User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 315 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 16 out of 315
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  1. Jan 12, 2015
    8
    I watched this for the first time a year and a half ago and I am not entirely sure what I missed. I hated it initially, but this time, it was marvelous. Maybe my tastes have simply just changed in that time, but wow, this was awesome. Billy Crudup is stellar, as are Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Marion Cotillard, and Jessica Lange. A fantastical adventure through the stories told to a manI watched this for the first time a year and a half ago and I am not entirely sure what I missed. I hated it initially, but this time, it was marvelous. Maybe my tastes have simply just changed in that time, but wow, this was awesome. Billy Crudup is stellar, as are Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Marion Cotillard, and Jessica Lange. A fantastical adventure through the stories told to a man by his now dying father, Big Fish is a touching film that should strike a chord with every man in some way, in terms of his relationship with his father. This film is very much imperfect. The story could have told better for sure and the film can be a bit distant at times, but none of that matters because Big Fish touches you in a way that many films cannot. An imaginative film that is very much about the men it concerns more so than the stories told here, Big Fish is a winner because of the heart at its core, more so than the stories it told that may not make much sense and could have been told better. After a while, the tall tales told here become entirely endearing, which is just too darn appropriate. Expand
  2. Dec 29, 2014
    10
    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.
  3. Nov 14, 2014
    6
    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.
  4. Aug 6, 2014
    10
    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 theThe 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
  5. Dec 23, 2013
    7
    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.
  6. Sep 10, 2013
    9
    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.
  7. Jun 30, 2013
    9
    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.
  8. Jun 30, 2013
    9
    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.
  9. Jun 15, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This movie is simply not a movie...it'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
  10. Feb 23, 2013
    10
    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. Feb 13, 2013
    7
    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.
  12. Aug 2, 2012
    10
    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
  13. Jul 16, 2012
    8
    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.
    Expand
  14. Jul 13, 2012
    9
    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 asWhat 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/

    Read more here: http://localmoviereview.com/big-fish/
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  15. May 26, 2012
    10
    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.
  16. Nov 14, 2011
    8
    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
    Expand
  17. j30
    Nov 9, 2011
    10
    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.
  18. Oct 23, 2011
    10
    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.
  19. Aug 27, 2011
    5
    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 wouldBig 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
  20. Jan 28, 2011
    7
    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
  21. Nov 2, 2010
    0
    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.
  22. Oct 8, 2010
    9
    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 whereOne 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
  23. AlonsoC.
    Jul 11, 2009
    10
    A You-Must-See Movie, one of my favorite movies of all time, it has a funny part and has it serious and lovely part, you always learn something about life in this movie. And as Sam F. Says, this is one of those movie where you can say that if don't liked it, it's because you didn't get it. One of the greatest movies of all time (in MY opinion).
  24. erixs
    May 31, 2009
    10
    Very touching...!! My girlfriend cried after seeing this movie, TWICE !!!
  25. samf
    Apr 17, 2009
    9
    This is one of those movies where I can say that if you don't like it, it's because you don't get it.
  26. Shaun
    Mar 28, 2009
    8
    I am not easily moved by movies, mostly because most of them don't attempt to reach an emotional nerve without throwing on the cheese. This movie does it perfectly - a beautiful and moving story, well told.
  27. ChadS
    Nov 25, 2008
    9
    Big Fish I Love You and I Will Cherish You! enough said.
  28. ColinD.
    Sep 11, 2008
    9
    Big Fish, though a bit wordy at the start, pulls together and will mesmerize any viewer that can recognize the contrasts between a creatively imaginative child and an adult that utilizes a standard, and sometimes dull worldview. I'm starting to believe the critics aren't worthy of their role.
