User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 217 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 7 out of 217
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  1. WayneH.
    Mar 27, 2007
    10
    I think this is a much better movie than the critics are rating and my 3 friends who watched it at my behest all agreed that it is one of the best movies we've ever seen. It is a "quiet", and utterly compelling movie. The cast is superb (Will Farrell is perfect in the role and his reaction in the scene where the professor (Dustin Hoffman) tells him that the ending where he dies will I think this is a much better movie than the critics are rating and my 3 friends who watched it at my behest all agreed that it is one of the best movies we've ever seen. It is a "quiet", and utterly compelling movie. The cast is superb (Will Farrell is perfect in the role and his reaction in the scene where the professor (Dustin Hoffman) tells him that the ending where he dies will make the novel truly great, therefore he really should allow the author to "kill" him is one of the best pieces of acting that I've ever seen. Emma Thompson gives her "usual" extraordinary performance. An intelligent, witty script provides the basis for all. Expand
  2. JamesH.
    Nov 11, 2006
    9
    Amazing writing, very well acted. The 67 is criminal and critics should be ashamed. Will Farrell could have easily over acted in this role and killed the spirit of the film but instead he put in his best performance to date.
  3. JamesB.
    Nov 11, 2006
    9
    One of the best of 2006. Forget everything you've ever thought about Will Ferrell. This is an entirely different actor and a different role. He was great...and the rest of the cast was a pleasant surprise. Far surpassed expectations.
  4. SamF.
    Nov 13, 2006
    10
    Will Ferrell and Maggie Gyllenhaal have surprisingly warm, glowey electricity between them in this film. However, their adorable relationship ends up taking a back seat to their otherwise fantastic performances, a classic Dustin Hoffman and a refreshing comedic Emma Thompson performance, and greatest of all, the most unique, clever storyline since Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
  5. John
    Nov 16, 2006
    10
    This movie was great-- just a lot of fun and really entertaining. Don't listen to these pretentious snobs who give it bad reviews. Really, what do they know?
  6. JeffT
    Nov 22, 2006
    9
    The necessity when analyzing this film is to do so from the proper reference frame. Despite what others critics have said the substance in 'Stranger Than Fiction" has nothing to do with the gimmick of hearing a voice. Sure that's the context by which the story is told, but it's just a pretext. Dustin Hoffman
  7. KarlP
    Nov 23, 2006
    10
    Even knowing that it was not to be a traditional "Will Ferrell" comedy did not prepare me for the touching and well-done Stranger than Fiction. Truly the best it could have been.
  8. RuthS.
    Nov 29, 2006
    10
    I loved this movie! It is funny, and sweet, and touching without being sappy. I thought Will Ferrell gave a wonderfully subtle performance as a guy gradually waking up to what life is really about. I liked everybody else in the film too, wonderful actors giving wonderful performances. I think this film may actually have been a little too subtle for many people and that this is the reason I loved this movie! It is funny, and sweet, and touching without being sappy. I thought Will Ferrell gave a wonderfully subtle performance as a guy gradually waking up to what life is really about. I liked everybody else in the film too, wonderful actors giving wonderful performances. I think this film may actually have been a little too subtle for many people and that this is the reason for some of the more negative reviews. I think it is the best film I have seen this year so far. Expand
  9. BrianG.
    Dec 11, 2006
    9
    Pure cinema magic. The quirkiness of the plot should not distract viewers from the fact that this is a movie with plenty of substance and heart. Some feel the ending is a cop out but I feel it's the finale it deserves and is justified by Emma Thompson's reasoning at the end of the film. The most heartwarming and uplifting film I've seen in some time.
  10. AmaraN.
    Jan 12, 2007
    10
    Lovely movie. Simple in every way, yet profound. This was a work rich in literary devices and open to interpretation. It takes a poetic view on the meaning of life, the perception of its quality and what makes it worth living. It exermines the role of a higher purpose in the justification of tragedy and in the process opening the door for a series of possible spiritual and philosophical Lovely movie. Simple in every way, yet profound. This was a work rich in literary devices and open to interpretation. It takes a poetic view on the meaning of life, the perception of its quality and what makes it worth living. It exermines the role of a higher purpose in the justification of tragedy and in the process opening the door for a series of possible spiritual and philosophical interpretations. Its a hugely significant movie that every one should see. Expand
  11. JoeA.
    Feb 28, 2007
    10
    An unexpectedly moving drama. A critic listed here gave it a 38 (!?), draws an unfair comparison to 'Adaption' and 'I Heart Huckabee'. Unfair because those two flawed films start out modestly and with promise, but peter out in as pretentious messes. Better comparisons are 'The Truman Show' and 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' (both starred An unexpectedly moving drama. A critic listed here gave it a 38 (!?), draws an unfair comparison to 'Adaption' and 'I Heart Huckabee'. Unfair because those two flawed films start out modestly and with promise, but peter out in as pretentious messes. Better comparisons are 'The Truman Show' and 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' (both starred JIm Carrey, hmmm...). Expand
  12. SeanF.
    Mar 16, 2007
    9
    Even though the critics were close on this one, it's even better than they said. This is by far the best movie Will Ferrell has been in. He's helped by good performances from Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman. Just a very neat movie, with a pretty innovative script. If you like movies like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless MInd, Existenz, or Being John Malkovich, you'll also Even though the critics were close on this one, it's even better than they said. This is by far the best movie Will Ferrell has been in. He's helped by good performances from Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman. Just a very neat movie, with a pretty innovative script. If you like movies like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless MInd, Existenz, or Being John Malkovich, you'll also like this. Expand
  13. Feb 6, 2011
    10
    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. TheStranger 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. Collapse
  14. Jun 2, 2013
    9
    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, norFirst 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!
