Mixed or average reviews - based on 42 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 256 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Director Tim Burton brings his inimitable imagination on a heartwarming journey that delves deep into a fabled relationship between a father and his son. (Sony Pictures)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 42
  2. Negative: 3 out of 42
  1. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    Big Fish really is a big delight.
  2. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    Has enough tasty bait to satisfy an array of moviegoers: Burton fans, Albert Finney fans, fans of tall tales well spun by experts and fans of movies that don't look like any other.
  3. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    When it catches fire, this great-looking movie offers hilarious diversions.
  4. But Burton and August have added ­anger to the mix, and it sours much of the otherwise wondrous tone.
  5. 60
    What is most disappointing about Big Fish is the nervousness of its fantasizing--a strange unwillingness, new in Burton's work, to trust the wit of the audience. [15 December 2003, p. 119]
  6. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    The imaginatively illustrated but precariously precious film offers up a string of minor pleasures but never becomes more than moderately amusing or involving.
  7. A long-winded indulgence in tear-and-a-smile whimsy, elevated above the merely irritating and saccharine by compelling art direction.

See all 42 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 11 out of 120
  1. 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. Expand
  2. 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 Expand
  3. 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
  4. 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. Expand
  5. 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.
  6. 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. Expand
  7. 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. Collapse

See all 120 User Reviews