Big Fish - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Big Fish Reviews

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Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
December 25, 2003
Herniated whimsy -- straining, as labored as those poor Brits who stuff their mouths with grits and try to talk like Southerners.
| Original Score: 3/5
Stephen Himes
Film Snobs
February 2, 2004
Tim Burton turns a gothic fairy tale into a Steven Spielberg movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
December 25, 2003
There is no denying that Will has a point: The old man is a blowhard. There is a point at which his stories stop working as entertainment and segue into sadism.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
December 10, 2003
The whole seems disjointed, incoherent and lacking in the startling originality of the other two Edwards (Scissorhands and Wood) who, half a career back, poured from Burton's distended outsider imagination.
Donald Munro
Fresno Bee
January 9, 2004
A well-meaning, visually boisterous film that tries so hard you can practically hear it huffing and puffing.
| Original Score: C
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
December 1, 2003
Belabored oddity that is one long-winded tall tale illustrated with hammy, artificial sets and gee-whiz acting.
Top Critic
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
December 26, 2003
Somewhat like Forrest Gump on a high colonic.
Prairie Miller
Long Island Press
December 31, 2003
The taming by Hollywood of divinely weird and edgy imaginations like Tim Burton, is pretty much a fish out of water experience.
Jim Lane
Sacramento News & Review
August 7, 2008
For all the story's twists, there are no real surprises (the ending is obvious 10 minutes in), and Burton's flourishes of self-satisfied frippery annoy as much as they amuse.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
March 16, 2004
Burton shows the rivalry between father and son but not the rancor, which seems to fit with the film's calm lyricism. But the father-son conflict is meant as the dramatic crux, and a forceful actor would have given it some much-needed bite.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Joe Lozito
Big Picture Big Sound
December 27, 2007
Unfortunately, up until the end, the tall tales are far more interesting than reality.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
February 9, 2006
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.
Jeanne Aufmuth
Palo Alto Weekly
December 14, 2003
Lacks credibility by pushing the delusory envelope.
| Original Score: 2/4
Jeremy Heilman
December 17, 2003
Burton is so taken with Edward's tales that the son's efforts to find the man who lives behind the fašade come off like the machinations of a sulking child.
Full Review | Original Score: 31/100
Gabriel Shanks
Mixed Reviews
December 21, 2003
The whimsy feels so forced, so labored, so (dare I say it) dull...Big Fish ends up being a film about magic that holds little magic of its own.
Full Review | Original Score: C
David N. Butterworth
Movie Boeuf
January 13, 2004
Don't you mean Big Turkey, Tim?
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
January 17, 2004
Lacked substance.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
December 9, 2003
The ideas keep percolating, but in the absence of any particular tension, the movie has its longueurs.
Top Critic
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
December 10, 2003
The movie has a great deal of charm and several good performances, but it is the son's judgmental doggedness that sets the story in motion and leads to its mawkish conclusion. It's a hurdle I couldn't get over.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
December 10, 2003
The most curious thing about this magical-realist fable ... is how thin and soft it is, how unpersuasive and ultimately forgettable even its most strenuous inventions turn out to be.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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