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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 129,854 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?


The character of Wolodarsky was named after director Wes Anderson's close friend Wallace Wolodarsky, probably best-known as a writer on The Simpsons (1989). See more »


When Hennessey is negotiating with Steve on his boat, the angle of his Powerbook's screen - well out of reach - changes between shots. 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 Fame (2009) See more »


Gut Feeling
Written by Mark Mothersbaugh and Robert Mothersbaugh
Performed by Devo
Courteys of Warner Bros. Records Inc.
By arrangemenet with Warner Strategic Marketing and Courtesy of Virgin Records Limited
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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