“The Fantasy Aspect Of The Story Was Very Nearly Perfect, Unfortunately The Constant Interruptions End Up Dragging The Film Down.”
“A Whimsical Masterpiece Of Imagination That Taps Into Our Long Forgotten Love Of The Surreal. An Emotionally Resonating Realistic Fantasy Sure To Be One Of The Years Best Films.”
“Fibbing. It's The Thing To Do.”
“It Is Rare To Find A Film That Not Only Improves Upon The Book Of Its Origin, But Somehow Seems To Complete It, As If The Short Novella By Daniel Wallace Which First Began Big Fish Was Only The Smallest Part Of Its Intention.”
A gently overstuffed cinematic pinata, crammed with tall tales -- with giants and circuses and fairy-tale woods, plus a huge squirmy catfish, all served up with a literal matter-of-fact fancy that is very pleasing.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
The most curious thing about this magical-realist fable ... is how thin and soft it is, how unpersuasive and ultimately forgettable even its most strenuous inventions turn out to be.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
Big Fish takes a while to get its bearings, but it gets better and better.
Mike Clark - USA Today
Somewhat like Forrest Gump on a high colonic.
Stephen Hunter - Washington Post
A disappointingly dull thud of a fantasy.
Desson Thomson - Washington Post
The picture's images linger.
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
The ideas keep percolating, but in the absence of any particular tension, the movie has its longueurs.
J. Hoberman - Village Voice
The movie has a great deal of charm and several good performances, but it is the son's judgmental doggedness that sets the story in motion and leads to its mawkish conclusion. It's a hurdle I couldn't get over.
Jack Mathews - New York Daily News
An enchanting tale from Tim Burton that weaves together reality and myth so touchingly it hardly matters which is which.
Eric Harrison - Houston Chronicle
Offers its audience a long and winding road, with refreshing pauses. And it proves that mega-budgets have not spoiled Tim Burton's vision.
Philip Wuntch - Dallas Morning News
A bountiful pleasure.
Lisa Kennedy - Denver Post
Overall, the film feels like it issues from a place Burton doesn't inhabit.
Peter Rainer - New York Magazine
There is no denying that Will has a point: The old man is a blowhard. There is a point at which his stories stop working as entertainment and segue into sadism.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
Big Fish is so strange and so literary that audiences seeking conventional fare may get impatient with it. But it always takes effort to catch the big ones. This one is worth it.
Michael Wilmington - Chicago Tribune
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.
Jonathan Rosenbaum - Chicago Reader
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
Burton, who has clung to the trappings of precocious genius well into his 40s, demonstrates a new emotional maturity.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Funny, touching, smart, whimsical, dazzling and, at times, downright magical.
Tom Long - Detroit News
A whopper of a movie, told by the master of the modern-day fairy tale, Tim Burton.
Bill Muller - Arizona Republic
A load of tripe that no attempt on my part could make sound half as pretentious and conceited as it really is.
Rex Reed - New York Observer
Not only is Mr. Burton at the top of his form in endowing his tallest stories and wildest magical conceits with emotional conviction, but he is aided by a superb acting ensemble that never loses its footing in the treacherous swamps of make-believe.
Andrew Sarris - New York Observer
The imaginatively illustrated but precariously precious film offers up a string of minor pleasures but never becomes more than moderately amusing or involving.
Todd McCarthy - Variety
There are quirks aplenty in Big Fish, but spirited performances from a talented cast, led by a standout Finney as the slippery-fish raconteur, help domesticate the wall-to-wall weirdness.
Megan Lehmann - New York Post
Herniated whimsy -- straining, as labored as those poor Brits who stuff their mouths with grits and try to talk like Southerners.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
A change-up delivery from a director seeking relief from his artful image, the movie wants to catch our ears rather than our eyes, and it does so without completely reeling us in.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
You'd think that Burton, whose movies can be so invigoratingly nasty or so hypnotically moody, would be able to pull off a gentle, mainstream crowd-pleaser without making it dull or preachy. But Big Fish is both.
