Big Fish

2003

Big Fish

Critics Consensus

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

75%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 219

89%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 498,185
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Movie Info

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 sets out, trying to unravel fact from fiction.

Cast

Ewan McGregor
as Young Ed Bloom
Albert Finney
as Senior Ed Bloom
Billy Crudup
as Will Bloom
Jessica Lange
as Senior Sandra Bloom
Alison Lohman
as Young Sandra Bloom
Helena Bonham Carter
as Jenny/The Witch
Robert Guillaume
as Senior Dr. Bennett
Marion Cotillard
as Josephine Bloom
David Denman
as Don Price (Age 18-22)
David Denham
as Don Price (age 18-22)
Missi Pyle
as Mildred
Ada Tai
as Ping
Steve Buscemi
as Norther Winslow
Danny DeVito
as Amos Calloway
Deep Roy
as Mr. Soggybottom
Perry Walston
as Ed Bloom (Age 10)
Hailey Anne Nelson
as Jenny (Age 8)
Grayson Stone
as Will Bloom (Age 6-8)
R. Keith Harris
as Ed's Father
Karla Droege
as Ed's Mother
Zachary Gardner
as Zacky Price (Age 10)
John Lowell
as Don Price (Age 12)
Darrell Vanterpool
as Wilbur (Age 10)
Miley Cyrus
as Ruthie (Age 8)
Joseph Humphrey
as Little Brave
Sallie Hedrick
as Pretty Girl
Frank Hoyt Taylor
as Sharecropper
Savanna James
as Little Girl
Billy Redden
as Banjo Man
James DeForest Parker
as Shotgun Toter
Russell Hodgkinson
as Some Farmer
Don Young
as Shephard
Jayne Morgan
as Townsperson
David Ramsey
as Townsperson
Greg Hohn
as Townsperson
Zach Hanner
as Cashier
George McArthur
as Collossus
Jeff Campbell
as Parachute Jump Leader
Lawrence Sykkmon
as Chinese Emcee
Bonnie Johnson
as Teller Woman
Howard Houston Jr.
as Piano Student
Joanne Pankow
as Heavy-Set Nurse
Trevor Gagnon
as Will's Son
Karlos Walkes
as Young Dr. Bennett
Cathy Berry
as Lobster Woman
John Fugate
as Sideshow Barker
Daniel Wallace
as Econ Professor
Metz Duites
as Ventriloquist
Vincent Ybiernas
as Asian Officer
Barry C. Harvard
as Chicken Plant Operator
Edward Aldag
as Minicipal Dump Owner
Alan Rawlins
as Pretty Man
Jake Brake
as Old Zacky
Bevin Kaye
as River Woman
View All

News & Interviews for Big Fish

Critic Reviews for Big Fish

All Critics (219) | Top Critics (45) | Fresh (165) | Rotten (54)

  • When it catches fire, this great-looking movie offers hilarious diversions. And as father and son struggle toward a hard-won reconciliation, Big Fish reveals its beating heart.

    Mar 12, 2018 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

    Newsweek
    Top Critic
  • Big Fish really belongs to Albert Finney, who proves that when it comes to large performances there is no one who can quite match a British Shakespearean with good camera sense.

    Jan 9, 2018 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Overall, the film feels like it issues from a place Burton doesn't inhabit.

    Aug 7, 2004
  • This is a film that pasteurises both plot and sentiment with the efficiency of a Swiss milking machine.

    Apr 29, 2004 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Mar 16, 2004 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Big Fish

  • Apr 03, 2016
    So, this movie... It isn't very good. Personally, I believe it's one of those movies where the director puts good effects before a good story, and that isn't the way to make a movie. There is a lot of good actors and actresses in this movie, but they don't really seem invested in the story at all. Maybe because there was no real story to begin with. The book is a true masterpiece, but the movie heavily underestimates the potential of what could have been a brilliant movie. I'm sorry, Tim Burton. Try again...
    Lasse G Super Reviewer
  • Mar 10, 2014
    While the narrative could have spent a little more time focusing on the present, Big Fish is joyous, stunning, and entertaining. The film presents two sides of a father/son relationship and allows both sides to be balanced enough to where you feel sympathetic towards both. It is an entertaining and touching film, and on my list of top 5 Burton films.
    Joey T Super Reviewer
  • Aug 09, 2013
    Big Fish is a wondrous and fantastical film from Tim Burton. The story follows a son who seeks to separate truth from fiction in his father's tall tales. Featuring Ewan McGregor, Helena Bonham Carter, Jessica Lange, Steve Buscemi, and Danny DeVito, the cast is quite impressive and delivers some strong performance. And, Burton does an impressive job at creating a fairytale like aesthetic that enhances the tone of the film. Entertaining and compelling, Big Fish is a charming and sincere tale that has a certain magic of its own.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • May 15, 2013
    Beautiful visually and emotionally. A wonderful examination of relationships and mortality. Albert Finney proves again what a fine actor he is.
    Christian C Super Reviewer

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