Big River Man (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

Big River Man (2009)



Critic Consensus: Big River Man offers uniquely absorbing insight into a larger-than-life eccentric.

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Movie Info

Eccentric Slovenian endurance swimmer Martin Strel attempts to swim the Amazon.


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Critic Reviews for Big River Man

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (6)

Strel is one strange duck, and you can only wonder that Werner Herzog, with his fondness for captivating weirdos, didn't get to him first.

Full Review… | May 27, 2010
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

An odd and irresistible documentary about Slovenian strongman Martin Strel and his quest, at 52, to be the first man to swim 5,268 kilometres of the Amazon River.

Full Review… | December 18, 2009
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

As his attention to detail and beauty shots prove, Mr. Maringouin has a terrific eye: he brings you close to Mr. Strel, sometimes within panting distance, without forgetting the larger, lovelier world.

December 4, 2009
New York Times
Top Critic

The real drama lies in the sweetly twisted symbiosis between this likable, infuriating wreck of a man and his devoted son and publicist.

Full Review… | December 2, 2009
Village Voice
Top Critic

A nonfiction Fitzcarraldo.

Full Review… | December 2, 2009
Time Out
Top Critic

If Werner Herzog had made 'Borat', the results might have been something like this documentary about the unusual athletic overachiever Martin Strel.

Full Review… | September 4, 2009
Time Out
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Big River Man


An interesting documentary mainly because of its interesting subject, the man and the challenge. However I wish I got to hear more from Martin himself and not his son. The moments when Martin was speaking to the camera, I found him to inspirational and to clearly have a strong opinion about the things he cared about. I found myself wanting though afterwards. Also, at times the film felt very staged, and if this was supposed to come off as comedic then it succeeded but I wasn't quite sure that was the point. The cinematography was also supposed to be great, and at times it did have some wonderful images of nature, and the trip but as a whole it felt amateur. Overall though I return to my first point just wishing there was more of Martin.

Alex Dunn
Alex Dunn

sheer beauty; an allegory of the human spirit. we are both ordinary and extraordinary. this meditation on the duel edged sword of love deserves to be seen by everybody. life is an endurance sport!

Eric Basinger
Eric Basinger

So why on earth do we not know about Martin Strel outside of this film? He is likely one of the most fascinating people that you will encounter. An overweight alcoholic who somehow manages to find the endurance to swim major rivers. The tale is marvellous.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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