Metascore
58

Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 35
  2. Negative: 1 out of 35
  1. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    Mar 9, 2012
    80
    The crisply sweet banter and the halting intimacy that grows between two shy people with a common goal more than makes up for a wildly implausible plot.
  2. Reviewed by: Pete Hammond
    Mar 7, 2012
    80
    A smart, winning and comic, if at times bittersweet, treat.
  3. Reviewed by: Calvin Wilson
    Mar 23, 2012
    75
    Isn't as memorable or provocative as it might have been. But it's an engaging love story that should appeal to moviegoers with a flair for the offbeat.
  4. Reviewed by: Scott Bowles
    Mar 15, 2012
    75
    The side story about Muslim extremists is a little ham-handed for a film that otherwise exercises such restraint.
  5. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Mar 9, 2012
    75
    These are characters with whom it's a pleasure to spend a couple of hours.
  6. 75
    As the title more than hints, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is all about a leap of faith, and faith is exactly what this picture requires of us. Make the leap, and you'll be delighted by a movie that's sugary goodness, a guilty pleasure.
  7. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    Mar 8, 2012
    75
    The film's emotional complexities don't allow for much of the canned sentiment that normally gets dished out in romantic dramas; what emerges instead, over several reels, is endearingly tender and complicated.
  8. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Mar 8, 2012
    75
    If all this sounds like too much whimsy to bear, be forwarned. There is whimsy everywhere.
  9. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Mar 8, 2012
    75
    This is a rich subject for satire and sticking it to political bureaucracy. Screenwriter Simon Beaufoy (127 Hours) has mined Paul Torday's book for delicious nuggets about Western capitalism at war with Muslim culture.
  10. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Mar 7, 2012
    75
    You can have a reasonably nice time at Salmon Fishing in the Yemen if you accept that it's the tidiest movie imaginable to ever say that falling in love is like swimming upstream.
  11. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Mar 6, 2012
    75
    It's not a stretch to say the movie works in large part because of the charm and sparkle of the three leads: Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt, and Kristin Scott Thomas.
  12. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Mar 22, 2012
    70
    Far-fetched? Yes. A little sugary? Also yes, especially if Thomas were removed from the equation. Happily, she is not, and that, combined with the performances of McGregor, Blunt and Waked, makes Salmon Fishing in the Yemen a charming little movie.
  13. Reviewed by: Michelle Orange
    Mar 8, 2012
    70
    When the recessive style works with the characters and the kooky international-incident story, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen has an absorbing, old-fashioned sweetness.
  14. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Mar 4, 2012
    70
    The film has a grand cast, with Emily Blunt, Ewan McGregor, Kristin Scott Thomas and Amr Waked at the center of this very clever tale of modern eco-issues intertwined with old-style political intrigues and New Age romance.
  15. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Mar 28, 2012
    67
    After a sparky first half greatly aided by Kristin Scott Thomas' devilish turn as an unsentimental press secretary, Salmon Fishing grows soggier. It's such a pretty, witty gloss of a picture, it hardly knows what to do with real-world terror, hence the Snidely Whiplash-like limning of Muslim extremists.
  16. Reviewed by: Connie Ogle
    Mar 30, 2012
    63
    Not a bad movie - everybody wants dreams to come true - but its platitudes sound awfully hollow sometimes.
  17. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Mar 8, 2012
    63
    A surprisingly lush, endearing little film, in which a swelling sense of romanticism thoroughly banishes even the most far-fetched improbabilities.
  18. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Mar 8, 2012
    63
    The film's occasional toe-dips into real-world politics, sectarian conflict and the horrors of war are demure and unruffling. What's missing is a point of view beyond Hallstrom's interest in making his actors look as attractive as possible.
  19. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Mar 7, 2012
    63
    This perhaps sounds like a hilarious movie. So it could be, in the hands of the masters of classic British comedy. Unfortunately, the director is the Swede Lasse ("Chocolat"), who sees it as a heart-warming romance and doesn't take advantage of the rich eccentricity in the story.
  20. Reviewed by: Neil Smith
    Apr 19, 2012
    60
    Tamer than the book and not as funny, this is Salmon filleted. But McGregor and Blunt make fetching lovebirds, while Kristin Scott Thomas is off the scale in a rare comic outing.
  21. Reviewed by: Anna Smith
    Apr 16, 2012
    60
    As awkward as McGregor's geeky hero and almost as confused as the titular plan, Salmon Fishing is still very likable if you're prepared to take the bait. And it might even be Scott Thomas' funniest turn since "Four Weddings And A Funeral."
  22. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Mar 30, 2012
    60
    It's an uplifting, even enchanting, smile-inducer.
