Big Fish
Big Fish (2003)

The story of a braggart and exaggerator, Edward Bloom, and his son, William, who--after a long estrangement--returns home only to learn his father is dying of cancer. Desperate to know the complicated man before it's too late, William… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG-13
Running Time:
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Release Date: December 10, 2003
DVD Release Date: April 27, 2004
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Critic Score: 77% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: A charming father-and-son tale filled with typical Tim Burton flourishes.

Geoff Andrew
Time Out

The film doesn't so much reject history as selectively rewrite it to its own reactionary, even offensive ends. This might perhaps be just about tolerable were the film funny, illuminating, insightful or moving. It is not.

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Paul Clinton (

A compelling look at the relationships between fathers and sons, and the child coming to terms with the parent's mortality.

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Kevin Carr
Fat Guys at the Movies

the father-and-son story to beat all father-and-son stories

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Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture

Overall, the film feels like it issues from a place Burton doesn't inhabit.

Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle

A long-winded indulgence in tear-and-a-smile whimsy.

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Nell Minow
Common Sense Media

Delightful, sad father-son story for teens and up.

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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

Burton shows the rivalry between father and son but not the rancor, which seems to fit with the film's calm lyricism. But the father-son conflict is meant as the dramatic crux, and a forceful actor would have given it some much-needed bite.

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Desson Thomson
Washington Post

A disappointingly dull thud of a fantasy.

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Nick Rogers

Reliant more on powerful familial emotions than wacky splendor, "Big Fish" treads as close to our real world as Tim Burton ever could - a melancholy dissection of paternal distance and never truly knowing how many lives those we love can truly affect.

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More reviews for Big Fish

Flixster Audience Score: 89% Flixster User Reviews
Christian C
Beautiful visually and emotionally. A wonderful examination of relationships and mortality. Albert Finney proves again what a fine actor he is.
Sam Barnett
Tim Burton may be the biggest name attached to Big Fish, but its really screenwriter John Augusts' movie, as he masterfully adapts a book about… More
Melvin White
Will Bloom: A man tells so many stories, that he becomes the stories. They live on after him, and in that way he becomes immortal. "An Adventure As Big As… More
Daniel Perry
A continuously surprising journey, highly re-watchable, and one of the best endings I've ever seen. May be Burton's best.
Candy Rose
Fantasy movie by Tim Burton. A man is dying of cancer. His son is desperate to know his father. He tells him how he met his mother. Great cast and story.
Unknown Hobo
The definition of original this film literally makes you feel every emotion a human body can handle. Surreal without being confusing and touching without being… More