Critic Reviews



Based on 20 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
USA Today
Unpretentious as it is, Big takes you beyond laughter, to where you live. And there's nothing small about that. [3 Jun 1988, p.1D]
Boston Globe
Big is an example of what has become rare in Hollywood -- a self-confident comedy that transforms an old gimmick into a new, vivid experience. It's as funny for the kids as it is for adults and, for that reason alone, can't be recommended too highly. [3 Jun 1988, p.33]
Big is a winning, charming film, primarily because Hanks makes it work. He is extraordinarily convincing as an adolescent who suddenly finds himself dealing with a new, adult body, responsibilities, and a romantic relationship, while simultaneously trying to survive vicious corporate infighting.
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
Sure, the premise is identical age-reversal comedies, but this one uses a much higher octane, animating a tired idea with a timeless script, and the result is pop humor at its most appealing - wit and charm spiced with a measured pinch of farce and just the right hint of melancholy. [3 Jun 1988, p.E1]
Although Big is generally lighthearted, it rarely plays for stupid laughs. There are a few of these, but the film avoids sacrificing character integrity for the cheap guffaw.
Los Angeles Times
The greatest thing about Big is that its makers have known how to end it in a thoroughly satisfying fashion, which is always the challenge-and often the stumbling block-of fantasy. In never confusing what is child-like with childishness, Big is actually a refreshingly grown-up comedy-for the entire family. [3 Jun 1988, p.1]
Wall Street Journal
I am glad to be able to say that all these clever and talented people have actually come up with the goods. The biggest goodie is Tom Hanks as the little boy after his wish has been granted. Much of the comedy in this movie is physical. Without forcing the matter Mr. Hanks has a startling ability to take on the mannerisms and facial expressions of an adolescent. [2 Jun 1988, p.1]
As a crowd-pleasing comedy it works. But it really could have been so much more.
A 13-year-old junior high kid Josh (David Moscow) is transformed into a 35-year-old's body (Tom Hanks) by a carnival wishing machine in this pic which unspools with enjoyable genuineness and ingenuity.
Big features believable young teen-age mannerisms from the two real boys in its cast, and this only makes Mr. Hanks's funny, flawless impression that much more adorable. This really is the performance to beat.
San Francisco Chronicle
Sappiness and romance always are fine with me, and Big is a good example of a movie that effortlessly blends sweetness and fun - it feels a little like stumbling on a picnic of smiles. [3 Jun 1988, p.E1]
Big moves with polish and assurance. It's too soon to tell whether Marshall has anything of her own to say, but Big is proof that she can handle the Hollywood machine, and that is no small thing.
Penny Marshall brings a logic to the premise that is sustained through most of the movie. And where the other movies snickered at the sexual possibilities in the idea, she faces up to them with both candor and taste.
Big has a warmhearted sweetness that's invigorating; it makes you want to break out the Legos. It's only near the end of the film, when Hanks has to play the scenes for pathos, that the movie becomes cloying.
Chicago Sun-Times
It's too involved in administering its reversion fantasy to acquisition-guilty yuppies to cast an eye on its own venture status. And the contradictions don't stop there. That this celebration of the Peter Pan syndrome was directed by a woman, Penny Marshall, adds another layer of dishonesty. [3 Jun 1988, p.31]

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