Stephanie Zacharek - Salon.com
Big Fish is a clever, smart fantasy that targets the child inside every adult, without insulting the intelligence of either.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
Belabored oddity that is one long-winded tall tale illustrated with hammy, artificial sets and gee-whiz acting.
Kirk Honeycutt - Hollywood Reporter
Big Fish makes a big push for transcendence, but the strain shows. It's like trying to push a daydream uphill.
Richard Corliss - TIME Magazine
Director Tim Burton finally hooks the one that got away: a script that challenges and deepens his visionary talent.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
Big fish often swim in small ponds, but in Tim Burton's wistful new film about a son, a father and the lies that come between them there are no small ponds -- just big, bright movie sets shimmering and bubbling with the director's imagination.
Manohla Dargis - Los Angeles Times
Delightful, sad father-son story for teens and up.
Nell Minow - Common Sense Media
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.
Nick Rogers - Suite101.com
Burton, favoring form over content, flavor over fact, has been often criticized for not knowing how to bring his work to satisfactory resolution. But I'd call that a good thing. Blame it on his dad.
Rob Nelson - City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul
Burton invokes the imagination from his crowd and succeeds in making us gasp in wonder.
Felix Vasquez Jr. - Cinema Crazed
Never has going fishing or getting caught been such a treat.
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
For all the story's twists, there are no real surprises (the ending is obvious 10 minutes in), and Burton's flourishes of self-satisfied frippery annoy as much as they amuse.
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
Unfortunately, up until the end, the tall tales are far more interesting than reality.
Joe Lozito - Big Picture Big Sound
I enjoyed Big Fish more than any film Burton has been involved with since maybe Nightmare Before Christmas.
Rob Gonsalves - eFilmCritic.com
For the first time since Ed Wood, Burton has transcended his hermetically-sealed world and connected with wider concerns.
Dean Essner - Empire Magazine
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.
Geoff Andrew - Time Out
Dean Essner - Film Threat
Plays to Burton's strengths as an auteur of fantasy colliding with reality.
Christopher Smith - Bangor Daily News (Maine)
Dean Essner - Bullz-Eye.com
The film's core is all heart, but surrounding the dramatic moments is a pure sense of humor that generated more genuine laughter than any comedy I've seen in recent years.
Jason Zingale - Bullz-Eye.com
An ebullient tall tale about the magic of imagination and the power of myth.
Nick Schager - Lessons of Darkness
Garth Franklin - Dark Horizons
Big Fish is, in the end, a small tale, but it's a beautifully told one.
Ethan Alter - NYC Film Critic
[Burton] celebrates the empty imaginings of the lost, because he assumes there is no real liberation, there is no glory awaiting us, except that which we invent for ourselves.
Jeffrey Overstreet - Christianity Today
Un film delicieux que l'on ecoute avec legerete et qui fait passer un bon moment grace a son humour, sa feerie, mais aussi dans la facon dont il nous touche.
Louis-Jerome Cloutier - Panorama
Burton has crafted a sweet yet bizarre film seeming at times like 'The Twilight Zone' in Oz.
Steve Crum - Kansas City Kansan
...there's never been a less ambitious Tim Burton film
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
A heartwarming, nostalgic story of tall tales and even taller dreams.
Mark Sells - Oregon Herald
Tim Burton strikes gold with this genuinely warm adventure.
Joe Utichi - FilmFocus
En una dimension mas amplia y personal, Burton explora la problematica padre-hijo y el aspecto legendario en la vida de cada hombre.
Luis Martinez - Cinenganos
Burton is partial to characters named Edward.
Judith Egerton - Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
Burton is masterful at transporting us to the edges of our imaginations, and the world he’s created here is so appealing one wishes it existed.
Forrest Hartman - Reno Gazette-Journal
This is a film that pasteurises both plot and sentiment with the efficiency of a Swiss milking machine.
James Christopher - Times [UK]
Burton created a film that fits perfectly into the American psyche.
Wesley Lovell - Oscar Guy
Wesley Lovell - Cinema Sight
Hoy ya no nos leen mas cuentos a la hora de ir a dormir, pero por suerte existe Tim Burton.
