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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 129,828 users   Metascore: 62/100
Reviews: 628 user | 253 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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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
See  »

Did You Know?


While being fitted for her pregnancy prosthetic - which involved being wrapped in a full body cast - Cate Blanchett fainted. The actress was rather surprised by this as she had never fainted before and learned in the next few days that she actually was pregnant. See more »


As Steve is leaving Hennessey's ship, you see the shot from inside, the door is open and though you can't see out, light coming in, indicating that it is nice and sunny out. As Steve leaves, you see outside, it is raining and there is no light to shine inside the vessel. 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

In the scene of the credits where the crew boards the Belafonte, Ned can clearly be seen at the top of the ship in full pilot's uniform smoking his pipe. See more »


References Jules and Jim (1962) See more »


Space Oddity
Written by David Bowie
Performed by Seu Jorge
See more »

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User Reviews

Enjoy It For What It Is
7 December 2004 | by (Ventura, CA) – See all my reviews

This story is a lighthearted adventure comedy. I too am guilty of being one of those Wes Anderson fans who salivate over all the small details but while watching this I quickly detached myself from the director and his style and previous work and just let "The Life Aquatic" take me along. And that's what you have to do. It's different from his other stuff in that it's more plot driven. There are some wonderful characters but they have to deal more with outside complications than internal struggles. It is similar in tone and style to Robert Altman's "M*A*S*H," what with all the juggling of fighting and death (serious themes dealt with in an objective comedic manner). There's also some Fellini moments (it was mostly filmed at Cinecitta). I loved it. Don't go into this film as a biased hipster Wes Anderson fan, clean the slate and take it with an open mind. It's certainly sillier than Rushmore or Tenenbaums, but it's just as ambitious and exponentially courageous with shots and tone.

To reiterate: more action oriented, funny as all get out, and quite possibly the funnest I've had in a theater all year.

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