  29. ScottD
    Sep 3, 2008
    10
    There are few movies I would give a shameless perfect score, and this is one of them. Big Fish has been my number-one favorite movie ever since I saw it a few years ago. I have since watched it at least 15 more times, and every time I watch it, I never fail to be amazed, touched, and interested. There are so many things to think about in this movie, and literally every time I watch it There are few movies I would give a shameless perfect score, and this is one of them. Big Fish has been my number-one favorite movie ever since I saw it a few years ago. I have since watched it at least 15 more times, and every time I watch it, I never fail to be amazed, touched, and interested. There are so many things to think about in this movie, and literally every time I watch it some new metaphor or parallel occurs to me. Do not listen to the critics, because obviously they are too heartless to understand how truly awe-inspiring and amazing this film is. Expand
  30. Jordan
    Jun 19, 2008
    10
    I absolutely adore this movie. Charming, beautiful, moving. A wonderful American fantasy.
  31. DevonS
    Apr 27, 2008
    8
    While to me it resembles no Burton qualities, Tim is the perfect storyteller to tell a story about the perfect storyteller.
  32. BrechtS.
    Jan 1, 2008
    5
    Poor film - not a good story for a fim. Visually not captivating. No suspense. Mellow ending. No evolving characters (or characters with depth).
  33. MikeW.
    Oct 13, 2007
    10
    Tim Burton's masterpiece. A brilliant work of art that can greatly be felt as you lose yourself in this delightful fantasy. Great performances all around as well, especially Albert Finney.
  34. JackL.
    Mar 25, 2007
    10
    It is a wonderful, heartfelt, lyrical story!!!! Just see it with a open mind.
  35. AnL.
    Mar 25, 2007
    9
    The movie is a delightful story to be seen and felt. It challenges our cynicism of adulthood and brings us back to where our imagination begins, where everything is possible, where the world full of magics and dreams. The movie is a touching reminder to us: let imagination saturate our pragmatic, "scientific", factual lives.
  36. Riren
    Mar 3, 2007
    9
    An uncompromising compromise between morose reality and cartoonish fantasy. It reconciles the fairy tales of American youth, all the sweet things we enjoyed as children, with the cynicism and coldness with build up during maturity. In many senses, Big Fish is about the different kinds of love, and so many of the reasons we fall into them. Littered with over the top moments and brilliant An uncompromising compromise between morose reality and cartoonish fantasy. It reconciles the fairy tales of American youth, all the sweet things we enjoyed as children, with the cynicism and coldness with build up during maturity. In many senses, Big Fish is about the different kinds of love, and so many of the reasons we fall into them. Littered with over the top moments and brilliant visual art, it is probably Burton's best film. Expand
  37. AngelaH
    Oct 9, 2006
    10
    This movie is a great tall tale. Tim Burton really catches the attention of audiences with his work of art in this film. It must have taken lots of planning to make this wondrous film. No one film will be as amazing as this one.
  38. CK
    Aug 15, 2006
    10
    This is honeslty one of my favorite movies. I do not understand why it got mixed reviews. It is right up there with Lord of the Rings as the best movie of '03.
  39. DrewG.
    Aug 14, 2006
    10
    incredible, burton is a genius, his dramas r the best,big fish is epic,one of the best movies i've seen ever.
  40. JorisV.
    Aug 7, 2006
    10
    People who give this movie less then 6 doesn't understand it, and probably can't see past the archetypal clichés... This is one of my all-time favourite movies, visually magnificent and one of the best, moving and greatest stories ever... This story is indeed "bigger than Life itself... Definitely Burton's best, his magnum opus!
  41. JulienkaB.
    Feb 24, 2006
    10
    big fish is a beautiful movie, very sensitive, great characters, a diferent burton's movie, his best movie
  42. ArmandoA.
    Feb 19, 2006
    9
    Along with "Edward Scissorhands", this movie is just one of the best love stories ever told. Very original, very touching.
  43. Paolo
    Nov 14, 2005
    10
    This film is a test for your heart. Depending on your vote you can know if your heart is made of stone or not. If you are able to "understand" and "feel" what this film is trying to say then you can not give it less than 8. I'm glad to see the vast majority of people does indeed have a heart :-)
  44. ChuckM.
    Jul 28, 2005
    8
    Good movie - fine acting, although Ewan's combination British / southern accent was a little jarring at times. This is a fine fairy tale, one that I am glad that I saw - I wanted to see it in the theaters but never quite got around to it.
