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Stranger Than Fiction (2006)

tomatometer

72

Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 172
Fresh: 124 | Rotten: 48

A fun, whimsical tale about an office drone trying to save his life from his narrator, Stranger Than Fiction features a subdued performances from Will Ferrell that contributes mightily to its quirky, mind-bending affect.

68

Average Rating: 6.7/10
Critic Reviews: 44
Fresh: 30 | Rotten: 14

A fun, whimsical tale about an office drone trying to save his life from his narrator, Stranger Than Fiction features a subdued performances from Will Ferrell that contributes mightily to its quirky, mind-bending affect.

audience

85

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 399,585

My Rating

Movie Info

A socially isolated IRS agent whose every move is documented by a disembodied female voice discovers that his life is the subject of a book currently being written by a best-selling author, whose creative block has stunted her repeated efforts to kill him off, in a quirky fantasy comedy written by Hollywood hot property Zach Helm and directed by Finding Neverland's Marc Forester. Harold Crick (Will Ferrell) lives a life of solitude. Kay Eiffel (Emma Thompson) can't seem to find a way to finish

PG-13,

Drama, Romance, Comedy

Feb 27, 2007

$40.1M

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All Critics (173) | Top Critics (44) | Fresh (124) | Rotten (48) | DVD (22)

The actors and the filmmakers all take a more restrained approach than you might expect, keeping the humor gentle, and the jokes mostly as literary as the premise.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: NPR.org
NPR.org
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An uncommonly plastic bit of Hallmark sentiment-mongering, with exactly the kind of New Age psychobabble ending youâ(TM)d expect.

February 3, 2007 Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Comment (1)
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A film well worth seeing and savoring.

November 15, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Stranger Than Fiction seems like an old episode of the Twilight Zone, and the idea would have worked better as one of Rod Serling's half-hour epistles on human foibles.

November 10, 2006 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Stranger Than Fiction is both about a novel and like a novel; you eagerly await the turning of the pages.

November 10, 2006 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It doesn't coast on its premise but follows where it leads, which is into some serious territory. What might have been a joke with a tagged-on sentimental ending becomes instead a sensitive movie that affirms the value of life.

November 10, 2006 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Intriguing possibilities, except Helm and Forster aren't quite Kaufman and Jonze. Once their parallel narratives converge, those hoping for a mind-bending meta-pile-up may feel the movie lacks the courage of its fatalistic fiction.

November 16, 2012 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine Australasia
Empire Magazine Australasia

"It's not the best piece of English literature of the last ten years," Dustin Hoffman says of Emma Thompson's newest novel, "but it's not bad." That just about sums up Stranger Than Fiction, too.

March 30, 2011 Full Review Source: ComingSoon.net
ComingSoon.net

Touching dramedy is heavy; won't interest most kids.

January 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Inventively inverting "Adaptation.'s'" anxiety into light romance, "Fiction" is one of the most intelligent, lively, charming and beguiling concept comedies since "Groundhog Day" and a perfect seriocomic splinter of Will Ferrell's big-baby shtick.

October 11, 2010 Full Review Source: Suite101.com
Suite101.com

"Stranger Than Fiction" is a sterile and pedantic comedy that tells much more than it shows.

August 29, 2009 Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com | Comment (1)
ColeSmithey.com

Suggests how cleverness can suffocate people

August 28, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion
CinePassion

Forster lards over his whimsically feeble film with sentimentality.

April 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

Some of Will Ferrell's biggest fans might find it overly tame and subtle, but it's interesting, enjoyable and a revelation to see he can keep his pants on and still entertain.

December 3, 2008 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

It could have been great. But it's just okay.

December 2, 2008 Full Review Source: DVD Review | Comments (3)
DVD Review

What starts out as a complex, intriguing movie turns stale quickly.

November 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Hollywood.com
Hollywood.com

The movieâ(TM)s unforgivable logical flaws and gummy platitudes donâ(TM)t sink it...thanks to Ferrellâ(TM)s fine and humane performance.

