The Big Year - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Big Year Reviews

Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
October 21, 2011
The result is an offence-free, mild entertainment in which everyone from cast to scriptwriter seems to be winging it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Nick Schager
Village Voice
October 17, 2011
Failing even to attempt genuinely humorous gags or scenarios, and incapable of conveying the thrill of its obsessive pastime or the majesty of the animals themselves, this feel-good male weepie remains comedically and dramatically grounded.
Top Critic
Richard Brody
New Yorker
October 17, 2011
Unfortunately, these comic geniuses are kept caged by the wan script and direction. The best gag in the film is the opening title card; the best joke, a throwaway by a day player.
Top Critic
Laremy Legel
Film.com
October 17, 2011
A very mild movie, but in the nicest sense of the word.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
October 14, 2011
What a waste that three of our finest actors are utilized as glorified bit players in such an instantly disposable comedy.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
October 14, 2011
The Big Year has charms: Not a jawdropping flock of them, but a number of sweet insights and warm laughs just the same.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
October 14, 2011
People watching birds is a nice thing. People watching a movie about people watching birds is sort of a snore.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Top Critic
Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
October 14, 2011
Its charms are as small as its singing feathered friends, but they're real enough, and gentle enough, to lift it and give it flight.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
October 14, 2011
You doubt that even the people making it enjoyed it. A better title would be "The Big Yawn."
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
October 14, 2011
It's nice to watch a comedy that doesn't screech or foul the nest, but "The Big Year" is no big deal.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
October 14, 2011
It's just all, unfortunately, a little stronger on the pretty pictures than it is on interesting characters, or sharp comedy.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
October 14, 2011
"The Big Year" has heart and sweetness to spare - but as any birder will tell you, focus and energy count, too.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
October 14, 2011
This movie stubbornly refuses to take flight, or generate more than a few chuckles.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
October 14, 2011
A genial comedy with more power under its wings than it seems. This one could have flown over the cuckoo's nest, or smacked into a glass pane, but instead lands in the middle of the road where quirky and popular meet.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
October 14, 2011
Bird-watching - or birding, as practitioners prefer to call it - makes for a stupefyingly boring movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
October 13, 2011
This gently charming comedy about a trio of birders is based on a winning premise, likable performances and stunning natural vistas.
Top Critic
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
October 13, 2011
There is some harmless pleasure to be found when feathers aren't ruffled, when the fowl is not foul.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
October 13, 2011
Like birding itself, "The Big Year" rewards patience. It respects both the integrity and the eccentricity of the avian obsession, and it communicates something of the fascinating abundance and weirdness of the animals themselves.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
October 13, 2011
All of these featherheads - both the avian and human kind - are lovable. Even better, they're funny, in a comedy that doesn't have to swoop to conquer.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
October 13, 2011
With ambitions greater than comedy and results that fall short of character study, The Big Year is neither fish nor fowl.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
October 13, 2011
Black tamps down the runty obnoxiousness, Wilson the Malibu smarm, Martin the pandering. They're good company. So, in its fubsy way, is the movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
October 13, 2011
"The Big Year" is that rarity: a genuinely sweet film, about nice people happily engaged in the pursuit of something they love.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
October 13, 2011
You get something you don't anticipate -- and that's not a bad thing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Mary F. Pols
TIME Magazine
October 13, 2011
It's like an Easter egg hunt for adults, joyous and sweet. The Big Year competition may be fierce, but the movie is as soft as a bunny.
Top Critic
Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
October 13, 2011
...it's a genuinely engaging and amiable film that convincingly brings the viewer into a world that is very likely not his own
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
October 13, 2011
"The Big Year" flaps its wings awfully hard but never truly takes flight.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
October 13, 2011
It has barely enough pulse to power a hummingbird.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Keith Phipps
AV Club
October 13, 2011
Owen Wilson and Jack Black appear on the verge of succumbing to the same terminal blandness that's gripped Martin for so long.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
October 13, 2011
Frankel is blessed with this cast and a subject that seems ripe for mockery, or at least gentle lampooning. But he never lands big laughs, just grins and giggles.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
October 13, 2011
[It] has an innocence and charm that will make it appealing for families, especially those who have had enough whales and dolphins for the year.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Brian Lowry
Variety
October 13, 2011
A genial if slow-moving, almost sleepy comedy.
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
October 13, 2011
This film may not do for birds what Frankel's last film, Marley & Me, did for dogs, but there's a similar current of warmth and appreciation for the effect of animals on people to be felt.
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
October 13, 2011
The characters are just as two-dimensional as they sound, but damned if Wilson, Martin, and Black don't make those dimensions pop.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
October 12, 2011
Even if The Big Year doesn't entirely jell, it's a movie that's too charming to dislike.
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
October 12, 2011
The most inviting thing in the movie was the exit door.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4