  45. John
    Jul 27, 2005
    9
    A wonderful story that incorporates superb characters and acting with splendid visuals to create a very moving film.
  46. matta.
    Jul 15, 2005
    9
    Honestly, the crtiics blew it on this one. Beautiful fantasy film with exceptional performances from the two leads, McGregor and Finney.
  47. SiobhanT.
    Jun 27, 2005
    10
    FANTASTIC film but be prepared for a good cry. Lovely story and ending but I had to phone my Dad after I watched it! Hope everyone else enjoys it as much as I did!
  48. Nettala
    Apr 21, 2005
    8
    I dont know why people say this film is rasist, im doing cousework on tim burton, and if you really read into the film you'll actually find that tim burton is the one speaking out, he is showing how society treats different people as outcasts. I think this film is highly emotion with a fantastic cast.! the visuals are amazing and typicall burtonesgue i love its simplicity and I dont know why people say this film is rasist, im doing cousework on tim burton, and if you really read into the film you'll actually find that tim burton is the one speaking out, he is showing how society treats different people as outcasts. I think this film is highly emotion with a fantastic cast.! the visuals are amazing and typicall burtonesgue i love its simplicity and eccentricity!! but i'll give it 8 because i dont think its burtons best. Expand
  49. [Anonymous]
    Mar 5, 2005
    9
    Different, interesting.
  50. RohanW.
    Jan 21, 2005
    10
    The number of critics prepared to influence the public not to see this film is appalling. I'm infinitely saddened that a film with this much charm and heart is "outshined" by generic trash fueled by guns and blades and sex - and I'm a 22 year old guy. See this film as soon as possible and make up your own mind.
  51. ben
    Jan 9, 2005
    10
    I can't believe the mixed reviews this film got, and i'm simply in disbelief that it didn't win best picture. it was funny and absolutely heartbreaking, honestly one of the best films i've seen. it's near the top of the list.
  52. Henry
    Dec 17, 2004
    10
    Simply remarkable, my all-time favourite.
  53. SusanM.
    Dec 8, 2004
    10
    This is my all-time favourite movie, I love the story, the characters and the message. It is all about the power of imagination, and it is a perfect movie. I have seen it multiple times and I could watch it daily and never get sick of it!
  54. KippaBoy
    Nov 28, 2004
    10
    From reading everyone elses comments, it seems that everyone has mixed feelings about this movie. I never thought that such a film that i had not heard of would be and could be so inspiring and entertaining, i am a 21 year old engineer who enjoys rugby and all other sports, i see myself as a hard man, this fil made me cry like a baby, never before have i been so involved and gripped. It From reading everyone elses comments, it seems that everyone has mixed feelings about this movie. I never thought that such a film that i had not heard of would be and could be so inspiring and entertaining, i am a 21 year old engineer who enjoys rugby and all other sports, i see myself as a hard man, this fil made me cry like a baby, never before have i been so involved and gripped. It has even made me want to turn on the computer and write this, something i thought that only sad people who had too much time on their hands did! Inspiring, awesome, incredible. who cares what everyone else thinks this film is myb absolute all time favourite!!!!! Expand
  55. MattA
    Nov 2, 2004
    9
    Great movie. It was fun entertainment with good laughs, some good morals, and some heart warming moments. All together, Big fish is a great movie to watch.
  56. Kajman
    Aug 13, 2004
    10
    Fabulous!