Enrique Buchichio - Uruguay Total
The film retains the episodic nature of the book, but solidifies the storylines and make them more palatable for moviegoing audiences. And more fun.
Matt Kelemen - Las Vegas CityLife
More "Ed Wood" than "Planet of the Apes".
Jim Chastain - Norman Transcript
The story of the movie is disjointed and unaffecting, and what we remember are all the little moments, for their visual splendour, their joyful flights of fancy.
Ian Waldron-Mantgani - UK Critic
If you can get past the murky structure, the movie has more than its fair share of charms.
Austin O'Connor - Lowell Sun
It drives home the fact that we humans sometimes need a varnished reality with a more pleasing veneer, rather than the humdrum plainess of "truth" with all of its splinters.
Brian Mckay - eFilmCritic.com
Se o fantastico consegue traduzir a realidade com poesia, por que troca-lo pelo literal?
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
A film that will grow and grow by word of mouth, long after many of today's hits and important films are forgotten.
Harry Guerin - RTE Interactive (Dublin, Ireland)
In the shallow pool of holiday movie offerings, Tim Burton's Big Fish has surfaced as the freshest catch of the season.
Thomas Delapa - Boulder Weekly
Edward Bloom's life journey is a lovely and moving experience.
Audrey Rock-Richardson - Tooele Transcript-Bulletin (Utah)
...the disquieting clash of styles ultimately makes Big Fish a movie you’ll toss back ...
Lori Hoffman - Atlantic City Weekly
The film has a charm that sweeps you off your feet and takes you on a ride that's almost as remarkable as the character who tells them.
Peter Lowry - Film Threat
The subject is really the upside and the downside of a strong imagination.
Mark R. Leeper - rec.arts.movies.reviews
Tim Burton turns a gothic fairy tale into a Steven Spielberg movie.
Stephen Himes - Film Snobs
Ryan Gilbey - Independent
Tim Burton constructs an eye-popping, kaleidoscopic landscape of sound, fury and fantasy -- and remembers to make a movie to go with it.
Jonathan R. Perry - Tyler Morning Telegraph (Texas)
delights in Burton's quirky sense of humor, love of outsiders, and visual inventiveness
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
Proof that a top-notch cast can do little to help a poorly written and unorganized script, this is one of the biggest disappointments among the major 2003 releases.
Derek Smith - Apollo Guide
Fails to engage
Ben Stephens - culturevulture.net
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
It's still enjoyable, it's just somehow not the film you feel it could have been.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
Big Fish is a reminder to all of us that we are only limited as humans by the boundaries and shackles we decide to use to keep our flights of fancy at bay.
Alex Sandell - Juicy Cerebellum
At its height of fancy, Big Fish is brilliant.
Steve Head - IGN Movies
this one runs the life-story gamut with such breathtaking originality you'll barely even notice the lengthy running time
Mike Sage - Peterborough This Week
Burton has a big payoff up his sleeve. In a movie practically schizophrenic in mood, he manages to present the inevitability of death with a touching beauty and elegance.
Paul Povse - State Journal-Register (Springfield, IL)
Imaginative, heartwarming, fun, serendipitous, charming; this film will swallow you hook, line and sinker.
Ross Anthony - Hollywood Report Card
A good movie, but Tim Burton doing "whimsical" is not quite as interesting as Tim Burton doing "dark and twisted."
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat
Though not as inspired as Adaptation in terms of meta-narrative trickery (and rather too baggy in structure), Big Fish succeeds on the basis of its unusual combination of emotional clarity and loopy charm.
Jason Anderson - eye WEEKLY
Big Fish is the cinematic equivalent of a big fish story-fun, entertaining, too crazy to be true, and all the more enjoyable for it.
John R. McEwen - Film Quips Online
...a magical movie sure to become a classic...
Tony Toscano - Talking Pictures (U.S.)
Don't you mean Big Turkey, Tim?
David N. Butterworth - Movie Boeuf
The movie divides its characters into two groups: those who've opened themselves to the possibility of the sublime, and those who've confined themselves to reality.
