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Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2012)


Average Rating: 6.2/10
Reviews Counted: 139
Fresh: 93
Rotten: 46

Critics Consensus: Quirky and a little reserved, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is nonetheless a charming little romantic drama sold by some strong central performances.

Average Rating: 6.2/10
Reviews Counted: 35
Fresh: 21
Rotten: 14

Critics Consensus: Quirky and a little reserved, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is nonetheless a charming little romantic drama sold by some strong central performances.


Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 47,204


Movie Info

When Britain's leading fisheries expert (Ewan McGregor) is approached by a consultant (Emily Blunt) to help realize a sheikh's (Amr Waked) vision of bringing the sport of fly-fishing to the desert, he immediately thinks the project is both absurd and unachievable. But when the Prime Minister's overzealous press secretary (Kristin Scott Thomas) latches on to it as a "good will" story, this unlikely team will put it all on the line and embark on an upstream journey of faith and fish to prove the … More

PG-13 (for some violence and sexual content, and brief language)
Drama , Comedy
Directed By:
Written By:
Simon Beaufoy
In Theaters:
Jul 17, 2012
Box Office:
CBS Films - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

All Critics (139) | Top Critics (35) | Fresh (93) | Rotten (46) | DVD (1)

The stars are endearing enough to keep things tolerable, though you may wonder why even McGregor's Scots brogue sounds artificially sweetened here.

Full Review… | April 17, 2012
Time Out
Top Critic

Hallstrom shores up his film with a terrific cast that can often make up for the parts that sag under the uneven weight of preciousness.

Full Review… | March 29, 2012
Miami Herald
Top Critic

It's an engaging love story that should appeal to moviegoers with a flair for the offbeat.

Full Review… | March 23, 2012
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

Only Scott Thomas, biting off all her sentences like a piranha, rescues "Salmon Fishing" from being a by-the-numbers romantic comedy; you wish the redoubtable Ms. Maxwell had her own movie.

Full Review… | March 22, 2012
Seattle Times
Top Critic

While "Salmon Fishing" fritters away the comic momentum of its madcap opening chapters, it's like angling -- a pleasant diversion if you can look below the surface and muster the patience to appreciate it.

Full Review… | March 22, 2012
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

A charming little movie.

Full Review… | March 22, 2012
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

It's an affable, inoffensive British comedy that just wants you to like it so much that you can't help but snicker behind its back.

Full Review… | August 15, 2013
The Playlist

To say this movie requires an utter suspension of disbelief is a vast understatement.

Full Review… | June 2, 2013
The Patriot Ledger

... just because something seems absurd doesn't mean it can't happen. And just because a film seems to lack surprises doesn't mean it won't take an entirely satisfying turn at the end.

Full Review… | April 21, 2013

As it stands, the best elements of the film become mired in the unwelcome narrative muck, branding Salmon Fishing in the Yemen the one that got away.

Full Review… | September 15, 2012
We Got This Covered

Everything that happens is horribly predictable, and the tone varies from light and fluffy to over-the-top camp, especially with Kristin Scott Thomas as the cynical British press secretary.

Full Review… | September 4, 2012

Faith, serenity, dreams, possibilities, duty and honor, love . . . and fishing. "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" somehow ties them all together, and without so much as a kink in the line.

Full Review… | July 4, 2012
Movie Metropolis

...thanks to Simon Beaufoy's fantastically witty script, Salmon Fishing is a fun and often unpredictable ride.

Full Review… | May 17, 2012

Guts most of the edgy features of the novel.

Full Review… | May 1, 2012
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Apart from some glaring orientalist, sweeping generalisations and characterisations of Yemeni and Arabic people was a cute and painfully predictable British comedy featuring a measured accomplished performance from Ewan McGregor.

Full Review… | April 26, 2012
2UE That Movie Show

A bizarre and original comedy which offsets its narrative flaws with prevailing chemistry between Blunt and McGregor.

Full Review… | April 25, 2012
What Culture

These are scrunched script pages from Armando Iannucci's waste bin.

Full Review… | April 25, 2012
The Ooh Tray

See! This is how you do romantic comedy!... You make it funny by putting real people in a situation that's a just tad fantastical and watch them cope with it.

Full Review… | April 25, 2012
Flick Filosopher

A lame, sentimental enterprise.