  57. Moose
    Jul 5, 2004
    4
    This is not a magical movie. If anything, it's a terribly sad piece that sees a distant father/son relationship never rectified or fulfilled despite the son?s numerous attempts to find out who his ?real? father is. Instead the father fails to draw himself out of his make believe world in time to realise his son is crushed by his ?smoke and mirrors? routine. For me the sadness and This is not a magical movie. If anything, it's a terribly sad piece that sees a distant father/son relationship never rectified or fulfilled despite the son?s numerous attempts to find out who his ?real? father is. Instead the father fails to draw himself out of his make believe world in time to realise his son is crushed by his ?smoke and mirrors? routine. For me the sadness and frustration the son experiences is never offset by the ?magic? of his fathers? fables simply because the fables themselves were always unimaginative and boring (a giant, a circus and a town which no one ever wants to leave ? it?s all either ?been there, done that? or, quite simply, ?who cares??). I think Burton wanted the ?magic? to rise above everything else, but for me the emotions of the son were too strong and too real, and were certainly not made up for by the final ?death bed story?. Expand
  58. BenA.
    Jun 10, 2004
    9
    WHAT! How did this movie get such luke warm reviews? 56? This was one of the best movies of 03. This was just a beautiful movie. I don't have much more to say.
  59. GinoE.
    Jun 9, 2004
    8
    Big Fish is a magical story like you've never seen before... The stories are so amaginful and diffrent and always tell what you would never expect. Some happy, some sad and all beautiful.The sets and cinematography are just great! Same goes for Ewan's performance. The only thing I felt that was wrong is showing too much of the dramatic life that Edward has now. Cause the stories Big Fish is a magical story like you've never seen before... The stories are so amaginful and diffrent and always tell what you would never expect. Some happy, some sad and all beautiful.The sets and cinematography are just great! Same goes for Ewan's performance. The only thing I felt that was wrong is showing too much of the dramatic life that Edward has now. Cause the stories are wat more fun to wacht. If you liked Forrest Gump, You'll love this one! Expand
  60. JasonT.
    May 31, 2004
    9
    A very touching film, that thanks to Burton's steady hand is able to be emotional without being corny.
  61. CraKa
    May 24, 2004
    10
    Perfect film. Not being a small statement since my world consists of flicks, movies and films. This was budda. Too bad most people want their entertainment spoon-fed. I do feel sorrow for those who struggled with this film or left before it was finished. I guess there isn't enough Fast-n-Friveless or Die Hard 82's out to get this one past the general public. Too much advertising Perfect film. Not being a small statement since my world consists of flicks, movies and films. This was budda. Too bad most people want their entertainment spoon-fed. I do feel sorrow for those who struggled with this film or left before it was finished. I guess there isn't enough Fast-n-Friveless or Die Hard 82's out to get this one past the general public. Too much advertising is this ones only falut. Expand
  62. LabinotK.
    May 24, 2004
    8
    It's different from the other movies, it's nice story. I enjoyed watching it.
  63. LeroyL.
    May 7, 2004
    9
    The only thing that prevents me from giving this delightful flick a 10 is one tiny, insulting flashback when Will Bloom (Crudup) meets Jenny (Bonham Carter). C'mon, unless you'd been snoozing through the film it was plainly obvious. Probably a producer's insistence.
  64. Rico
    May 5, 2004
    2
    This movie tries too hard to be magical and ends up falling flat. The charm seems forced through no fault of the excellent cast. Tim Burton has been making some stinkers lately.
  65. Jessicsa
    May 2, 2004
    10
    One of the best movies of the year.
  66. MontyS.
    Apr 26, 2004
    10
    Fabulous movie. Moving. I found it very interesting.
  67. PatrickH.
    Apr 15, 2004
    9
    A little confusing at parts, but otherwise, well made, acted, funny, and touching at the same time!
  68. MitchO.
    Mar 8, 2004
    10
    This movie rocks!!
  69. MikeS.
    Mar 7, 2004
    10
    Creative storytelling, ingenious cinematography and a wholesome atmosphere make this a memorable fantasy. I left the theatre feeling as if I had seen a real movie for a change.
  70. PasserBy
    Feb 29, 2004
    9
    A film that is close to a 10... The general feel of this film begins with something that you don't know what to believe... As it progresses on, you start to piece together each bit of Ed's life... And little by little, it touches you heart with the warmth of it all... The love and bond between father and son shines throughout. Definitely not one to miss!
