Big Fish (2003)



Critic Consensus: A charming father-and-son tale filled with typical Tim Burton flourishes.

Movie Info

The story of a braggart and exaggerator, Edward Bloom, and his son, William, who--after a long estrangement--returns home only to learn his father is dying of cancer. Desperate to know the complicated man before it's too late, William sets out, trying to unravel fact from fiction.

Rating: PG-13 (for a fight scene, some images of nudity and a suggestive reference)
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: John August
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 27, 2004
Box Office: $66.3M
Sony Pictures - Official Site


as Young Ed Bloom

as Senior Ed Bloom

as Will Bloom

as Senior Sandra Bloom

as Young Sandra Bloom

as Jenny/The Witch

as Senior Dr. Bennett

as Josephine Bloom

as Don Price (Age 18-22...

as Don Price (age 18-22...

as Mildred

as Ping

as Norther Winslow

as Amos Calloway

as Mr. Soggybottom

as Ed Bloom (Age 10)

as Jenny (Age 8)

as Will Bloom (Age 6-8)

as Ed's Father

as Ed's Mother

as Zacky Price (Age 10)

as Don Price (Age 12)

as Wilbur (Age 10)

as Ruthie (Age 8)

as Little Brave

as Pretty Girl

as Sharecropper

as Little Girl

as Banjo Man

as Some Farmer

as Shephard

as Townsperson

as Townsperson

as Townsperson

as Cashier

as Collossus

as Parachute Jump Leade...

as Chinese Emcee

as Teller Woman

as Piano Student

as Heavy-Set Nurse

as Will's Son

as Young Dr. Bennett

as Lobster Woman

as Sideshow Barker

as Econ Professor

as Ventriloquist

as Asian Officer

as Chicken Plant Operat...

as Minicipal Dump Owner

as Pretty Man

as Old Zacky

as River Woman
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Big Fish

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Critic Reviews for Big Fish

All Critics (213) | Top Critics (43)

The film doesn't so much reject history as selectively rewrite it to its own reactionary, even offensive ends. This might perhaps be just about tolerable were the film funny, illuminating, insightful or moving. It is not.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Overall, the film feels like it issues from a place Burton doesn't inhabit.

Full Review… | August 7, 2004
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

Delightful, sad father-son story for teens and up.

Full Review… | December 22, 2010
Common Sense Media

Reliant more on powerful familial emotions than wacky splendor, "Big Fish" treads as close to our real world as Tim Burton ever could - a melancholy dissection of paternal distance and never truly knowing how many lives those we love can truly affect.

Full Review… | September 25, 2010

Burton, favoring form over content, flavor over fact, has been often criticized for not knowing how to bring his work to satisfactory resolution. But I'd call that a good thing. Blame it on his dad.

Full Review… | August 21, 2009

Burton invokes the imagination from his crowd and succeeds in making us gasp in wonder.

Full Review… | April 29, 2009
Cinema Crazed

Audience Reviews for Big Fish

Beautiful visually and emotionally. A wonderful examination of relationships and mortality. Albert Finney proves again what a fine actor he is.

Christian C

Super Reviewer


Will Bloom: A man tells so many stories, that he becomes the stories. They live on after him, and in that way he becomes immortal.

"An Adventure As Big As Life Itself."

Big Fish is a very interesting movie. The plot jumps around and while we are being told the stories, we, like the child of the man in the stories, don't know what's true and what's false. Now, Big Fish isn't one of my favorites from Tim Burton, but it does show some expansion in his filmmaking. This movie is more real life than anything he's ever done. Sure there's some fantastical elements that remind us of other Burton films, but this one is so much more different than anything he's ever done.

Big Fish is the life story of a dying old man, Ed Bloom. He is a storyteller, that tells fantastical stories about his life, which seem to have little to do with reality. His son, Will, also is under the belief that the stories are made up. Either way we get to hear and see the stories the way Ed would have told them.

There's a lot of bizarreness going on here as you would suspect with any Burton film. There's a giant, a witch, a humongous fish, and a love story that stops time. Overall the plot elements add up to a pretty satisfactory story even if something seems to be missing from he overall outcome.

Big Fish is a film I more appreciate then enjoy. I never have fallen in love with it, but it always entertains and intrigues me. It's well worth a watch as it has solid direction from Burton and it boasts a strong and well-know cast.

Melvin White

Super Reviewer

Fantasy movie by Tim Burton. A man is dying of cancer. His son is desperate to know his father. He tells him how he met his mother. Great cast and story.

Candy Rose

Super Reviewer

Big Fish Quotes

– Submitted by Alyssa B (20 months ago)
– Submitted by Alyssa B (21 months ago)
– Submitted by Alyssa B (21 months ago)
– Submitted by Alyssa B (21 months ago)

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