August 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

Stranger Than Fiction is not a fluff film. Far from it. Literate and engaging, it may parade around in nonsensical clothes, but just scratch the surface and a vast reservoir of post-modern existentialism is revealed.

February 28, 2008 Full Review Source: BrandonFibbs.com
BrandonFibbs.com

The place where the film runs into problems is in trying to decide, like Harold, as to whether or not it is a comedy or a tragedy. As we know, comedy sells much better and that's the direction the film leans.

September 22, 2007 | Comment (1)
KPBS.org

Though there are enough interesting moments to keep it refreshing, Mr. Helm's script never rises above its conceit to reach the giddy Charlie Kaufman heights to which it aspires.

July 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Big Picture Big Sound
Big Picture Big Sound

A literate, literary film with a Hollywood high-concept hitch.

June 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Scouts
Film Scouts

No es ni una comedia, ni una tragedia, ni una historia de amor, ni una fábula. Es ni más ni menos que una idea original mal desarrollada, que no entretiene lo suficiente y que conduce a ninguna parte.

April 17, 2007 Full Review Source: Uruguay Total
Uruguay Total

Stranger Than Fiction never rises above its eye-catching premise, ending up as nothing more than a great idea with absolutely nowhere to go.

March 24, 2007 Full Review Source: UGO

An endearing comedy about the spiritual transformation of a rigid, shy, and lonely I.R.S. agent whose life is upended by forces beyond his control.

March 6, 2007 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Stranger Than Fiction has a self-regard that can grate, but Ferrell and Thompson give winning performances that suggest the film's aim is true.

February 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Reeler

Audience Reviews for Stranger Than Fiction

Meta sugar.

I loved the bus scenes.
April 21, 2007
brooklynspo

Super Reviewer

Most of Willl Ferrell's characters are morons. Ricky Bobby, Ron Burgandy, and so many others just stupid. Normally when I hear Will Ferrell's movies I get excited an then disappointed. This movie is different from the others.

This movie is focused on Harold Crick an IRS agent whose life is being written on by a person who kills off all of her main characters. Crick now has to find a way to stop it. The author learns of what she is doing and is forced with a tough decision to let him live or to write the novel anyway.
This movie isn't one of Will Ferrell's stupid comedies. It truly has a meaning and a great one at that. 5 Stars 1-24-14
February 8, 2014
bbcfloridabound
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

review coming
October 24, 2012
ironclad1609

Super Reviewer

Highly recommended to all.
October 3, 2012
StarCrossedVoyager

Super Reviewer

    1. Harold Crick: You just said ten seconds ago, you wouldn't help me.
    2. Professor Jules Hilbert: It's been a very revealing ten seconds.
    – Submitted by Tonya Russ P (3 months ago)
    1. Harold Crick: I brought you flours.
    – Submitted by Kenneth R (22 months ago)
    1. Professor Jules Hilbert: Aren't you glad you're not a golem?
    2. Harold Crick: Yes. I am glad I'm not a golem.
    – Submitted by waverly p (2 years ago)
    1. Karen 'Kay' Eiffel: If only he knew that by wednesday he will die.
    2. Harold Crick: What? Did you who said that?
    – Submitted by Yariv A (2 years ago)
    1. ER Orderly: Are you suffering from something?
    2. Karen 'Kay' Eiffel: Just writer's block.
    – Submitted by Diego T (2 years ago)
    1. Penny Escher: And I supposed you smoked all these cigarettes.
    2. Karen 'Kay' Eiffel: [beat] No, they came pre-smoked.
    3. Penny Escher: [deadpan] They said you were funny...
    – Submitted by Diego T (2 years ago)
View all quotes (22)

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Foreign Titles

  • Stranger Than Fiction 2011 (DE)
  • Stranger Than Fiction 2011 (UK)
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