  71. Jamal
    Feb 16, 2004
    9
    Jamal liked it a lot.
  72. BlytheM.
    Feb 13, 2004
    3
    Boring from the moment it came on the screen. I left after 20 minutes. Didn't care about anyone, wasn't drawn in by the story about stories.
  73. DJBozo
    Feb 11, 2004
    10
    The Art of Storytelling!
  74. StevenK.
    Feb 8, 2004
    8
    I really wasn't sure what to expect out of this movie, but must say I was pleasantly surprised...It tempts us to have an open mind and explore a sense of adventure and freedom through imagination, in the face of a comparitively dull and boring reality. Though this is it's main focus, it also challenges us, in a broader sense, on father/son relationships, as well as life and I really wasn't sure what to expect out of this movie, but must say I was pleasantly surprised...It tempts us to have an open mind and explore a sense of adventure and freedom through imagination, in the face of a comparitively dull and boring reality. Though this is it's main focus, it also challenges us, in a broader sense, on father/son relationships, as well as life and death. The story seemed awkward at times, but was still easy to get lost in and managed to be touching and inspirational. Expand
  75. JakeS.
    Feb 7, 2004
    1
    How can you like a movie when you hate the main character?! Burton, through the character of Edward Bloom (played by Finney and McGregor), takes the "father know's best" adage a step to far, and instead we have a movie which is condescending and irritating. I felt bad for the son, and not the lying father. The visuals are nice though, hence the 1.
  76. DavidR.
    Feb 6, 2004
    10
    Ignore the critics on this one. Big Fish is one of the best movies of any year. So what if Ed's stories aren't 100% factual. This movie knows that life is more than just marking off days on the calendar. Enjoy the movie as a celebration of a life worth living.
  77. SidneyF.
    Feb 3, 2004
    10
    A masterpiece of life.
  78. MichaelD.
    Jan 31, 2004
    8
    This is just a really fun and facinating story that develops around a much darker, sadder reality. The conrast is exquisit and warm.
  79. CarolAnnC.
    Jan 30, 2004
    10
    I adored this film. It was just a celebration of life even if most of it was a figment of imagination.
  80. MacM.
    Jan 29, 2004
    8
    A fine tale and visual delight. This is pure cinema.
  81. JoshW.
    Jan 29, 2004
    9
    This was a very fine film with some real heart to it. Its also nice to see a director like Burton expand his language as a film maker.
  82. AshleyG.
    Jan 23, 2004
    9
    I genuinely loved this movie...it was hilarious and very moving. It did lag a tad bit at a few points though, that's why it's not a perfect 10. VERY much worth the money to see it though.
  83. MattM.
    Jan 23, 2004
    7
    "Big Fish", the latest from director Tim Burton, is a whimsical fantasy featuring superb performances from Ewan McGregory, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, and Jessica Lange. Though it is never quite as magical as it aspires so hard to be, the film does have some touching moments, not to mention a thing or two to say about life and death. A good film, but certainly not the masterpiece that "Big Fish", the latest from director Tim Burton, is a whimsical fantasy featuring superb performances from Ewan McGregory, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, and Jessica Lange. Though it is never quite as magical as it aspires so hard to be, the film does have some touching moments, not to mention a thing or two to say about life and death. A good film, but certainly not the masterpiece that some would make it out to be. Expand
  84. Fantasy
    Jan 21, 2004
    10
    Liked it a lot. It's a story about life in how we are remembered. The cast was outstanding. The facts don't really matter only the legend.
  85. JannaA.
    Jan 20, 2004
    8
    Liked it!
  86. MovieguyCinema
    Jan 20, 2004
    0
    A nauseating and ridiculous lousy david lynch imitation, utterly meaningless pretentious garbage that is both boring and sickening a the same time.
