Big

Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 20
  2. Negative: 1 out of 20

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Critic Reviews

  1. USA Today
    Reviewed by: Donna Britt
    100
    Unpretentious as it is, Big takes you beyond laughter, to where you live. And there's nothing small about that. [3 Jun 1988, p.1D]
  2. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Dec 16, 2013
    88
    Although Big is generally lighthearted, it rarely plays for stupid laughs. There are a few of these, but the film avoids sacrificing character integrity for the cheap guffaw.
  3. Boston Globe
    Reviewed by: Michael Blowen
    88
    Big is an example of what has become rare in Hollywood -- a self-confident comedy that transforms an old gimmick into a new, vivid experience. It's as funny for the kids as it is for adults and, for that reason alone, can't be recommended too highly. [3 Jun 1988, p.33]
  4. The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    88
    Sure, the premise is identical age-reversal comedies, but this one uses a much higher octane, animating a tired idea with a timeless script, and the result is pop humor at its most appealing - wit and charm spiced with a measured pinch of farce and just the right hint of melancholy. [3 Jun 1988, p.E1]
  5. Big is a winning, charming film, primarily because Hanks makes it work. He is extraordinarily convincing as an adolescent who suddenly finds himself dealing with a new, adult body, responsibilities, and a romantic relationship, while simultaneously trying to survive vicious corporate infighting.
  6. Reviewed by: Duane Byrge
    Jun 4, 2016
    80
    Although one need not have graduated from a weekend screenwriting seminar to tell where the story is headed, Big is just plain funny and wonderfully goofy throughout. Again, while certainly not a new story or even a new theme, Big is done refreshingly well.
  7. Reviewed by: Jay Boyar
    Dec 16, 2013
    80
    The setup isn't exactly what you'd call plausible, but the follow-through is consistent and clever.
  8. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    Dec 16, 2013
    80
    It’s a funny, bittersweet film that opens as a cautionary tale about growing up too fast, but deepens into a movie about the unplumbable gulf between childhood and adulthood, and what it feels like to stand on either side, wishing for a way over.
  9. Big features believable young teen-age mannerisms from the two real boys in its cast, and this only makes Mr. Hanks's funny, flawless impression that much more adorable. This really is the performance to beat.
  10. 80
    A 13-year-old junior high kid Josh (David Moscow) is transformed into a 35-year-old's body (Tom Hanks) by a carnival wishing machine in this pic which unspools with enjoyable genuineness and ingenuity.
  11. Los Angeles Times
    Reviewed by: Kevin Thomas
    80
    The greatest thing about Big is that its makers have known how to end it in a thoroughly satisfying fashion, which is always the challenge-and often the stumbling block-of fantasy. In never confusing what is child-like with childishness, Big is actually a refreshingly grown-up comedy-for the entire family. [3 Jun 1988, p.1]
  12. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Julie Salamon
    80
    I am glad to be able to say that all these clever and talented people have actually come up with the goods. The biggest goodie is Tom Hanks as the little boy after his wish has been granted. Much of the comedy in this movie is physical. Without forcing the matter Mr. Hanks has a startling ability to take on the mannerisms and facial expressions of an adolescent. [2 Jun 1988, p.1]
  13. Washington Post
    Reviewed by: Joe Brown
    80
    Big is never condescending to or smuttily smirky about kids. And it doesn't make fun of grownups, either. It just feels sorry for them a little. [3 Jun 1988, p.n37]
  14. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    80
    As a crowd-pleasing comedy it works. But it really could have been so much more.
  15. Reviewed by: Desmond Ryan
    Dec 16, 2013
    75
    Penny Marshall brings a logic to the premise that is sustained through most of the movie. And where the other movies snickered at the sexual possibilities in the idea, she faces up to them with both candor and taste.
  16. 75
    Big moves with polish and assurance. It's too soon to tell whether Marshall has anything of her own to say, but Big is proof that she can handle the Hollywood machine, and that is no small thing.
  17. San Francisco Chronicle
    Reviewed by: Peter Stack
    75
    Sappiness and romance always are fine with me, and Big is a good example of a movie that effortlessly blends sweetness and fun - it feels a little like stumbling on a picnic of smiles. [3 Jun 1988, p.E1]
  18. 70
    Big has a warmhearted sweetness that's invigorating; it makes you want to break out the Legos. It's only near the end of the film, when Hanks has to play the scenes for pathos, that the movie becomes cloying.
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 82 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 9
  2. Negative: 1 out of 9
  1. Sep 15, 2011
    6
    The movie is cheesy and childish; the only thing that holds the movie in one piece is Tom Hanks.
  2. Mar 27, 2016
    8
    A 13-year-old junior high kid Josh (David Moscow) is transformed into a 35-year-old’s body (Tom Hanks) by a carnival wishing machine in thisA 13-year-old junior high kid Josh (David Moscow) is transformed into a 35-year-old’s body (Tom Hanks) by a carnival wishing machine in this pic which unspools with Enjoyable genuineness and ingenuity.

    Immediate dilemma, since going back to school is not an option and his mom thinks he’s an intruder and doesn’t buy into the explanation that he’s changed into a man, is to escape to anonymous New York City and hide out in a seedy hotel.

    Pretty soon, the viewer forgets that what’s happening on screen has no basis in reality. The characters are having too much fun enjoying life away from responsibility, which begs the question why adults get so serious when there is fun to be had in almost any situation.

    Hanks plays chopsticks on a walking piano at F.A.O. Schwarz with a man who turns out to be his boss (Robert Loggia) and as a result of this freespirited behavior is promoted way beyond his expectations, but it’s what he does with all his newfound self-worth that propels this ‘dramedy’.

    Greatest growth comes from his involvement with coworker Elizabeth Perkins, though by no means is he the only one getting an education.
    Full Review »
  3. Jun 13, 2015
    10
    Big is a fantastic comedy with great dialogue,performances and is a lot of fun to watch the message of the film is also great telling us thatBig is a fantastic comedy with great dialogue,performances and is a lot of fun to watch the message of the film is also great telling us that growing up is tough so be young while you can.
    one of my favorite movies!!
    Full Review »