Mark Palermo - Coast (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
A minnow of a movie camouflaged within the gaudy spines and barbels of some exotic species...
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
This flick was like a breath of fresh air.
Dan Marcucci and Nancy Serougi - Broomfield Enterprise
This is the masterpiece Tim Burton has been itching and scratching his way toward ever since he introduced us to "Beetlejuice" in the '80s.
Beth Jones - Roanoke Times (Virginia)
There was something nagging at me, something that didn't become clear until the final, awful scenes, where Burton and company get to their point.
Michael W. Phillips, Jr. - Goatdog's Movies
Stocked to the gills with glorious visuals and delightful whimsy, 'Fish' is a reassuring return to form for director Tim Burton...
James Sanford - Kalamazoo Gazette
The story shows a lot of heart and I found it very absorbing. One of Burton's better movies.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
Dean Essner - Baltimore Sun
Director Tim Burton combines his visual wizardry with touching down-home verities [in a movie that] bounces between poignant reality and beguiling fantasy...
Carol Cling - Las Vegas Review-Journal
Big Fish passes a major storytelling test: I can't wait to see it again.
Jesse Hassenger - PopMatters
Sentimental, even a bit treacly, but it's also appealing and full of warmth. And it's probably [Burton's] best film.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Philippe Rousselot's cinematography and Dennis Gassner's production design conspire to create a magical alternative universe in which the mundane and the marvelous happily coexist.
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
Finney's a superb storyteller, dominating the film as he lies immobile, and McGregor has precisely the right blend of cockiness, enthusiasm, zeal and charm.
Lawrence Toppman - Charlotte Observer
The stories are gloriously soaked in Americana and, as always in Burton films, are visually lush and immaculately detailed.
Phil Villarreal - Arizona Daily Star
[I]t is a movie so desperate for your approval that it's less like a fish than a yapping puppy that keeps soiling the rug.
Daniel M. Kimmel - Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Few filmmakers know more about exaggeration than Tim Burton.
Jon Niccum - Lawrence Journal-World
For all its occasionally sputtering puffery, Big Fish's tales are woolly and waggish enough to tickle your fancy for two hours.
Brian Gibson - Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
The annoying question becomes, 'Why isn't this working better?'
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
Big Fish is simply a magical catch.
Gerry Shamray - Sun Newspapers of Cleveland
A perfect marriage of story and director, Tim Burton has achieved maturity as a filmmaker while keeping his ability to tell a larger-than-life story.
Jeffrey Bruner - Des Moines Register
Just as Preston Sturges' 1940s classic Sullivan's Travels has stood as a definitive ode to the value of humor, Big Fish may survive as a strong statement on imagination.
Jack Garner - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Celebrates the whimsical spirit and imagination of a man whose only mode of relating to other people seems to be as props in the mythic narrative of his life.
Steven D. Greydanus - Decent Films Guide
A well-meaning, visually boisterous film that tries so hard you can practically hear it huffing and puffing.
Donald Munro - Fresno Bee
Un film fort sympathique mais un peu inegal.
Nicolas Lacroix - EnPrimeur.ca
A compelling look at the relationships between fathers and sons, and the child coming to terms with the parent's mortality.
Paul Clinton (CNN.com) - CNN.com
(CNN.com) Paul Clinton - CNN.com
You probably have to be stubborn and pragmatic to resist the film's quixotic appeals, but I'm in Crudup's camp. Better to imagine a giant than to meet one.
Duane Dudek - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Big Fish moves you in inexplicable, joyful ways. It's a beauty of a whopper.
Randy Shulman - Metro Weekly (Washington, DC)
Big Fish is a three-ring circus of sometimes outlandish situations and characters, yet Burton makes it all seem so plausible . . . that some part of you aches to accept.
Bob Bloom - Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
A splendid reminder that Burton is quite possibly the most talented American filmmaker working today.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
For all its surface eccentricities, this turns out to be one of Burton's most conventional works.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
The tale it tells may be the tallest to hit screens in some time but there's no shortage of human truth in it.