  87. R.Diddy
    Jan 19, 2004
    10
    This is the best movie i've seen in a long time. i had no idea what its about when i went to see it and i was pleasantly suprised, that its about the beauty of the moment.. a beautiful story that may or may not lead somewhere.. it is refreshingly different from the usual hollywood garbage. i cant believe papers like washington post gave it a bad rating. from what they said it wasThis is the best movie i've seen in a long time. i had no idea what its about when i went to see it and i was pleasantly suprised, that its about the beauty of the moment.. a beautiful story that may or may not lead somewhere.. it is refreshingly different from the usual hollywood garbage. i cant believe papers like washington post gave it a bad rating. from what they said it was missing exactly what pathetic hollywood movies attempt to deliver. recipe for maximum audience. !@#$ washington post & @#$ movie critics. Expand
  88. DamienP.
    Jan 19, 2004
    10
    I found this movie to be vastly entertaining while also delivering a great message. There was only a few moments of misguided direction, otherwise I think it was flawless for what it was trying to accomplish. When a movie can relate to possible relationships the viewer can relate to, it connects that much closer. All in all a good family movie.
  89. KristinD.
    Jan 17, 2004
    10
    What the heck is the problem with all of these critics? Can't they tell one good movie from another? The reviews are nothing but a whangdoodle(except for the good ones). Big Fish is one of the best pictures created that touches the heart. It is one of the best movies I've ever seen about family, love, and friendship.
  90. KenG.
    Jan 17, 2004
    7
    Tim Burton pulls out all the stops (but forgets some heart) in this whimsical, enchanting tale of tall tales versus reality. Although the focus (father and son) plays second fiddle to the time-tripping adventures, there's never a dull moment.
  91. FuzzyDice
    Jan 15, 2004
    10
    Warmth, nuance and childhood (as well as adult!) fantasy abound in Burton's best film since PeeWee's Big Adventure!
  92. Andrew
    Jan 14, 2004
    8
    As for the racism- I think that's a hasty conclusion to make- many of the people whom he "excludes" from his home life are white are people of his class and color: the poet arthur winslow and his mistress jenny. Likewise his "real life" is populated by a french woman and a black doctor. I think the lines you are seeing drawn are imaginary, or exist only for you- they certainly As for the racism- I think that's a hasty conclusion to make- many of the people whom he "excludes" from his home life are white are people of his class and color: the poet arthur winslow and his mistress jenny. Likewise his "real life" is populated by a french woman and a black doctor. I think the lines you are seeing drawn are imaginary, or exist only for you- they certainly aren't in the film. As for the movie itself, I don't understand the glut of bad reviews. The movie had some pacing problems, and the direction was a bit scattered- Billy Crudup's performance, though skillful, seemed out of place with the rest of the characters, for instance. But the film has such imaginative storytelling and a large heart that it wound up being powerful. Most interestingly, those two elements were inextricably related- without the heart the stories would seem empty, and without the stories the film would not have been moving at all. I have not seen Burton's earlier films (except for "The Nightmare Before Christmas" when I was very young) and I think I am better for it by not having the expectations that I think influenced many of the negative reviews logged here. Instead, I saw the film itself, ignorant and absent of the director's usual habits and eccentricities. Those things shouldn't matter anyway: when it comes down to it you have only the 110 minutes of film to judge. The history of its actors and director should not significatnly bear on your criticism. Expand
  93. WAKOJAKO
    Jan 14, 2004
    5
    As well as I like Tim Burton's previous work, I really didn't feel drawn into Big Fish. The film starts well enough, and the present day scenes with Albert Finney et al work really well (thus the 5 points). But the tall tales parts felt way too...pedantic--not at all like Burton. Most of those characters didn't just feel fake, but didn't feel like characters at all. As well as I like Tim Burton's previous work, I really didn't feel drawn into Big Fish. The film starts well enough, and the present day scenes with Albert Finney et al work really well (thus the 5 points). But the tall tales parts felt way too...pedantic--not at all like Burton. Most of those characters didn't just feel fake, but didn't feel like characters at all. Despite the obvious possibilities, the whole thing lacked imagination. Expand