  23. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Mar 8, 2012
    60
    Unlike those in the book, who speak through e-mails, diaries, letters and interviews, the characters here leave the impression of giving harmless nibbles instead of flesh wounds. Defanged and pushed into the background, the satire vanishes, and you are left with an agreeable romantic comedy.
  24. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Mar 4, 2012
    58
    Alas, none of it, save Kristin Scott Thomas giving a peach of a performance as a political operative, smacks of real life or vitality. Even when it evinces spasms of life, this film is, more or less, a dead fish.
  25. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Mar 12, 2012
    50
    It's only when it takes an unfortunate wrong turn from playful wit into the dramatic and sentimental - Hallström's speciality - that the movie starts to unravel.
  26. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Mar 9, 2012
    50
    It's a soggy farce that not even its top-notch cast can rescue – though not for want of trying.
  27. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Mar 8, 2012
    50
    It's all been called Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, just like Paul Torday's 2007 novel, and, except for some despicable behavior in the later going, it couldn't be more harmless.
  28. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    Mar 7, 2012
    50
    In spite of a promising start, an unconventional setup, attractive photography, and game lead performances from Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt, Salmon Fishing quickly turns into exactly the sort of wet cardboard box of a movie its title suggests.
  29. Reviewed by: Mark Holcomb
    Mar 6, 2012
    50
    Mostly sacrifices the political satire and epistolary structure of Paul Torday's source novel in favor of cute, if strained, rom-com shenanigans.
  30. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Mar 4, 2012
    50
    The movie has a hard time wrapping up its love story without feeling forced, however game the cast. Viewers won't be able to say they weren't given what they came for, but they might feel unsatisfied all the same.
  31. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Mar 4, 2012
    50
    Like one of those kitchen machines that can turn nearly any ingredient into ice cream, Lasse Hallstrom has sweetened the satire right out of Paul Torday's side-splitting political sendup Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.
  32. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Apr 19, 2012
    40
    It feels as if you've seen it many times before. Bill Nighy isn't in it, for example, and yet afterwards I had an intense memory of Bill Nighy being in it, the way amputees can feel their toes itching.
  33. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Mar 9, 2012
    40
    The cast gives it all a good go, and pip-pip and all that for noticeable intelligence and a bit of the old British satire. Yet Salmon Fishing takes patience and rewards with no bite.
  34. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Mar 6, 2012
    40
    Only Kristin Scott Thomas channeling "In the Loop's" Malcolm Tucker offers a spark; the rest is simply hokum designed to land overly sentimental suckers hook, line and sinker.
  35. Reviewed by: Bill Weber
    Mar 9, 2012
    25
    The ill use made of the stars' charms in this initially strained, then egregiously dopey mushfest can likely be credited to market-tested notions of modern popular romance.
User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 54 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 17
  2. Negative: 1 out of 17
  1. Apr 3, 2012
    6
    Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is smarter than your average rom-com, wittier, and has just enough to say to give it some substance. The story isSalmon Fishing in the Yemen is smarter than your average rom-com, wittier, and has just enough to say to give it some substance. The story is really about the relationship between Jones and Talbot. But what their affair has emotionally, it lacks in physical spark and chemistry for all the fuss. Thus, there is a lot of talk about the fishing project, and a lot of talk about their feelings, making for a rom-com that's light on visuals, heavy on dialog. Full review on my blog. Full Review »
  2. Mar 23, 2012
    4
    An Arab sheikh with more money than sense wants to import the sport and/or lifestyle of salmon fishing from cold and rainy Scotland to theAn Arab sheikh with more money than sense wants to import the sport and/or lifestyle of salmon fishing from cold and rainy Scotland to the barren desert of Yemen. In the meantime, the British government is floundering from scandal to scandal and greedily seizes upon the idea of a cultural rapprochement between the West and the Arab world through this fishing enterprise; it is even better that the sheik is willing to foot the entire bill. The messy details will be filled in by the Fisheries Department representative Dr. Alfred Jones (Ewan McGregor) and an investment rep for the sheikh, Ms. Harriet Chetwode-Talbot (Emily Blunt).

    Naturally, Dr. Jones is incredulous that anyone would think it feasible to move 10,000 salmon from Scotland to Yemen and considers his assignment a foolâ
    Full Review »
  3. Mar 8, 2014
    5
    Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is a mildly entertaining romantic comedy. Unfortunately, it's uniqueness is undercut by the heavy use of typicalSalmon Fishing in the Yemen is a mildly entertaining romantic comedy. Unfortunately, it's uniqueness is undercut by the heavy use of typical genre cliches and some eye-rolling plot contrivances. Meh. Full Review »