The Fisher King

1991, Comedy/Drama, 2h 12m

61 Reviews 25,000+ Ratings

What to know

critics consensus

An odd but affecting mixture of drama, comedy and fantasy, The Fisher King manages to balance moving performances from Robin Williams and Jeff Bridges with director Terry Gilliam's typically askew universe. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

After shock jock Jack Lucas (Jeff Bridges) inadvertently provokes a caller into murdering a group of innocent people in a Manhattan bar, he grows depressed and turns to booze. As he's about to hit rock bottom, Lucas meets a homeless man named Parry (Robin Williams), whose wife was killed by the caller Lucas pushed to the brink. Mentally scarred by his loss, Parry spends his days searching for the Holy Grail. Lucas, feeling culpable for the poor man's plight, pledges to help him in his quest.

Cast & Crew

Robin Williams
Henry Sagan, 'Parry'
Jeff Bridges
Jack Lucas
Mercedes Ruehl
Anne Napolitano
Michael Jeter
Homeless cabaret singer
Adam Bryant
Radio Engineer
Paul J. Lombardi
Radio Engineer
George Fenton
Original Music
Robert Walsh
Original Music
Roger Pratt
Cinematographer
Lesley Walker
Film Editor
Mel Bourne
Production Design
Cindy Carr
Set Decoration
David McGiffert
First Assistant Director
Joe Napolitano
First Assistant Director
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News & Interviews for The Fisher King

Critic Reviews for The Fisher King

All Critics (61) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (51) | Rotten (10)

  • The search for the Holy Grail reaches peak insanity in this wild, redemptive ride through two men's interconnected lives.

    June 15, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Gilliam exaggerates the romanticism, the grotesquerie, and the personal pain that runs through LaGravenese's story, creating a reality where the more preposterous turns make sense.

    June 22, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Quote not available.

    September 7, 2011 | Rating: C | Full Review…
  • Visually impressive, frequently pretentious, and extremely fluid as narrative (the 137 minutes sail by effortlessly), this mythic comedy-drama presents Gilliam as half seer, half snake-oil salesman and defies you to sort out which is which.

    January 29, 2010 | Full Review…
  • Although there are moments when the mixture of comedy, fantasy and drama don't come off, this is still an original, touching movie that is well worth the price of a ticket.

    January 29, 2010 | Rating: 4/5
  • The Fisher King has two actors at the top of their form, and a compelling, well-directed and well-produced story.

    March 26, 2009 | Full Review…
  • The search for the Holy Grail reaches peak insanity in this wild, redemptive ride through two men's interconnected lives.

    June 15, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Gilliam exaggerates the romanticism, the grotesquerie, and the personal pain that runs through LaGravenese's story, creating a reality where the more preposterous turns make sense.

    June 22, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Quote not available.

    September 7, 2011 | Rating: C | Full Review…
  • Visually impressive, frequently pretentious, and extremely fluid as narrative (the 137 minutes sail by effortlessly), this mythic comedy-drama presents Gilliam as half seer, half snake-oil salesman and defies you to sort out which is which.

    January 29, 2010 | Full Review…
  • Stuffed to the point of emotional, narrative, and logical imbalance, there are as many moments of beauty as inelegance. But Gilliam's ambitious odd-couple outfit, based on a script from Richard LaGravenese, revels in its own unique flavoring.

    October 27, 2020 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The relationship between Jack and Perry feels lived in ... Yet, the movie's relationship to the themes of mental illness, mass shooting and homelessness are clumsier.

    October 30, 2018 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Fisher King

  • Feb 25, 2015
    A crazy lovestory in true Gilliam fashion. This ensemble cast works the script well and delivers a dark yet pleasant story you'll want to watch. Once.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 18, 2014
    A powerful and moving performance by Robin Williams is tempered by Jeff Bridges who just doesn't seem up to the task of portraying a character of any depth. Oh, and that hair! Dare I comment on the gawd-awful early 1990's fashion?
    Christian C Super Reviewer
  • Aug 13, 2014
    Robin Williams and Jeff Bridges star in the dramatic comedy The Fisher King. After the rantings of shock jock Jack Lucas spur a lone gunman into shooting up a cafe full of people, Jack quits the business, unable to live with the guilt; but he finds a chance at redemption when he gets an opportunity to help a homeless man whose life was ruined by the shooting. The plot tackles some heavy issues, such as responsibility of speech, gun violence, and mental illness. But the writing isn't able to give these topics due attention, and instead tries to find some sort of happy ending. Still, the strong performances of Williams and Bridges are able to carry the film; especially Williams, who gives a compelling performance that pulls off a delicate balance of eccentric and mentally disturbed. Though The Fisher King falls short in a few areas, it still has some interesting things to say.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • May 22, 2014
    One of the worst attempts at comedy I've ever seen. Jeff Bridges, who's supposed to be the serious one in this film, ends up being funnier than Robin Williams most of the time, though that doesn't say much. Williams ends up being almost completely unfunny, basically playing this role like a perverted version of Genie from Aladdin (no charm whatsoever and godawful jokes). The story here is dumb and nonsensical, and far from likable or charming. The attempt to tell a story on the human condition is derailed by the fact that this film is just too goddamned disjointed to tell a coherent story. And let's face it, Terry Gilliam is such a shitty director, a lot of these issues may not even be the writers' faults. Let's not forget the main love interest, who is completely unremarkable, except when she's being a complete bitch to everyone around her. What a winner! She's totally worth the massive amounts of effort all the main characters put into finding her. And man, does this ending suck...I mean seriously, wtf? I hate this movie so much. I can't even tell you why...everything about it infuriates me. Avoid this film at all costs.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer

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