Rick Kisonak - Film Threat
Tim Burton's Big Adventure into resolving his family conflicts and defending his filmmaking. A director's statement has never been so entertaining.
Jimmy O - Film Snobs
[T]he film you feel [Burton's] been leading up to all this time, both more and less metaphoric [than] his standard 'agony of the outsider' theme...
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
Unfailingly charming and flat-out interesting: You keep watching not just because of the many likable characters, but because you're dying to know what will happen next.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
Tim Burton's latest flight into fantasy lands a near-solid hook, line, and sinker as a whimsical family fable...
Elias Savada - Nitrate Online
The taming by Hollywood of divinely weird and edgy imaginations like Tim Burton, is pretty much a fish out of water experience.
Prairie Miller - Long Island Press
The tall tales Edward tells in Fish are aided by Burton's limitless imagination and visual ingenuity.
Sean O'Connell - Eclipse Magazine
Tim Burton remains an original.
Kevin N. Laforest - Montreal Film Journal
Feels like a sham, all tripe and not enough of Burton's gothic childlike mindset, and also infused with a heavy saccharine dose of big-hearted Life Lessons that drop from the screen like anvils made of rock candy.
Marc Savlov - Austin Chronicle
'Big Fish,' my top-ranked film of 2003, not only charmed me completely with its humanity and whimsical humor -- it also surprised me with its wisdom.
Betty Jo Tucker - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Big Fish speaks directly from Burton's sensibility -- it may be the most personal film he's made yet.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
A big bore, which may come as a surprise to those familiar with the resumes of director Tim Burton and his cast.
James Verniere - Boston Herald
Burton's film doesn't try to lard mortality over with platitudes. Instead, it looks death in the eye and vindicates the creative impulse that is its adversary.
Peter Keough - Boston Phoenix
Big Fish has heart and it has originality, but its greatest attribute of all is its pure honesty.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
Bold colors and weird twists create a sense that wondrous things can happen in an instant.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
A long-winded indulgence in tear-and-a-smile whimsy.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
Its tricks don't all resonate, but it treats us as grown-ups, even as it tries to reach the last bit of child in us.
Shawn Levy - Oregonian
An odd, erratic charmer.
David Elliott - San Diego Union-Tribune
Better than anything Burton has made in years, but it is never completely what a good story should be: compulsively entertaining.
Phoebe Flowers - South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Clocking in at two hours, it runs way too long for a flight of fancy, packs a couple of false endings, and, a first for Burton, feels flat and familiar, like recycled Ray Bradbury.
Glenn Lovell - San Jose Mercury News
A biography of a Southern man (Albert Finney) known as a spinner of tall tales, each of them illustrated by Burton in his enjoyably peculiar fashion.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
The gradual coalescence of Edward's actual and fantasy worlds is the real revelation for Burton-watchers, taking the filmmaker into territory that's surprisingly complex and mature.
Steve Schneider - Orlando Weekly
A most companionable, personable film, and it marks Tim Burton's return to form.
Joe Baltake - Sacramento Bee
Tim Burton's Southern-fried tall tale about fathers and sons is a lot better -- and a lot warmer -- than his recent work.
James Rocchi - Netflix
Mostly confined to bed throughout the film, Finney pulls us to him with a flawless combination of theatrical skill and movie-star radiance.
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
It's got the mawkish soul of a male Beaches ... a claustrophobic and often irritating storytelling style, yet it's powered by the quirky genius of Tim Burton, which can't help but redeem it.
Mary F. Pols - Contra Costa Times
Burton, who once used as much distancing irony in his movies as celluloid, seems no longer afraid of ordinary emotion or of dealing with people who might actually walk and breathe and die among us.
Robert Wilonsky - Dallas Observer
Burton's fabled imagination runs wild with this material, and Big Fish often achieves a whimsical, poetic beauty.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
It's gentle and pleasing and I appreciated the mixture of oddness, whimsy and emotion that informs Burton's search for the place where truth and fiction meet.