  94. BillS.
    Jan 13, 2004
    9
    A beautifully whimsical tale woven together by Burton who shows remarkable depth of spirit and heart without any reliance on special effects or artificial fantasy characters. There was no 'racism' here - what a ludicrous thing to claim. Instead, you will find much soul and a deeper message about who we are and how we view our lives than you'll find in any other movie out A beautifully whimsical tale woven together by Burton who shows remarkable depth of spirit and heart without any reliance on special effects or artificial fantasy characters. There was no 'racism' here - what a ludicrous thing to claim. Instead, you will find much soul and a deeper message about who we are and how we view our lives than you'll find in any other movie out right now. A delicately told yet quasi-imaginary sniffle-inspiring work, certainly worthy of more than the action-figure generation critics seem to be willing to give. Impatience, rather than any lack of moral or visual merit, is the source of most negative commets. Hint: Don't walk out of RETURN OF THE KING and expect to be equally deafened by BIG FISH. Leave the less-sensitive friends and family at home for this one. Expand
  95. JonA.
    Jan 13, 2004
    10
    First of all, this was a wonderful movie. In a world of the fantastical revolving around violence and crude humor, this film brings back the wonder to real, natural life in a beautiful way. As for the racist comments by our first commentator; I sympathize with your frustration, but quiet frankly, if you attack this movie for being racist, etc. you have not seen a lot of other movies in First of all, this was a wonderful movie. In a world of the fantastical revolving around violence and crude humor, this film brings back the wonder to real, natural life in a beautiful way. As for the racist comments by our first commentator; I sympathize with your frustration, but quiet frankly, if you attack this movie for being racist, etc. you have not seen a lot of other movies in this day in age. The father separates his "cool friends" from his family because he leaves it ambiguous to whether they actually existed or not. People, pick up a book once in a while~ have we lost contact with our own imagination? Whew... Expand
  96. CalebC.
    Jan 13, 2004
    10
    I loved it! special connection to this movie helped me give it a 10. i thought it was like reading a book. i love this one.
  97. GuyI.
    Jan 12, 2004
    10
    Matthew T. Dude, you have problems. LOL. This is a great film for people of all races and cultures to enjoy. Saw an early preview a while back and it reddemed my faith in Hollywood amid all the crap it has been spewing out lately.
  98. MatthewT.
    Jan 11, 2004
    0
    This movie is racist. A father knows all sorts of cool, weird, wonderful friends, but never brings them home to introduce them to his son. Why? Because the cool friends are of a different size/race/culture/species from his white, middle-class suburban family. This is the essence of American racism--you can have fun with people who are different from you--you can even father children with This movie is racist. A father knows all sorts of cool, weird, wonderful friends, but never brings them home to introduce them to his son. Why? Because the cool friends are of a different size/race/culture/species from his white, middle-class suburban family. This is the essence of American racism--you can have fun with people who are different from you--you can even father children with them, ala Strom Thurmond or Thomas Jefferson--but you can never, NEVER invite them into your home. Big Fish is not just a bad movie, but an evil movie for giving voice to that kind of sentiment in this year, in this century, in this millenium. Tim Burton should be ashamed of himself--if you heard his NPR interview with Elvis Mitchell, you know he already is. Expand
  99. Elliott
    Jan 11, 2004
    10
    Did Jessica Lange speak?!? She ONLY delivered the most potent, heartfelt, and unforgettable line of dialogue of the past several years: "I don't think I'll ever dry out......." Big Fish is an altogether incredible film. I honestly do not understand the negative reviews. It's a perfect film.
  100. AdamM.
    Jan 11, 2004
    10
    I was shocked to see a score of 56 on MetaCritic. I was expecting to see something in the 90s. This was the best movie for 2003 that I saw. A lot of my friends have already seen this and not one has had anything bad to say about it.
Metascore
58

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
    90
    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.