarming, so funny, so touching and so breathtaking, you'll wonder why the king of wackiness didn't branch out sooner.
  3. A misfire. The film that wants to be lighter than air instead crashes to earth with the swiftness of a concrete parachute.