Robert Denerstein - Denver Rocky Mountain News
An engagingly whimsical, sporadically charming, frequently very funny Southern Gothic fantasy that somehow doesn't quite come together to be as magical or meaningful as it's intended to be.
William Arnold - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Burton has not given his imagination such free rein since Edward Scissorhands, and this stands with that and the equally generous Ed Wood as one of his best movies.
Terry Lawson - Detroit Free Press
A romantic adventure & quirky character comedy, with a warm center, but takes more than 3 licks to get to the center of this treat...largely whimsy with no heart.
Karina Montgomery - Cinerina
We're set-up for one of the grand emotional climaxes in this or any year. The double-duty of the finale is enough to bring any disbeliever around.
Erik Childress - eFilmCritic.com
Burton's floundering has ended. With Big Fish he finds a movie that allows him a much-needed boost of maturity.
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
The ravishing images are marvels, but it is the stories that will capture you, especially when it (literally) all comes together in connection, understanding, and forgiveness.
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
Sometimes, the telling of the tale is more important than the story itself.
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
a work that is both spiritually uplifting and metaphysically playful
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
Big Fish, as with all director Tim Burton's film soirees, assists in transporting us into that little crevice of our minds we'd misplaced somewhere along the way...
Emily Blunt - Blunt Review
The performances all around are quite impressive and even the underwritten parts (such as the adult Sandra) shine through thanks to adept casting.
Peter Sobczynski - Critic Doctor
... an amazing looking film.
Richard Roeper - Ebert & Roeper
The whimsy feels so forced, so labored, so (dare I say it) dull...Big Fish ends up being a film about magic that holds little magic of its own.
Gabriel Shanks - Mixed Reviews
Words can't describe the characters and color that inhabit this film.
Shirley Klass - Fantastica Daily
For Burton, it ranks with Ed Wood and Edward Scissorhands (1990) as one of the director's most emotionally satisfying films.
Timothy Knight - Reel.com
Easily the best work Tim Burton has brought to the big screen and that's exactly where you should see it - a big screen.
Cherryl Dawson and Leigh Ann Palone - TheMovieChicks.com
Though its disappointing to see the singular Burton shoehorning his wierd gifts into such traditional drama, the film has many oddball wonders
Nathaniel Rogers - Film Experience
Burton is so taken with Edward's tales that the son's efforts to find the man who lives behind the facade come off like the machinations of a sulking child.
Jeremy Heilman - MovieMartyr.com
Not just Burton's best film, it's his least flawed -- it really does just bound along, an exemplary, and moving, entertainment from start to finish.
Glenn Kenny - Premiere Magazine
"Big Fish" is mid-level Tim Burton. It's not as good as, say, "Beetlejuice," Edward Scissorhands" or "Ed Wood," but way better than "Mars Attacks" and "Planet of the Apes."
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
For once, in a Tim Burton film, the characters are more important than the art direction.
Scott Nash - Three Movie Buffs
In this story about white man’s land and lies, Forrest Gump Redux swims in bogus racist nostalgia
John Esther - Pasadena Weekly
Lacks credibility by pushing the delusory envelope.
Jeanne Aufmuth - Palo Alto Weekly
Big Fish is Tim Burton at his least imaginative.
Joshua Tyler - CinemaBlend.com
Small potatoes...a disjointed assemblage of extravagant effects, some of which are momentarily delightful but which together don't add up to very much.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Like a child with a wonderful imagination...(Burton) can extrapolate the extraordinary from the ordinary, and through the conviction of his vision, make us see it too.
Rob Blackwelder - SPLICEDWire
Eric Lurio - Greenwich Village Gazette
An original story and high production values, courtesy of one of cinema's most original directors and his team, make Tim Burton's Big Fish a good catch.
Leigh Johnson - Hollywood.com
Burton has found a story written by someone else that meshes with his own imagination as well as anything he's ever written himself.
John Venable - Supercala.com
The high-sheen adaptation of the novel by Daniel Wallace, however choppy, delivers a lovely payoff.
Sheri Linden - Boxoffice Magazine
Burton fancies the fantasy more than he does a meaningful story
David Levine - Filmcritic.com
The best family film since Whale Rider.
