User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 191 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 7 out of 191

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  1. Feb 6, 2011
    Stranger Than Fiction is a surpirsingly mesmerizing motion picture. Will Ferell delivers his best performance ever. Instead of making an idiot of himself by knocking down furniture and making crude jokes, he gives a quirky and endearing performance. Yes, he does do some of the same things he always does, but here, he uses it to show his dramatic side. And everybody else is great too. The idea is great, the script is funny, dramatic, sweet, and smart, the direction is cool, and the ending made me cry. Overall, this is a very funny, dramatic, smart, and sweet dramedy that is one of Will Ferell's best. Expand
  2. Mar 21, 2011
    Stranger Than Fiction is a great comedy/drama film done very well by Will Farrell.
  3. Jun 2, 2013
    First of all, the story is so smart, clever, complex, but all the while completely simple. The execution of it makes the difference, director Marc Forster did a perfect job with this one. It's different, touching, funny, and most important...thought-provoking! It really makes you think about life. The cast is my absolute favorite thing about the film. I do not like Will Ferrell at all, nor do I like his movies. He's too over the top and rarely funny in my opinion, but here, he acts. He genuinely tries to portray a character, and he succeeds. He really gives a good performance, and to this day, this is the only film of his that I like and will confidently recommend to anyone. Emma Thompson gives a truly remarkable performance as the suicidal author, Karen Eiffel; her performance is so good that I think she deserved an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress, but that's just me. I laughed at her, felt for her, and was even weirded out by her quirkiness. It's a well-rounded and highly memorable performance for me. Then there's the famous Dustin Hoffman who was excellently cast, and Maggie Gyllenhaal, who plays one of my all-time favorite movie characters, Miss Pascal, a free spirited Baker who becomes the love interest in the film. It's hard to describe her really, but Gyllenhaal is PERFECT! A stunning performance that I will never forget. Also the small roles of Queen Latifah, Tom Hulce, and Linda Hunt are so nice.

    The screenplay is another one of my favorite things about the film; the writing and script of this film is smart, fresh, and brilliant. There are many memorable and quotable dialogue scenes. Add to that a brilliant cast and a good director....everything falls perfectly into place. Also the locations used in the film are perfect! It gives the film an indie feel that I absolutely love.