Full Review… | April 22, 2012
Observer [UK]

Co-star Tom Mison's ( ... ) character is so thinly sketched, so invisible for the most part - physically and emotionally - that he'll probably wonder in years to come if that's him on screen or his stand in.

Full Review… | April 20, 2012
Birmingham Mail

Unfortunately, these characters belong to different worlds that don't meld, cartoonish political satire and dopey romcom.

Full Review… | April 20, 2012
This is London

Blunt and McGregor act beautifully and their tale is charming.

Full Review… | April 20, 2012
Daily Mail [UK]

Lasse Hallstrom's beautifully-shot but at times cloyingly sentimental rom-com.

Full Review… | April 20, 2012
Liverpool Echo

Attractive, picture postcard cinematography from Terry Stacey adds to the appeal of a film that is easy on the eye and pleasantly undemanding in every other respect.

Full Review… | April 20, 2012
Daily Express

It's hard to see the fish for the froth in Lasse Hallstrom's twee adaptation of Paul Torday's novel.

Full Review… | April 20, 2012
Eye for Film

Is there any genre more wearying than the plodding, fat- brained adaptation of last year's book club favourite?

Full Review… | April 20, 2012
Irish Times

Audience Reviews for Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is a lovely story with likable performances. I liked the pace, nothing was rushed and the relationships were believable as were the characters. I think some elements were a little heavy handed, Kristin Scott Thomas's performance and character could have been toned down a little but on the whole it worked well. Still, even with the few tweaks, it was never going to be an amazing film, not that there is anything wrong with that, it is simply a nice film and you can't knock a nice film.

Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer


Unusual story about two people are put together because of an ambitious project of fly fishing in the desert. Good cast.

Candy Rose

Super Reviewer

Really nice movie! Enjoyable. Sweet. Funny. Good acting from a notable British cast. Although I am not so sure about the plausibility of their venture, I really enjoyed their interactions. Kristin Scott Thomas's role was hilarious! I also appreciated the courtesy that each player showed for the others' culture. It was sweet, sensitive, and promoted the "against all odds" idea. Nicely done!

Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer


I got a copy of this earlier in the year and didn't watch it because it looked boring and didn't want to make the time. Then the Golden Globe nominations came out and this is up for a lot of Comedy awards, so I figured I would go back and give it a chance. Since it is up for comedy awards, I assumed it would be hilarious, but it is not. This is a romantic drama through and through with an uplifting story about faith. How anyone thinks this is one of the best five comedies of the year, I'll never know. Ewan McGregor plays a fish expert who helps a consultant(Emily Blunt) realize a sheikh's(Amr Waked) dream of bringing fly fishing to the desert. He thinks it is impossible, but finds ways to make it possible while falling for Blunt. It's not a bad movie at all, kind of bland, but it's not bad. McGregor is one of the most underrated actors today and here he does a great job. Blunt is ok, and their chemistry probably could have been better, but it's better than most. If there is one reason to call this a comedy it's because of Kristen Scott Thomas's press secretary. She has some great lines and is the reason for the 2 times I laughed during the movie. If anyone should get any nominations for comedy in this it's her(she got nothing, btw). A lot of people I know will probably never think twice about watching this, but if your ever bored and just wanna watch a "feel good movie", pop this in. Might surprise you.

Everett Johnson
Everett Johnson

Super Reviewer

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen Quotes

Dr. Alfred Jones:
Up his arse with a meter ruler!
– Submitted by Christian B (2 years ago)
Dr. Alfred Jones:
I'm more of a facts and figures man.
– Submitted by Christian B (2 years ago)
Dr. Alfred Jones:
For future reference, I have a 32 inch waist line, Ms. Chetwode-Talbot. Not a 34. No pies for me.
– Submitted by Christian B (2 years ago)
Sheikh Muhammed:
Faith, Dr. Alfred?
Dr. Alfred Jones:
Damn it. Yes, alright then, faith!
– Submitted by Christian B (2 years ago)
Dr. Alfred Jones:
Oh no, the Ministry of Defence don't like uncertainty, so if someone was dead, they'd just say dead.
Harriet Chetwode-Talbot:
Can you stop using that word?
Dr. Alfred Jones:
– Submitted by Augusta M (2 years ago)
Dr. Alfred Jones:
I don't know anyone who goes to church anymore.
Harriet Chetwode-Talbot:
Hmm, I don't think I do either.
Dr. Alfred Jones:
On Sunday, we go to Target.
– Submitted by Abi M (2 years ago)

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