Box art for Big Fish

Big Fish

comedy, drama


To get to know the real man behind the myth, a son begins piecing together a true picture of his father from snippets of amazing stories and magical tales of his youth in this brilliantly fantastical movie from director Tim Burton

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    77%
  • Audience Score
    90%

common sense

ON for kids age 12
Consumerism
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
Language
0 out of 5
Positive role models
2 out of 5
Sex
3 out of 5
Violence
0 out of 5

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

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie has brief nudity, mild language, and fantasy peril. Sensitive kids may be upset by the death of a parent.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about some of their favorite stories -- factual and fictional. Who tells the best tall tales in the family?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    77%
    reviews counted: 21
    see all Big Fish reviews
  • Audience

    90%

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: For me, a Will who wishes she were an Edward, the movie inspired by the Daniel Wallace novel is a minor classic.

- Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer, Thursday, December 25, 2003

Fresh: Burton, who has clung to the trappings of precocious genius well into his 40s, demonstrates a new emotional maturity.

- Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Thursday, December 25, 2003

Rotten: A disappointingly dull thud of a fantasy.

- Desson Thomson, Washington Post, Friday, December 26, 2003

Audience Reviews

5 stars

Big Fish is one of Tim Burton's best films. This is a film with such a terrific story and it's very positive. The film is filled adventure and inspiration. Big Fish is one of the finest films that Tim Burton has ever made and also one of his most ambitious. Big Fish is an extraordinary film about a man trying to reconnect with his dying father by his his father telling him exaggerated stories about his life. This is one of Tim Burton's best film since Sleepy Hollow and Ed Wood. One of the reasons the film succeeds so well is the great cast of actors involved in this film. They really bring out the best out of the story. The result of Big Fish is that of Drama, Comedy and constant adventure. Of course the scope of the film is big because the main character exaggerates the events of his life, and it's great to see unfold on screen. There is not a single boring part in the film and the story will definitely keep you entertained till the end. Only Tim Burton could craft a film like this and like I've said, this ranks up there as one of his finest films. The film has a very good story to boot, and this is an unforgettable film. Big Fish is a terrific film with a great cast, plot and directing. This is a film that will definitely make you feel something positive, and won't make you feel childish, even initially it feels like a childs fantasy, it's not. What the film does so well is bring back memories of classic fairy tales, and it reminds us what we love about them. Some reviewers have been tremendously unfair to this film, and I do believe that they've missed the point about this entire film. Yes, the film does portray the dying father as a blowhard, but thats the point. Over the course of the film, both son and father try to to reconcile and thats what the film is about. Obviously at the beginning of the film the relationship between father and son is strained, bur over the film is a healing process for them both a process to reconnect, and by the films end; William Bloom realizes his father was a wonderful person. Big Fish is a terrific film with a terrific cast and one great story. A seriously underrated film.

- TheDudeLebowski65, Tuesday, October 26, 2010

3 stars

The ending was nice. The love story was sweet. Overall this movie is okay. Could be better though.

- 3niR, Thursday, April 1, 2010

4 stars

An amazing movie with an unmatched sense of imagination. Tim Burton has given one of the most personal works of his career. It is extremely emotional and tells a story that is both fantastical and real. Ewan McGregor was amazing and really made the world believable.

- ythelastman89, Tuesday, January 19, 2010