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  15. Sep 24, 2013
    9
    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 andAn 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
  16. Mar 21, 2011
    10
    Stranger Than Fiction is a great comedy/drama film done very well by Will Farrell.
  17. VikM.
    Feb 25, 2008
    9
    Ok, it was actually a really good movie.. I enjoyed it. It made you think and will ferrel is better in serious movies. Not my favorite, but i enjoyed it a whole lot
  18. AlanG
    Nov 13, 2006
    9
    I agree with you James H. What do the critics know? Not much. This is a thoroughly enjoyable film. Will Farrell is great and I never thought I'd say that about him. I've never been a big fan of his, but in this movie he nailed the role. Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thomson were also wonderful in their parts. There were so many layers to this film. If they had just stuck to getting I agree with you James H. What do the critics know? Not much. This is a thoroughly enjoyable film. Will Farrell is great and I never thought I'd say that about him. I've never been a big fan of his, but in this movie he nailed the role. Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thomson were also wonderful in their parts. There were so many layers to this film. If they had just stuck to getting the voice out of his head the movie would have flopped. But they went beyond that. This is also a movie about having control of ones own life as well as having the power to control others - and how to face both of those situations. It's about love and compassion and relationships. I guess that's something that the critics have trouble relating to. If it's not mean, repulsive, insulting, angry or juvenile (like Borat) the critics just aren't going to buy into it. Expand
  19. GilesD.
    Dec 2, 2006
    10
    Like drinking a relaxing glass of champagne.
  20. GregG.
    Dec 3, 2006
    10
    So go out and have some fun! Our audience lol'd many times. The script is not all that complicated, nor do you have a doctorate in literary theory to enjoy yourself. Great performances. Clever, not complicated story.
  21. AaronL.
    Dec 11, 2006
    9
    Creative, original, different, highly entertaining, fun, new, and surprisingly good. One of the best movies of the year.
  22. JohnF.
    Dec 17, 2006
    9
    A remarkable, orginal well acted film with an excellent cast.One of the best movies I've seen this year!
  23. BrianJ.
    Jan 8, 2007
    10
    An outstanding, original film! I was surprised to see Ferrell play, so wonderfully, a genuine, serious, and human character. Gyllenhaal and Hoffman both easily fill ther rolls, however Latifah's character was so insignificant that I can't understand why she was cast for the assistant. Thankfully, she has little enough involvment, she can't sabatage this clever and hilarious An outstanding, original film! I was surprised to see Ferrell play, so wonderfully, a genuine, serious, and human character. Gyllenhaal and Hoffman both easily fill ther rolls, however Latifah's character was so insignificant that I can't understand why she was cast for the assistant. Thankfully, she has little enough involvment, she can't sabatage this clever and hilarious film. One of the reviews said this would be a good date movie, however I STRONGLY disagree. This movie has more downs than ups. The date I brought to this movie was actually slightly sadden by the film, far from the mood I was aiming for. Expand
  24. D.L.B.
    Feb 24, 2007
    9
    I didn't have high expectations, but the movie snuck up on me. One of my favs of the year.
  25. [Anonymous]
    Mar 5, 2007
    9
    One of the best, most original, best scripted, profound, simple, heartbreaking, surprising, and fascinating movies I've ever seen. I think what lead to so many bad reviews was their expectations of comedy, which this is not. If your looking for a laugh, or have ADD, pass this one by.
  26. SteveK.
    Mar 5, 2007
    9
    I thought it was very good. Ferrell does a good job and Gyllenhaal was well casted. It wasn't the typical rehashed formulaic plot. Definitely worth watching.
  27. Jer
    Mar 28, 2007
    9
    For the record, H C., this isn't actually based on a novel. It's an original screenplay, not an adaptation. That said, I agree with everything else you mentioned, including Emma Thompson's brilliance. (potential spoiler ahead...) I enjoyed her reaction to the ringing phone as she typed, and hovered over that final period...then she practically screams when she hits it and For the record, H C., this isn't actually based on a novel. It's an original screenplay, not an adaptation. That said, I agree with everything else you mentioned, including Emma Thompson's brilliance. (potential spoiler ahead...) I enjoyed her reaction to the ringing phone as she typed, and hovered over that final period...then she practically screams when she hits it and the phone rings again...(I also liked her death fantasies.) I suppose this is a Kaufman-esque concept movie, but I don't think it should be considered Kaufman Lite or any sort of rip-off, which I was expecting. I, for one, thought it all worked wonderfully. Expand
  28. DanB.
    Apr 5, 2007
    9
    Was really funny *and* affecting. Which is weird because I got the distinct feeling it was kind of a shallow movie and yet, despite this, it worked on me. Absolutely loved it.
Metascore
67

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
    70
    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.