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The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)

R  |   |  Adventure, Comedy, Drama  |  25 December 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 131,138 users   Metascore: 62/100
Reviews: 628 user | 255 critic | 38 from Metacritic.com

With a plan to exact revenge on a mythical shark that killed his partner, oceanographer Steve Zissou rallies a crew that includes his estranged wife, a journalist, and a man who may or may not be his son.


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3 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Niels Koizumi ...
Pawel Wdowczak ...
Intern #1


When his partner is killed by the mysterious and possibly nonexistent Jaguar Shark, Steve Zissou and his Team Zissou crew set off for an expedition to hunt down the creature. Along with his estranged wife, a beautiful journalist and a co-pilot who could possibly be Zissou's son, the crew set off for one wild expedition. Written by FilmFanUK

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The deeper you go, the weirder life gets

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some drug use, violence and partial nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




Release Date:

25 December 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Life Aquatic  »

Box Office


$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$113,085 (USA) (10 December 2004)


$154,517 (Australia) (18 March 2005)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The red woolen caps worn by the characters are a reference to Jacques-Yves Cousteau, famed underwater film-maker and co-inventor of the modern aqualung. See more »


In the fax to Operation Hennessey alerting him of the alarm going off at the sea lab, Headquarters is spelled "Headquaters". See more »


[first lines]
[in Italian]
Festival Director: Ladies and gentlemen, we are very pleased to welcome you to the world premiere of Part 1 of the newest film from a great favorite of ours here at Loquasto, Mr. Steve Zissou. A brief Q & A will immediately follow the screening. Thank you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the end credits the filmmakers acknowledge that the real Steve Zissou is a prominent attorney in New York City specializing in complex federal litigation. See more »


Referenced in Family Guy: The Tan Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2007) See more »


Rebel Rebel
Written by David Bowie
Performed by Seu Jorge
See more »

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User Reviews

A Strange Film Hard To Rate On One Viewng
16 December 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I find this a hard movie to rate. Maybe a second viewing would make it easier. It's a odd film: one of these low-key black humor films which is a mixture of drama and comedy. What set this apart were a few other shocking scenes of violence, something not normally in this type of movie. For a comedy, albeit a tongue-in-cheek one, that violence doesn't seem to fit, but it makes the film all the more intriguing.

At times I was totally bored with this movie and at other times fascinated. I know one thing: this is a bizarre story! That automatically means it's a good vehicle for Bill Murray, who excels at wacky characters, event he low-key ones as he sometimes plays (i.e. Lost In Translation, The Royal Tenebaums, etc.). Speaker of the latter, this movie was written and directed by Wes Anderson, the same man who did "Tenenbaums." If you saw that, you have an idea of what you might get here, although I thought Royal Tenenbaums was far funnier.

At 118 minutes, this a bit long for what it offers. I'd like to have seen it 15 minutes shorter with a tighter script. But it does offer some good photography in addition to the strange story. This movie, as they say, is not for all tastes.

52 of 87 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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