Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 215 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Will Ferrell plays Harold Crick, an IRS Agent whose world is turned upside-down when he begins to hear his life being chronicled by a narrator only he can hear. The Narrator, Kay Eiffel (Emma Thompson), a nearly forgotten author of tragic novels, is struggling to complete her latest and best book, unaware that her protagonist is alive and uncontrollably guided by her words. Fiction and reality collide when the bewildered and hilariously resistant Harold hears the Narrator say that events have been set in motion that will lead to his imminent death. (Sony) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 35
  2. Negative: 1 out of 35
  1. 91
    In a feat of performing imagination, Ferrell turns his usual extroversion inside out and his usual zaniness into precision, and makes it all work for him.
  2. Maybe the best thing about Stranger Than Fiction is the way it extracts unexpected work from underrated actors.
  3. 75
    Stranger Than Fiction may not be the typical crowd-pleaser, but it's a sweet, funny, intelligent film that showcases just how much Ferrell can do, even when he's doing less.
  4. 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.
  5. 70
    Teems with ideas both literary and existential, which might make it unbearably precious, were it not redeemed by woozy charm and some serious acting from Will Ferrell.
  6. An eminently easy-to-watch piece of one-joke pop japery, is a movie that mimics the I'm-a-character-in-my-own-life metaphysical playfulness of "The Truman Show."
  7. 38
    Watching the movie made me long for the big , risky ideas and entertainingly fearless filmmaking in David O. Russell's "I Heart Huckabees " and Spike Jonze's "Adaptation ," which Kaufman wrote. Both were similarly conceptual escapades, but they let it all hang out.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 60 out of 69
  2. Negative: 4 out of 69
  1. WayneH.
    Mar 27, 2007
    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. SamF.
    Nov 13, 2006
    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. Expand
  3. JeffT
    Nov 22, 2006
    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 Expand
  4. JanetC
    Dec 22, 2008
    This is a really good and thoroughly enjoyable film. It's funny everytime you watch it. The ending lets it down quite a LOT, to be honest. But that's the only fault it has the burden of bearing. My 11 year old sister actually loves it too, so it clearly has mass appeal for a very wide and varied audience. Recommended. Expand
  5. BobE.
    Dec 1, 2006
    Sadly we live within a culture that accepts a character like the Howard Crick (at the beginning of the film) as a functioning human being - he has a job, pays his rent, acts normal on the street. He is terribly incomplete though, emotional and spiritually, and his transformation into a person who can love, has reasons to live, and even reasons to accept his inevitable (early) death gracefully, is a beautiful thing to watch. All the supporting characters are almost perfect, and allow Will Ferrell to shine in this surprisingly subtle performance. Please see this film. Expand
  6. MarkS.
    Jul 1, 2007
    Very enjoyable, and a nice idea. But does make you wonder if it could have been done better.
  7. JasonD.
    Nov 11, 2006
    The writing for this was NOT amazing. Funny how I was making my own list of whether this was a comedy or a tragedy throughtout the film. The actors were great, but I just didn't care and found myself checking my watch more than once. The comedy is so lame that you laugh more at the one person laughing in the theater than what actually happens on the screen. With all the other great films out right now, this one is worth waiting for the rental. Expand

See all 69 User Reviews

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