The Big Year Reviews

  • The characters are just as two-dimensional as they sound, but damned if Wilson, Martin, and Black don't make those dimensions pop.

    Owen Gleiberman — Entertainment Weekly

  • Like birding itself, "The Big Year" rewards patience. It respects both the integrity and the eccentricity of the avian obsession, and it communicates something of the fascinating abundance and weirdness of the animals themselves.

    A.O. Scott — New York Times

  • This gently charming comedy about a trio of birders is based on a winning premise, likable performances and stunning natural vistas.

    Claudia Puig — USA Today

  • "The Big Year" has heart and sweetness to spare - but as any birder will tell you, focus and energy count, too.

    Ann Hornaday — Washington Post

  • Black tamps down the runty obnoxiousness, Wilson the Malibu smarm, Martin the pandering. They're good company. So, in its fubsy way, is the movie.

    Ty Burr — Boston Globe

  • Failing even to attempt genuinely humorous gags or scenarios, and incapable of conveying the thrill of its obsessive pastime or the majesty of the animals themselves, this feel-good male weepie remains comedically and dramatically grounded.

    Nick Schager — Village Voice

  • A genial comedy with more power under its wings than it seems. This one could have flown over the cuckoo's nest, or smacked into a glass pane, but instead lands in the middle of the road where quirky and popular meet.

    Joe Neumaier — New York Daily News

  • Its charms are as small as its singing feathered friends, but they're real enough, and gentle enough, to lift it and give it flight.

    Amy Biancolli — Houston Chronicle

  • The Big Year has charms: Not a jawdropping flock of them, but a number of sweet insights and warm laughs just the same.

    Lisa Kennedy — Denver Post

  •'s a genuinely engaging and amiable film that convincingly brings the viewer into a world that is very likely not his own

    Glenn Kenny — MSN Movies

  • Unfortunately, these comic geniuses are kept caged by the wan script and direction. The best gag in the film is the opening title card; the best joke, a throwaway by a day player.

    Richard Brody — New Yorker

  • [It] has an innocence and charm that will make it appealing for families, especially those who have had enough whales and dolphins for the year.

    Roger Ebert — Chicago Sun-Times

  • It has barely enough pulse to power a hummingbird.

    Michael Phillips — Chicago Tribune

  • With ambitions greater than comedy and results that fall short of character study, The Big Year is neither fish nor fowl.

    Carrie Rickey — Philadelphia Inquirer

  • You doubt that even the people making it enjoyed it. A better title would be "The Big Yawn."

    Colin Covert — Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • People watching birds is a nice thing. People watching a movie about people watching birds is sort of a snore.

    Tom Long — Detroit News

  • You get something you don't anticipate -- and that's not a bad thing.

    Bill Goodykoontz — Arizona Republic

  • The most inviting thing in the movie was the exit door.

    Rex Reed — New York Observer

  • A genial if slow-moving, almost sleepy comedy.

    Brian Lowry — Variety

  • This movie stubbornly refuses to take flight, or generate more than a few chuckles.

    Lou Lumenick — New York Post

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