Jon Popick - Planet Sick-Boy
Burton spices up the story with touches of his trademarked surrealism, but they're swamped by the trickiness and sentimentality of John August's screenplay, based on Daniel Wallace's novel.
David Sterritt - Christian Science Monitor
Big Fish flounders largely because Burton leaves out the meaning of the story, which was about the seductive power of fiction. In offering no meaning besides pictures, Big Fish has no power at all.
John Anderson - Newsday
Reality is highly over-rated. Go for fantasy. Catch one of the best films of the year!
Susan Granger - Modamag.com
The whole seems disjointed, incoherent and lacking in the startling originality of the other two Edwards (Scissorhands and Wood) who, half a career back, poured from Burton's distended outsider imagination.
Ella Taylor - L.A. Weekly
Works sporadically but then falls into another long lull.
Steve Rhodes - Internet Reviews
Nobody paints a moving picture as fantastically as writer-director Tim Burton. Again, he hooks viewers with the wonderful Big Fish, although the magic sometimes overpowers the storytelling.
Dean Essner - E! Online
Dean Essner - Sunday Times (Australia)
Big Fish is Tim Burton's masterpiece.
Glenn Whipp - Los Angeles Daily News
Visually, it's a charming movie, but for a film that celebrates storytelling it's a bit of a jumble. Sadly, this Big Fish is a flounder.
Liz Braun - Jam! Movies
Burton's best film since Edward Scissorhands.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
A deft blend of fantastic noodling and astute psychological drama.
Maitland McDonagh - TV Guide's Movie Guide
Proving that he is indeed the right man to remake Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, director Tim Burton envisions a world of pure imagination.
Todd Gilchrist - FilmStew.com
It doesn't celebrate preposterousness so much as the reality hiding behind it, and the belief that the tale is always intermingled with he who tells it.
Rob Vaux - Flipside Movie Emporium
Burton's direction ...l is episodic and tonally uneven in its acting, but he socks over an emotional payoff with the film's conclusion.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
The fantasy sequences ... win the audience over with their effusiveness, even as viewers are all too aware of that effusiveness.
Jeffrey Chen - Window to the Movies
Moving and powerful in the way that only a Tim Burton movie can be, operating at the highest emotional pitch but with sentimentality turned way down low.
Eugene Novikov - Film Blather
With storytellers like Finney, who needs TV?
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
In love with telling tales and the transplant heart of the United States.
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
This feels awkward, like a film made by someone who thinks he has something to prove - or maybe to atone for.
Bryant Frazer - Bryant Frazer's Deep Focus
The film didn't move or surprise me per se, but it's definitely a solid addition to Mr. Burton's impressive resume and should fulfill all those who adore him.
JoBlo - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
Big Fish will draw out the story-loving child in you who still enjoys exploring dreams, fantasies, and larger-than-life adventures.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
A deeply personal, lovingly crafted and extremely moving film that will no doubt leave a lump in your throat the size of Alabama.
Scott A. Mantz - Scott Mantz' Movie Reviews
By the time the end credits roll around, there's a distinct possibility that male audience members will find themselves shedding a tear or two.
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
Feelgood without being overly sentimental; romantic without being cloying; moving without being mawkish.
Adrian Hennigan - BBC
If you avoid looking for an admission of fakery, you may find that the exaggeration and the visual wizardry have manifested themselves as family-friendly entertainment.
Jules Brenner - Cinema Signals
By piling on the cuteness, Burton suffocates us with it. It's really a shame, because in most respects, this is a handsomely made movie.
Lewis Beale - Film Journal International
A truly wondrous film of love and renewal.
David Poland - Hot Button
An amazing motion picture experience.."Big Fish" is a very special movie..so enriching, so heartwarming, so funny, so touching and so breathtaking
Clint Morris - Film Threat
Big Fish is love and death, Burton style.
Ed Gonzalez - Slant Magazine
Tim Burton atones for the disastrous Planet of the Apes 2001 with this lyrical and involving family drama.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall