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      The Big Year

      PG Released Oct 14, 2011 1h 40m Comedy List
      42% Tomatometer 102 Reviews 41% Audience Score 10,000+ Ratings Three men find that they have come to a turning point. Stu (Steve Martin) faces a late-life crisis, Kenny (Owen Wilson) is in the grip of a midlife crisis, and Brad (Jack Black) is wallowing in a no-life crisis. Determined to kick-start their stagnant lives, Stu, Kenny and Brad decide to enter a prestigious contest. During the course of one calendar year, the three friendly rivals criss-cross North America in a quest to count more species of birds than anyone else. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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      The Big Year

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      The Big Year

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      Critics Consensus

      Though made with care and affection for its characters, The Big Year plods along, rarely reaching any comedic heights.

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      Critics Reviews

      View All (102) Critics Reviews
      Roger Moore Tribune News Service Faintly amusing, not wacky at all, considering this cast. Rated: 2.5/4 Dec 31, 2012 Full Review Sara Michelle Fetters MovieFreak.com The movie roams through its numerous picturesque locations with a pleasant enough grace, while Frankel adds just enough idiosyncratic musical and visual quirks to keep things interesting. Rated: 3/4 Jan 27, 2012 Full Review Andrew Pulver Guardian It's theoretically possible for laughs to be gouged out of this scenario, but you won't find them here: every move, every joke, every emotion is heaved lumberingly into place. Rated: 1/5 Dec 1, 2011 Full Review Richard Propes TheIndependentCritic.com All three actors play their usual stock characters here. Rated: 2.5/4.0 Sep 3, 2020 Full Review Eric Melin Scene-Stealers.com The Big Year is completely predictable and full of way too many bird-watching montages set to inspiring music, but it's such an upbeat, cheery film that it's pretty hard to resist. Rated: 2.5/4 Feb 23, 2012 Full Review Kevin Carr 7M Pictures If you can get past the obviously obscure subject matter, you'll find a really sweet film beneath. Rated: 3/5 Feb 13, 2012 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      Stephen O Low stakes plot. Endearing performances from the three leads but never gets out of first gear. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/21/24 Full Review Daniel M With an incredible cast I was excited to watch a funny and entertaining movie, but it was boring and didn't care about the story too much. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 02/19/24 Full Review Bill S Huge waste of time, not the worst thing ever but it's still extremely boring and unwatchable. Rated 0.5 out of 5 stars 01/25/24 Full Review M R This movie is fair. It's one of those quaint, quirky comedies. The subject is interesting to me but I could see that not being the same for everyone. It's an insight to a world someone like myself may not see otherwise. Rating: 7/10 Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 11/09/23 Full Review Rich S While not a comedy despite its cast, this movie rocked. I'm not a Brider and still loved it. Great filming, great scenes, cute story and lots of birds! Rated 5 out of 5 stars 10/23/23 Full Review Adam E Loosely based on the real experiences of three birders, The Big Year is a comedy from 2011 starring Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson in which their characters compete to beat the Big Year record by trying to see and identify as many species of birds as possible in a single year. Despite boasting an excellent cast of comedians including the likes of Rashida Jones and Jim Parsons, The Big Year was a big box-office bomb earning only about $7M on a $41M budget which may account for the fact that it has mostly been forgotten. Of course, the bird-watching theme was always going to be a hard sell, especially seeing as this movie didn't present itself as a Zoolander-style farce. The Big Year follows three people who put an entire year aside to try and beat the record of most species of birds seen in a year. A record set by Kenny (Owen Wilson) who also decides to participate in order to try and make sure that he keeps his record intact. Steve Martin plays Stu, a wealthy CEO ready to retire whose dream it always was to do a Big Year, while Jack Black is Brad, a computer programmer who lives with his parents and who puts everything he has money-wise into this project, much to his father's disapproval. Stu and Brad become friends along the way before hitting a few speed bumps, while Kenny attempts to mislead his competitors and power through despite experiencing issues in his own relationship. There is definitely a goofy comedy in there somewhere and you do get brief flashes of this when the cast throws in some physical comedy, or a snappy line, but The Big Year strives to tell a heartfelt story with a positive message which is both commendable and, tragically, its biggest misplay. With subject matter this niche and ripe for comedy one can easily imagine a hilarious goofball spoof about birders taking a competition like this way too seriously like in Rat Race or Dodgeball so turning this potential laugh riot into an earnest "coming of middle age" story with rom-com elements was always going to clash with expectations. And while, yes, the film's tone does feel a little unclear for the first half of the film, The Big Year does settle into a genuinely sweet and thoughtful little story about living your passions and making choices in life. The excellent main and supporting cast handles both the funny parts and the more emotional moments very well, the story is engaging and moves at a brisk pace so this a competent movie with tons of charm and an overall good vibe. And yet, as much as you want to love The Big Year, it's never quite funny or heartbreaking enough to really sell itself completely. This is a cute movie with a thoroughly likeable cast, a lot of heart and a nice message so it's certainly deserving of more attention than it initially received, just don't expect it to blow you away. Enjoyable. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 10/13/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      The Big Year

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      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis Three men find that they have come to a turning point. Stu (Steve Martin) faces a late-life crisis, Kenny (Owen Wilson) is in the grip of a midlife crisis, and Brad (Jack Black) is wallowing in a no-life crisis. Determined to kick-start their stagnant lives, Stu, Kenny and Brad decide to enter a prestigious contest. During the course of one calendar year, the three friendly rivals criss-cross North America in a quest to count more species of birds than anyone else.
      Director
      David Frankel
      Producer
      Karen Rosenfelt, Stuart Cornfeld, Curtis Hanson
      Screenwriter
      Howard Franklin
      Distributor
      20th Century Fox
      Production Co
      Red Hour Films, Deuce Three Prods., Sunswept Entertainment
      Rating
      PG (Some Sensuality|Language)
      Genre
      Comedy
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Oct 14, 2011, Wide
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Jul 1, 2013
      Box Office (Gross USA)
      $7.2M
      Runtime
      1h 40m
      Sound Mix
      Dolby, SDDS
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