Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

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

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Critic Reviews

  1. 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.
  2. 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."
  3. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Mar 30, 2012
    60
    It's an uplifting, even enchanting, smile-inducer.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 61 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 18
  2. Negative: 1 out of 18
  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. Jan 25, 2015
    9
    McGregor plays stuffy government employee Dr. Alfred Jones, forced by his boss to pursue the dubious plan of introducing salmons in Yemen. TheMcGregor plays stuffy government employee Dr. Alfred Jones, forced by his boss to pursue the dubious plan of introducing salmons in Yemen. The plan is encouraged as a PR stunt, to prove that good relations between the UK and the Middle East are not impossible.

    Therefore, Dr. Jones unwillingly cooperates with Harriet (played by Emily Blunt) and gets to know the Yemenite sheikh (Amr Waked) who is willing to invest lots of money to fulfil his dream. Scott Thomas plays the hilariously insufferable Press Secretary to the British Prime Minister. Romance ensues, but with some hindrance along the way.

    Luckily, no knowledge of fishing is required to follow the story. McGregor and Blunt have chemistry. Scott Thomas and Amr Waked are excellent supporting actors and the movie is simply delightful. A rarity nowadays.
    Full Review »