The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou Reviews

March 17, 2014
Like the jaguar shark, The Life Aquatic is hard to get a hook into.
March 17, 2014
If you go with it, you'll love the film.
March 17, 2014
The Life Aquatic drifts along at a lazy pace, the occasional encounter with pirates notwithstanding.
March 17, 2014
Noah Baumbach collaborated on the arch script, whose bittersweet weirdness leaves a residue even as the narrative disintegrates.
March 17, 2014
Like the film's fake fish, The Life Aquatic is endlessly fascinating to watch but, if you look closer, there's not much there.
Top Critic
June 24, 2006
The director magically conjures emotional dividends in the film's invigorating last moments, which wordlessly celebrate an underrated and truly Andersonian virtue: solidarity.
September 26, 2005
Even when caught in a rut, Anderson's obsessive vision still yields many exhilarating surprises.
July 21, 2005
This take on undersea adventure movies, though studded with amusing bits, feels smug and self-satisfied, as if the quirkiness no longer is merely a by-product of the way Anderson views the world.
May 20, 2005
There's nothing wrong with Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou that a digital insertion of Gene Hackman wouldn't solve.
January 15, 2005
It is heartening to reflect that the best of Bill Murray may be yet to come.
January 11, 2005
The film is often quite funny.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 27, 2004
Full of [Wes Anderson's] many trademark flourishes.
December 24, 2004
It's one of the great mysteries of contemporary Hollywood that a talent as sideways as Wes Anderson gets bankrolled by a major, and not famously risky, studio like Disney.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
December 24, 2004
Ultimately, it's hard to connect with these odd, distant people, and though the film has an ending that finds some grace, it's too little, too late.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 24, 2004
The whimsy feels forced, and Murray is the only player allowed to hunt for laughs. More Goldblum would have helped. Wilson acts overshadowed, Dafoe has too little screen time and Blanchett is only a middling straight man.
Read More | Original Score: 3/5
December 24, 2004
A ruse of a film that doesn't have a tenth of the wit it thinks it has.
Read More | Original Score: D
December 24, 2004
Murray's deadpan performance is one of the many disappointments in the movie: It's a minimalist bit of acting, in both style and effort.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
December 24, 2004
Vastly disappointing, an uneasy mixture of characters and events, artifice and realism.
Read More | Original Score: C-
December 24, 2004
At times arrogant, furious, ridiculous and mopey, in the end, Steve Zissou carries The Life Aquatic with an understated grace.
December 24, 2004
Despite its cast and director, it's an amazingly unfunny movie, drowned in its own conceits, half-strangled by the tongue so obtrusively in its cheek.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
December 24, 2004
I can't recommend it, but I would not for one second discourage you from seeing it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 24, 2004
The film's meta-fey title alone is an example of why some people adore Anderson and why he drives others absolutely crazy.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
December 23, 2004
Hovers frustratingly somewhere between charming and only mildly amusing.
December 23, 2004
There's not a convincing character to be found, and none of the film's dramatic scenes or emotional catharses have the ring of truth necessary for us to be affected.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 23, 2004
The Life Aquatic is full of moments of strange tranquility and screwball juxtaposition.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 23, 2004
With his perpetually slumped shoulders and downcast eyes, Murray nails his character's weariness; you feel tired just looking at him. But lethargy is not necessarily something you want in an audience, and eventually the movie starts to seem fatigued.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 23, 2004
The Life Aquatic is a movie deeply immersed in movie lore, and the more seasoned the swimmer the richer the experience.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 23, 2004
A funny, smart and satisfying cruise into the Triangle of Comedy Comfort.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 23, 2004
Stocked with colorful characters, episodic wit and well-placed pop tunes, Aquatic stays funny even as it flails about at sea.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
December 23, 2004
It's too fragmented, lacks pace and is filled with so many eccentricities that it's hard to discern the point, if Anderson is even trying to make one. But watching Anderson fail is still more rewarding that watching other filmmakers succeed.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/5
December 21, 2004
An often clever film with some genuine laughs and a playful streak.
Read More | Original Score: B-
December 18, 2004
If there's anything more tiresome in film today than hip irony, it is forced irony, and here comes a boatload.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
December 18, 2004
The story (written by Anderson and Noah Baumbach) meanders in such a meaningless way that the visual details, as carefully wrought as they are, come off as mere props.
December 13, 2004
This is one of the most irritating, self-conscious and smug films of the year, working neither as a dark comedy nor a character study.
December 10, 2004
Why is it that so many people think this filmmaker is the voice of their generation? Is their generation that vacuous?
December 10, 2004
It's a collage of half-measures.
December 10, 2004
Anderson holds steady to the delicate emotions that run beneath this stormy comedy of betrayal, death and forgiveness.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 10, 2004
Anderson may be incapable of making a dull film -- he's certainly incapable of making a dull-looking film -- and from its fake-docu introduction to its full-circle conclusion, his movie looks interesting and unique.
December 10, 2004
Intermittently brilliant, intermittently hilarious -- and occasionally tedious.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 9, 2004
The effect is often soporific.
December 9, 2004
Its sporadic droll moments tempt one to view it with a charitable eye until patience is exhausted by the end.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
December 9, 2004
I should have been completely exasperated with The Life Aquatic, with its wispy story and wonder-cabinet production design, but to my surprise I found it mostly delightful.
December 9, 2004
Launches with enormous promise, then sinks into a quagmire of misfired humor and misbegotten characters.
Read More | Original Score: 0.5/4
December 9, 2004
An exquisitely evocative movie that elevates rueful melancholia to a superpower.
December 9, 2004
A potentially great little cult picture shrieking in protest at being bumped up into a $50 million studio movie whose only real pleasure is its happy-color production design.
December 9, 2004
Wonderfully weird and wistful.
December 8, 2004
Once again, he creates a hermetic, glassed-in movie world of postmodern anachronisms that charms and distances in equal measure.
Read More | Original Score: B-