User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 243 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 44 out of 243

Review this movie

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. Aug 11, 2014
    This is my favorite film by Wes Anderson, and one of my all-time favorite films period. It's colorful, witty, well shot and just a delight to watch. Bill Murray plays an egotistical prick that you empathize with more and more. Willem Dafoe is just brilliant here in my opinion, showing his comedic side to great effect. Little cinematic gems are peppered throughout the film. I want to be on team Zissou. Expand
  2. Jul 25, 2014
    Tragically misunderstood. Like many great films, destined to be rediscovered and reevaluated. The humor, like the drama, is subtle but not inaccessible or unrewarding. Expect a bittersweet tone, hilarious if slightly subtle laughs, and earnest, almost stern, examination of flawed but likable people. Two-dimensional characters need not apply. The humor and visuals are very self-aware and detailed, with special effects that are intentionally stylistic rather than realistic.

    Quote: "I'm going to fight it, but I'll let it live. What about my dynamite?"
  3. Jul 22, 2014
    I am surprised to see this one get the critical shunning it got of all Wes Anderson films, but nonetheless, I really liked it. This film is the blending of both Anderson worlds: family drama and comedy. The drama is touching, important, and well done. The comedy is hilarious and leaves you laughing for much of the film, whether through the intended jokes or the sheer quirkiness of the characters, as in all Anderson films. Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Jeff Goldblum, Cate Blanchett, Anjelica Huston, and Willem Defoe (especially him), turn in great performances here. The production design is also brilliant as in all Anderson films. The exterior shots at the same time look real and at others look as if it they are all just toys in some child's bedroom with miniature people walking around, which is always the cool part about his films. This one, with the boat's exterior having this look, is no exception. In addition, the shots underwater in the submarine and very well done and extremely cool to look at. As a whole though, the film is beautifully shot as expected and brilliantly put together. Not much is going wrong with this one, the story is lacking a bit, but to me, it is just a jumping off point to get us into the wacky world of Steve Zissou and his crew. Expand
  4. Jun 25, 2014
    The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou has all the quirky, familiar elements of an Anderson film, but with less wit and intelligence than the rest of them. Just like the deep sea cruiser Team Zissou is in, the movie sinks and sinks until it reaches rock bottom. Murray and Wilson just barely make it watchable, even if the forced irony is over the top.
  5. May 9, 2014
    This is an odd one. At least according to Metacritic it's the worst movie. But it isn't! It has the perfect story, the perfect actors, the perfect shots. This is actually the only movie that all of my fellow Wes Anderson fans love.
  6. Apr 15, 2014
    My personal favourite Wes Anderson - hilarious, but sad, melancholy but colourful. Quite a slow film and yet very beautiful. Brilliantly directed, as always. And fantastically acted, particularly from Wilson and Murray.
    Recommend to all.
  7. Feb 24, 2014
    It retains many facets of Wes Anderson's movies, such as the humor and the eccentricity of the characters. Unfortunately, it was boring in many of its parts. I really think it would have benefited from a shorter length.
  8. Jan 29, 2014
    Not everbodys cup of tea, but I love it. The film is as always with director Anderson semi-crazy, semi-funny and beautifully made. You simply don't have a clue were the story is going, you just ride with it and enjoy it. Actors Dafoe, Blanchett and Huston are great. The others are good. The music score is fantastic.
  9. Jan 6, 2014
    Unfortunately, the wonderful excitement I usually get while watching Anderson movies faded after the first 55 running min. of "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" as I realised it will last twice as long as from now. After that it was kind of difficult to focus on the movie while not to get drowned into a dull mood. This film of his contained too much dispensable scenes. For my part, Anderson movies should obviously maintain a shorter length. Expand
  10. Jan 4, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Wes Anderson's, The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou takes the audience into the world of an aging oceanographer and documentarian by the name of Steve Zissou, played by Bill Murray. He is at a point in his life where his once profound ego is shattering before him and he questions his life's work. His best friend is eaten alive by a supposed "Jaguar Shark" and Murray and his film team will embark on one final expedition to find and kill the shark in the name of revenge.

    While the storytelling in this movie can be rather slow at times it allows the viewers to create a better understanding of the protagonist of the film and some of the supporting characters. Murray fantastically portrays his character, showing how he deals with his reality around him and his ego, and how he reacts rather apathetically to them, although aware of them. Owen Wilson plays as Murray's supposed son, Ned, and portrays him to be a very likable character who simply wishes to know the father he always wanted to. The two share a decent at worst chemistry. Cate Blanchett plays as Jane Winslett-Richardson, a journalist who masterfully plays her part and serves as a minor romantic interest for both Murray and Owens. Bud Cort plays a "Bond Company Stooge", but instantly shows his characters great character and is very likable.

    The plot does sometimes loose its focus, but never should leave you bored as it simply devotes parts of the movie not about the search for the shark to Murray's character and that of his crew. The way in which the sea life are portrayed and the soundtrack give the film a somewhat 'whimsical' factor, and fits the atmosphere of the film very well. The final reveal of the shark is also extremely well shot and acted.

    In the end this film is somewhat of an unappreciated piece of art, and it should be watched by all those interested in plot and characters more than action and suspense.
  11. Jul 9, 2012
    The Life Aquatic is colorful, poignant and very, very funny. It has a high level of random insanity that never fails to induce chuckles. The cast is magnificent, the script is awesome and stuffed full of quotable lines and the effects are hilariously charming. This is one of Anderson's best movies and a must see for Bill Murray fans.
  12. Jan 17, 2012
    If you think the trailer is funny, then you will like this movie a lot. if not then you probably won't like the movie, its kinda funny because your not sure if its serious or not and follows a wierd niche of humor which i happen to like a lot. And it keeps finding ways to catch you off guard while still fitting with the consistent humor
  13. ALF
    Apr 3, 2011
    Sadly more rubbish inflicted on the public from Wes Anderson. This film is appalling, there are no redeeming qualities and I can only suggest if you wish to actually die of boredom, then watch this film. With the Royal Tennebaums it takes pride of place as being the joint worst film I have ever seen in my life.
  14. Nov 2, 2010
    This movie is fun specially if you like the cast and the style. It is not for everyone though. Many people, specially in these modern times, do not like slow movies and this one is pretty slow. I would recommend this movie to Wes Anderson fans and fans of indie movies.

Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 38
  2. Negative: 2 out of 38
  1. Wonderfully weird and wistful adventure-comedy about a fish-out-of-water oceanographer.
  2. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    The effect is often soporific.
  3. Murray is always pleasurable company, and his barely suppressed soulfulness might've supported this dawdling big-fish story if its insistent larkiness had abated and let a little reality in, as had "Rushmore."