Big Eyes (2014)



Critic Consensus: Well-acted, thought-provoking, and a refreshing change of pace for Tim Burton, Big Eyes works both as a biopic and as a timelessly relevant piece of social commentary.

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Directed and produced by Tim Burton, BIG EYES is based on the true story of Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz), who was one of the most successful painters of the 1950s and early 1960s. The artist earned staggering notoriety by revolutionizing the commercialization and accessibility of popular art with his enigmatic paintings of waifs with big eyes. The truth would eventually be discovered though: Keane's art was actually not created by him at all, but by his wife, Margaret (Amy Adams). The Keanes, it seemed, had been living a lie that had grown to gigantic proportions. BIG EYES centers on Margaret's awakening as an artist, the phenomenal success of her paintings, and her tumultuous relationship with her husband, who was catapulted to international fame while taking credit for her work. (C) Weinstein
PG-13 (for thematic elements and brief strong language)
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Amy Adams
as Margaret Keane
Christoph Waltz
as Walter Keane
Danny Huston
as Dick Nolan
Terence Stamp
as John Canaday
Jon Polito
as Enrico Banducci
James Saito
as Judge
Guido Furlani
as Dino Olivetti
Delaney Raye
as Young Jane
Madeleine Arthur
as Older Jane
Emily Bruhn
as Older Jane
Alan MacFarlane
as Society Man #1
Tony Alcantar
as Tourist
Andrew Airlie
as Rich Man
Andrea Bucko
as Young Coed
Heather Doerksen
as Gossipy Woman #1
Kurt Cotton
as Pedestrian
Aaron Craven
as Tipsy Man #2
Emily Fonda
as Sexy Girl
Barclay Hope
as Gannett Lawyer
Peter Kelamis
as Friendly Guy
David Milchard
as Snobby Artist
Jill Morrison
as Gallery Customer
Leela Savasta
as Hippie Chick
Steven Wiig
as Beatnik
Fiona Vroom
as Sexy Sales Clerk
Traci Toguchi
as Asian Lady #2
Desiree Zurowski
as Tipsy Lady
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News & Interviews for Big Eyes

Critic Reviews for Big Eyes

All Critics (166) | Top Critics (36)

Burton had a chance to make a powerful statement on the struggle for a woman to achieve artistic recognition and instead settled for another childlike fairy tale.

Full Review… | May 23, 2016
San Diego Reader
Top Critic

A feminist psycho-melodrama made without insight or dramatic excitement.

Full Review… | January 11, 2015
New Yorker
Top Critic

Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz are charismatic in the lead roles; occasionally they distract from the movie's overall smugness.

Full Review… | January 2, 2015
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

For all its tonal shifts and erratic pacing, the film is Burton's heartfelt tribute to the yearning that drives even the most marginalized artist to self expression no matter what the hell anyone thinks.

December 30, 2014
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

Burton might need to get further from blockbuster bloat in order to regain his formal mastery of kitsch. Right now his sense of comic portraiture is too easily mistakable for splatter painting.

Full Review… | December 29, 2014
Top Critic

Adams is lovely and tremulous, but Big Eyes would be even better if Waltz was in the same key.

Full Review… | December 28, 2014
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Big Eyes


Not at all what I expected from a Tim Burton movie. Quite pleasantly surprised. I had never heard of this artist, so the whole story was new to me. Though not exactly thrilling, it was quite interesting and I did find I got quite involved in the outcome. I loathed that husband by the end. Really couldn't stand him. I liked the court scene near the end. Amy Adams is great but unrecognisable. I thought the actress who played her young daughter was also very good.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

If I were to speculate about what happened behind the scenes when they made this, it felt as if Tim Burton was given a sort of a dare: "you couldn't make a regular film if you tried!" and that this film was the answer to that challenge. Adams and Waltz seem to endeavor to stretch beyond the Movie-Of-The-Week limitations in place but fail, kitsch ultimately winning out over sentimentality. It's a generic film, surprisingly so.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

When the Oscar nominations were released at the end of last year I was surprised to find that Tim Burton's "Big Eyes" was not on the list, like, anywhere. It seemed like a shoo-in, as it starred a two-time winner of Best Supporting Actor, and a five-time nominee in various acting categories. It was also a bio-pic, which the Academy always favors, and it was directed by Burton in his first bio-pic directorial effort since "Ed Wood." After seeing the film however, it became clear why it didn't get much acclaim. Read more at

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

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