The BFG

Critics Consensus

The BFG minimizes the darker elements of Roald Dahl's classic in favor of a resolutely good-natured, visually stunning, and largely successful family-friendly adventure.

75%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 287

57%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 37,892
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Movie Info

This film tells the tale of a young girl, the Queen of England and a benevolent giant known as the BFG, who set out on an adventure to capture the evil, man-eating giants who have been invading the human world.

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Cast

Mark Rylance
as The Big Friendly Giant
Penelope Wilton
as The Queen
Jemaine Clement
as Fleshlumpeater
Olafur Darri Olafsson
as Maidmasher/Cook
Bill Hader
as Bloodbottler
Adam Godley
as Manhugger/Lout #1
Michael D. Adamthwaite
as Butcher Boy/Danish Driver
Rafe Spall
as Mr. Tibbs
Daniel Bacon
as Bonecruncher/Lout #2
Jonathan Holmes
as Childchewer/Pub Landlord
Chris Gibbs
as Gizzardgulper/Late Night Walker
Paul Moniz de Sa
as Meatdripper/Lout #3
Haig Sutherland
as Danish Boy's Father
Shauna Hansen
as Danish Boy's Mother
Denise Jones
as Danish Driver's Wife
Chris Shields
as General #1
Matt Frewer
as General #2
Geoffrey Wade
as General #3
John Emmet Tracy
as Palace Staff #1 (aka Footman)
William Samples
as Palace Staff #2 (aka Footman)
Andy Thompson
as Palace Staff #3 (aka Footman)
Paul Stuart Barnhill
as Palace Staff #4 (aka Footman)
Paul Barnhill
as Palace Staff #4 (aka Footman)
Lucia Ryan
as Orphan Girl #1/Sophie Understudy
Julia Torrance
as Orphan Girl #2
Cal Davis
as Piper #1
Kyle Maloney
as Piper #2
David Orr
as Piper #4
Zachary Read
as Piper #5
David Glover
as Piper #6
Todd Biffard
as Pipe Drummer
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News & Interviews for The BFG

Critic Reviews for The BFG

All Critics (287) | Top Critics (52)

