The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 242 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: Internationally famous oceanographer Steve Zissou (Murray) and his crew set sail on an expedition to hunt down the mysterious, elusive, possibly non-existent Jaguar Shark that killed Zissou's partner during the documentary filming of their latest adventure. (Touchstone Pictures)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 38
  2. Negative: 2 out of 38
  1. The director of "Rushmore" and "The Royal Tenenbaums" scores his most funny-sad movie to date.
  2. Like the old and creaky Belafonte, the film itself seems forever on the brink of drifting away. But it's the kind of drifting that's nothing but enjoyable. In fact, it's beyond enjoyable - heading into waters full of whimsy, mystery and odd, psychedelic fish.
  3. 75
    Wilson drops the ironic smirk to give a sincerely affecting performance. His scenes with Murray provide the ballast when the script veers off into unconvincing pirate attacks and animated sea creatures.
  4. 63
    The damnedest film. I can't recommend it, but I would not for one second discourage you from seeing it.
  5. 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."
  6. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    Nothing but attitude.
  7. 25
    It's the strangest comic misfire yet from Wes Anderson.

See all 38 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 94 out of 141
  2. Negative: 37 out of 141
  1. 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?"
  2. 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 Expand
  3. 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. Expand
  4. 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
  5. 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. Collapse
  6. 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. Expand
  7. 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. Expand

See all 141 User Reviews