Stranger Than Fiction

Stranger Than Fiction Image
Metascore
67

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

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 323 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 bestWill 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

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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
    Amid all this metafictional hoopla lies the real heart of the movie, a tentative romance between Ferrell and a tax-withholding baker played with adorable prickliness by Maggie Gyllenhaal.
  4. 70
    An oddly sweet little tale, and easily Ferrell’s most enjoyable movie in recent memory. And even though his onscreen chemistry with Gyllenhaal fills me with murderous rage, this film goes a long way towards erasing the memory of his more obnoxious roles.
  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: 59 out of 71
  2. Negative: 4 out of 71
  1. Mar 21, 2011
    10
    Stranger Than Fiction is a great comedy/drama film done very well by Will Farrell.
  2. SamF.
    Nov 13, 2006
    10
    Will Ferrell and Maggie Gyllenhaal have surprisingly warm, glowey electricity between them in this film. However, their adorable relationship 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
    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 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. Aug 11, 2011
    8
    STRANGER THAN FICTION, a dark comedy-drama from comedian Will Ferrell (TALLADEGA NIGHTS: THE BALLAD OF RICKY BOBBY; BLADES OF GLORY) andSTRANGER 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. Expand
  5. ChadS.
    Nov 27, 2006
    8
    "Stranger than Fiction" is a movie that should be seen twice. When I watch it again, I'm going to pay very close attention to what "Stranger than Fiction" is a movie that should be seen twice. When I watch it again, I'm going to pay very close attention to what happens after that metal ball crashes through Harold Click's apartment. This seemingly cinematic non-sequitir acts as a metaphor for deconstruction (in literary theory, this is a post-structuralist term), which signifies to me, that the film might be harboring a secret war between the structuralists (binary oppositions is one of their modes of inquiry; in the film, it's represented by comedy/tragedy) and Roland Barthes (a post-structuralist) fans (I think he once proclaimed that there is no author). On a second viewing, I hope that the film undergoes a transformation from a structuralist to a post-structuralist school of thought after that demolition scene. If this film was written by Charlie Kaufman, it would. The metafiction in "Stranger than Fiction" might not be as clever as "Adaptation"(or even Neil LaBute's underappreciated "Nurse Betty"), but this imitative screenplay of a superior film is better than, say, "EdTV", which was a byproduct of "The Truman Show". For all the literary pyrotechnics (some are airborne, some are duds) that "Stranger than Fiction" attempts, it's the performances by Will Ferrell and Maggie Gyllenhaal that carries the film. Their romantic chemistry is so strong, "Stranger than Fiction", arguably, doesn't really need all that extraneous allusions to comparative literature. This is Will Ferrell's "Punchdrunk Love". He is a credible male dramatic lead. Gyllenhaal, on the other hand, finds a new way to be Meg Ryan, which is to say, she's a sweetheart without having to sacrifice her innate intelligence and toughness to be lovable. Expand
  6. Brentoni
    Nov 8, 2007
    7
    A clever script and a good love story keep this one going. Its mildly funny at times. The soundtrack is great. I personally thought the A clever script and a good love story keep this one going. Its mildly funny at times. The soundtrack is great. I personally thought the ending was disappointing. Expand
  7. JasonD.
    Nov 11, 2006
    2
    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 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 71 User Reviews

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