    Stranger Than Fiction: a great, near perfect comedy film! Completely underrated, in my opinion. I recommend it!
  4. Jun 19, 2013
    It's a treat when watching a film like 'Stranger Than Fiction' where you come to realise that what you are watching is simply nothing like the trailer that you seen for it many months before, that descriptions are cleverly vague in what exactly to expect from the film, and with an excellent cast and very thoughtful and imaginative story, it will surely tickle the creative bud in us all.
    Will Ferrell proves he is more than just a comedic actor as he delivers an unforgettable and moving performance as Harold Krick, a routine and by the book individual who lives by his a source of numbers and calculation, something that decides to turn on him in a variety of ways. Directly intertwined with Harold's story is that of Karen Eiffel (Emma Thompson) who is a world renowned author, someone who in the present is suffering from writer's block, something her publishers are concerned about so they send in Penny (Queen Latifah) to make sure it gets finished, but she is unsure about killing or how to kill her main character...Harold Krick.
    Harold goes about his daily life but begins to hear the voice of Karen, narrating his every move as if she is writing it down, because that's exactly what she is doing, unaware that Harold can hear her.
    Initially deemed as crazy, naturally, Harold manages to find the help of Jules Hilbert (Dustin Hoffman), a literature professor who recognises some of the writing that Harold informs him of what he is hearing.
    There is a very interesting and intriguing story being in told in Stranger Than Fiction, how a seemingly normal life can in fact have its tendencies to go off the rails a little, but also how many people can affect a particular outcome.
    There are also messages of control and freedom, with Harold trying to break the mould of his life so as Karen's plot cannot move forward. There is a notion here of not settling for what is comfortable, but what might just make you happier, as Harold the IRS man is auditing a bakery woman named Ana (Maggie Gyllenhaal), he realises he is indeed in need of a change.
    Harold struggles with the dilemma of his imminent death the same way others struggle with upheaval, the film exercises discussion and compromise where necessary which ultimately delivers a very wonderful and thoughtful story, complex yet straightforward and never dull, with excellent performances.
  5. Jul 5, 2013
    Not one of those laugh out loud ha-ha comedies, yet you cannot watch this film without at least chuckling quite a bit. The film is mixed in with just the right dose of "emotion" and wit. While Ema Thompson, Dustin Hoffman and Maggie Gyllenhaal did all put on great performances (as we would expect) it was Will Farrell an actor with whom I had never bothered before that was the show-stopper in this one! Expand
  6. Sep 12, 2013
    Very touching movie. It's not a comedy, nor a drama, hard to tell...just a good movie with a nice concept. Will Ferrell plays a rare role for his career, he is not a comic here, and he plays great! Other actors fit and play well too. The only thing I didn't like the ending much, but of course I won't spoil it.
    Max Richter's music in the OST was a really pleasant surprise!
  7. Sep 24, 2013
    An imaginative and unique feel-good movie that carries starling performances from its all star cast. "Stranger Than FIction" is the "watch it again" film that will have its audiences laughing and crying. It's not a tear jerking comedic laugh fest, although it delivers its share of laughs, "Stranger Than Fiction" is a smart and witty film that not only holds intellegent dialogue and hilarious scenes, but it also carries its share of emotional sequences that will have you on the edge of your seat while holding back a fresh batch of tears. It's an absolute joy to watch, it's like a mixture of "Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind" meets "THe Perks Of Bieng A Wallflower" meets "Punk Drunk Love." Totally underrated. Expand
  8. Aug 14, 2010
    Good but still lacking in what i thought it would be. It was good and the storyline was ok. i really like will's comedy stuff so this is different for me.
  9. Jan 7, 2011
    When you realize you might die any day (and we all will die someday unknown), you might as well use the time left to live the life you have always wanted. Furthermore, you are never too old for anything. Amusing, lovable, tragic, beautiful.
  10. Aug 11, 2011
    STRANGER THAN FICTION, a dark comedy-drama from comedian Will Ferrell (TALLADEGA NIGHTS: THE BALLAD OF RICKY BOBBY; BLADES OF GLORY) and director MARC FORSTER (QUANTUM OF SOLACE; THE KITE RUNNER) is quite notably funny, and even when you think you're going to regret laughing (I won't ruin the movie for those of you who have not seen it), you do not regret anything at all.
  11. j30
    Jan 30, 2012
    In Stranger Than Fiction, Will Ferrel's turns his best dramatic performance to date, while working with a fantastic original screenplay by Zach Helm.
  12. Nov 28, 2012
    "Stranger Than Fiction" is a truly heartfelt, whimsical and skillfully written dramedy, as well as a showcase for Will Ferrell's true talent.
  13. Dec 29, 2012
    the plot gimmick, that the main character is actually in a story that is being written, is very cleverly used for fun, leading to lots of previously unused jokes, and that is what i like most about this movie.
  14. Aug 28, 2014
    An echo to I Heart Huckabees and Spike Jonze's Adaptation., with a few less tricks. Stranger Than Fiction is certainly thought-provoking, but it doesn't always quite work. I commend Will Ferrell for his attempt outside of his box, but I'm not sure that it was a success.
  15. Nov 5, 2014
    A perplexing yet ultimately satisfying fantastical dramedy, featuring Will Ferrell's most deep and thoughtful, being his only real dramatic role. The script is what prevails; it is such a fresh and innovative and fun idea that I believed took years to develop, and came out beautifully.

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 35
  2. Negative: 1 out of 35
  1. When Ferrell and Hoffman do their thing together, a charming bit of whimsy becomes something more. It becomes really, really funny.
  2. 75
    This is a Ferrell you've never seen before, nailing a role that calls for breakneck humor in the final race against the clock and touching gravity in the love scenes with Gyllenhaal.
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Sometimes becomes too self-consciously clever, and it doesn't entirely resolve its own central dilemma. But it remains inventive and funny to the end, features fine performances from Will Ferrell and especially Emma Thompson.