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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 131,237 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?


Seymour Cassel has a brief role as Esteban, the friend of Steve Zissou who is eaten by the Jaguar shark. According to Roger Ebert, Cassel once told him in an interview many years previously that he had always wanted to be eaten by a shark in a movie. See more »


When the crew is examining the sunken aircraft, we see the black box which is labeled "Black Box". In reality, airline "black box" flight recorders are colored bright orange. 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 »


Featured in Honest Trailers: Peter Pan (1953) (2015) See more »


30 Century Man
Written by Scott Walker (as Scott Engel)
Performed by Scott Walker
Courtesy of Mercury Records Limited
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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User Reviews

meaning of this movie
21 April 2006 | by (Czech Republic) – See all my reviews

Of course I cannot say the meaning of this movie but I want to offer you a view you can look at this movie again and I am sure most of you will be surprised by this perspective.

Do you remember (especially you boys)when you were small? When you guys had your "gang" with leader (Steve), when you got a new boy (Ned) to your gang and some guy was very jealous on him? (Klaus) I am sure one of your rivals was decent boy from a rich family (Hennessey). Maybe you got very smart girl among you who could solve everything (Eleanor). You could fight with other gangs with guns that could shoot sparkles again and again and nobody got hurt. And when you jump over small pond (sorry huge swamp) there were plenty of leeches on you? Oh, I love that movie, now I know why I felt so sentimental when I watched that movie first time - it reminds me my childhood so so much. Our "gang" had secret plan - to get big boat somewhere, load it with food, guns and go to Cuba. We didn't have scientific dreams :-)

I am sure that in this movie Wes Anderson tries to picture his adventurous dreams when he was small. Now I understand why there is an old man asking for signature of child's sci-fi books, why there is a letter from small boy, why Cate Blanchett is saying at the end of the movie: he will be twelve in eleven and half and Steve responds: that's my favorite age. That was my favorite age, too Steve... I take this movies as a wonderful tribute to childhood (mostly boyish I guess) where great adventure was all around us.

Do not get me wrong: I did not discover this idea, I was told about it and for me it perfectly fits together and I love this movie even more!

By the way: very similar movie tricks made Czech director Karel Zeman 40 years ago in B&W. Highly recommended

104 of 160 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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