Audience Reviews for The BFG

  • Jan 16, 2018
    It's a cute family fun drama but doesn't have the charm as the classic children's book!
    Film C Super Reviewer
  • Jun 24, 2017
    The animated '89 version of The BFG was a staple of my youth, so naturally I was excited for a Steven Spielberg redo. Unfortunately, I don't think the tale lends itself well to the live action format. That, or the hands making this piece were unable to concentrate the narrative to where it went. In either case, the end product is a film with many tiny endearing moments of nostalgia that at no point come together to create a laudable whole.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 30, 2017
    This is a slow and uninspired film, this feels like Spielberg on autopilot mode. The story may stick to the plot of the book, I'm not too sure on that front, never read the book but the pacing is all over the place. I didn't care for the anti climatic finale or the misjudged comedy attempts, this was a giant mishap. This never felt like a Spielberg film, the grand storytelling you get from his films just wasn't there. You must think he should think about throwing in the towel after making this and Tintin, these films don't have a voice and anyone could've made these. This should've been made by some up and coming director, even Skull Island had some distinction to other genre films. Giant misstep here. 30/04/2017.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Apr 14, 2017
    I hate to start out with this, but I almost feel like I have to. A person I follow on Twitter, whose handle shall remain nameless, once said that his controversial opinions only involve films. He then said that he thought Christopher Nolan was a scrub, which I disagree with, but he's more than entitled to believe that. One of his other controversial opinions was that he felt that Spielberg's film were sentimental tripe. This was a month or so ago, so I'm paraphrasing, but that's the essence of his tweets. And this one, this one I really got a bit angered with. To the point that I actually muted him on Twitter for a while. Because this is demonstrably false. When you have a career as long and as prolific as Spielberg's you end up making every type of movie under the sun. It's the type of ignorant statement that's the equivalent of saying that Scorsese has only made gangster movies. Let's just look at a few of the movies in Spielberg's filmography: Jaws, Close Encounters, ET (the film that I'm assuming inspired the tweet), 1941, the Indiana Jones franchise (all o them), The Color Purple, Jurassic Park (and its first sequel), Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, Minority Report, Munich, Lincoln, Bridge of Spies and, of course, The BFG (the film that brings us together now). There are many others on that list, but that's just some of them. The fact of the matter is that to sum up an entire career, that covers FIVE decades, to just one style of film is ignorant and neglectful of Spielberg's contributions to the world of films. Say what you will about the guy, and criticize his movies, which I implore you to do as that leads to interesting conversations between film geeks, but don't say something as ignorant as suggestig that every film in his repertoire is exactly the same and covers the same theme. I really hate that that took up so much of this review, but I really had to say that. I digress, let's move on to this movie, which is what really matters. Yet another live-action Disney movie that tries to sell you on the bond that is built between a little kid and fantastical creature. First it was The Jungle Book with Mowgli and his bond with Baloo and Bagheera. Then there was Pete's Dragon with Pete and his, well, dragon. And then there's this movie with Sophie and the eponymous BFG (Big Friendly Giant). You can bet people switched out Friendly for another F-word. As far as the three movies are concerned, which one does the best job at creating the emotional bond between its leads? Honestly, I thought the Jungle Book, almost by a country mile, was the weakest of the three movies. While I gave it three stars, it's a movie that I did not like for the most part. Objectively speaking, it had more good than bad, but I didn't enjoy it that much nor did I buy into the bond. That leaves Pete's Dragon and this one. I'd say that Pete's Dragon did a better job by this one (though not by much) simply because of the fact that Pete was raised by the dragon and their connection went deeper than just being best friends. I think the BFG doesn't come close to that, but that's not to say that the connection between Sophie and the BFG isn't there, because it is. But it is missing something that I felt Pete's Dragon had. With that said, however, this is still a good movie. It doesn't really surprise me that they went with a more family-friendly approach to Roald Dahl's darker novel. It's a movie that was co-financed by Disney, so you better fucking know that they'll want the film as family-friendly as humanly possible. Which I understand, the film cost a lot of money to make and they wanted to recoup as much of that money as possible. But I just wish the film contained some of the darker elements of the novel. I've, personally, never read it and I wish I would have gotten a sense of the darker elements. Like, for example, the orphanage that the BFG takes Sophie away from is run by an abusive woman. You can hint at things without fully showing them, you don't have to see the kids being hit or mistreated. But I digress, you have to review the movie as it is and not as you want it to be. The film is simple, relatively speaking. Sophie is a lonely girl without any real friends. She's taken by the BFG after she sees him. He believes that he would tell everyone she knows about him. He then takes her to Giant Country where he lives with other giants (all of whom are bigger than him). These other giants eat human beings (or beans as the giants call them, one of the many things they mispronounce). The BFG is bullied by the other giants and Sophie tries to teach him to stand up for himself. Eventually, things progress to the point where the bad giants are going on a hunt for humans and Sophie decides to use the BFG so they can get help from the Queen in order to stop the giants. There's nothing about the movie that explores more complex issues. Even Sophie's loneliness is easily resolved by the BFG and the BFG's past experience with another child is only touched upon in passing. The film is well-written, and the acting is really good. Ruby Barnhill, this is her first film, is quite good here. She's a bit rough around the edges, but she's, otherwise, very good. There's very few human actors that get any real screen time, at least until they go to the Queen of England, which features Penelope Wilton, Rafe Spall and Rebecca Hall, all of whom are very good here as well. Mark Rylance, who voices the BFG, is excellent here. Not to mention the fact that the actual CG for the character, and all the other giants, is top-notch. The facial animations for giants, BFG in particular, are tremendous. I don't think the CG is quite as good here as it was in Jungle Book, but it's still high quality. One of the few problems is that there were parts where, I felt, the film dragged. I thought the scenes with the Queen and Buckingham Palace added an element of surprise, not to mention new human characters, but I felt that it ground the movie to a halt. It's not that this part of the film is bad, far from it, but it just hurt the pacing of the movie which, to that point, had been quite good. Prior to this, the BFG and Sophie never spent too much time in one location or doing just one thing. So this Buckingham Palace is a bit of a curve ball in that regards. Again, it's not bad and the new characters are welcome additions, but I just felt that it hurt the story more than it benefited it, even though this part was essential to the narrative. The film gets a little sentimental in its epilogue, but it's not as bad as it could have been. Not really sure what else to say about this. It's a good movie, it's got very good acting, great CG, a strong emotional bond between its leads, but the flaws are too many for me to say that this is a really good movie. It falls just short of that. I'd still recommend it, it's not perfect, but if you want something to watch with your family, then this will do the job.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer

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