Box art for Stranger than Fiction

Stranger than Fiction

comedy, drama, romance

An IRS auditor suddenly finds himself the subject of narration only he can hear: narration that begins to effect his entire life, from his work, to his love-interest, to his death.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 13
3 out of 5
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
0 out of 5
Positive messages
3 out of 5
0 out of 5

Touching dramedy is heavy; won't interest most kids.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that some kids will want to see this movie thanks to star Will Ferrell, although they may be disappointed because it's not his usual silly comedy routine. Instead, the film explores some fairly heavy concepts about life and death. Novelist Karen Eiffel is a depressed chain-smoker, and Harold Crick (Ferrell's character) is a loner who suffers severe obsessive-compulsive disorder.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the meaning of life. No, really. This movie is all about living life to the fullest and not sitting carefully on the sidelines while everyone else has all the fun. On the flip side, how can you have fun and experience new things but stay safe at the same time?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: While Stranger Than Fiction traffics in a bit of darkly funny existential anxiety, it also finds room for romantic fantasy and sentimental uplift.

- A.O. Scott, New York Times, Friday, November 10, 2006

Fresh: Stranger Than Fiction might be film, but it moves like a novel: a literate, unhurried tale marked by softly wrought reflections on the self-made life.

- Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle, Friday, November 10, 2006

Fresh: A film well worth seeing and savoring.

- Andrew Sarris, New York Observer, Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Audience Reviews

2 stars

Meta sugar. I loved the bus scenes.

- brooklynspo, Saturday, April 21, 2007

3 stars

IRS auditor Harold Crick discovers that he is the leading character of a novel in progress written by an author who is famous for killing off her heroes. I was quite taken with the idea behind this film; enough for me to get past the presence of Will Ferrell, an actor I detest. The beginning of the film lived up to my leap of faith, presenting what seemed to be a clever, literary story in the vein of Charlie Kaufman's work, complete with some nice Eternal Sunshine-style visual flourishes. Unfortunately it falters halfway through as the rather appealing Maggie Gyllenhaal's anti-establishment hippy baker falls into bed with the anally retentive-to-the-point-of-Assberger's Ferrell, a man she previously loathed and represents everything about modern society she hates. Just because he gave her some flour and sang a song. In other words, it becomes the usual kind of absurdly contrived feelgood romcom that I avoid like the plague. It continues the surreal element of the story in that the written word become reality, but it's never explained or even explored, preferring a glib happy ending; any film that describes its own plot as a modern masterpiece needs to do a hell of a lot better than that. The one revelation about this film is the fact that I find Ferrell a lot funnier when he's not TRYING to be funny and hope he continues in this vein in the future. I may actually start to like him. Perish the thought...

- garyX, Friday, October 29, 2010

3 stars

Will Ferrell needs more roles like his in "Stranger than Fiction" and less like his in "Elf".

- rjayhutchinson, Friday, July 30, 2010