Watch Trailer
The Big Year (2011)
U.S. Version | 01:54
Watch Trailer
MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 225 this week

The Big Year (2011)

PG  |   |  Comedy  |  14 October 2011 (USA)
6.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.2/10 from 32,336 users   Metascore: 53/100
Reviews: 124 user | 109 critic | 29 from Metacritic.com

Two bird enthusiasts try to defeat the cocky, cutthroat world record holder in a year-long bird-spotting competition.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (book)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

Family Entertainment Guide

Check out IMDb's comprehensive Family Entertainment Guide for recommendations for movies and TV series for every age and every viewing platform.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 28 titles
created 19 Sep 2011
 
a list of 26 titles
created 25 Feb 2012
 
a list of 40 titles
created 06 Dec 2012
 
a list of 23 titles
created 27 May 2013
 
a list of 27 titles
created 22 Jun 2013
 

Related Items

Search for "The Big Year" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Big Year (2011)

The Big Year (2011) on IMDb 6.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Big Year.

User Polls

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Three kids hire a low-budget bodyguard to protect them from the playground bully.

Director: Steven Brill
Stars: Owen Wilson, Josh Peck, Alex Frost
Hall Pass (2011)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Rick and Fred, two husbands who are having difficulty in their marriages, are given a Hall Pass by their wives: for one week, they can do whatever they want.

Directors: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly
Stars: Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Christina Applegate
Comedy | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A dark comedy about two people's chase around Los Angeles to find a missing cooler

Directors: Ernesto Foronda, Silas Howard
Stars: Jim Parsons, Harold Perrineau, Sung Kang
Bernie (2011)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In small-town Texas, an affable mortician strikes up a friendship with a wealthy widow, though when she starts to become controlling, he goes to great lengths to separate himself from her grasp.

Director: Richard Linklater
Stars: Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, Matthew McConaughey
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A best man (Wilson) stays on as a houseguest with the newlyweds, much to the couple's annoyance.

Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Stars: Kate Hudson, Owen Wilson, Matt Dillon
Bowfinger (1999)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

When a desperate movie producer fails to get a major star for his bargain basement film, he decides to shoot the film secretly around him.

Director: Frank Oz
Stars: Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, Heather Graham
Are You Here (2013)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Two childhood best friends, one a superficial womanizer and the other a barely functioning bipolar, embark on a road trip back to their hometown after one of them learns his estranged father has died.

Director: Matthew Hoffman Weiner
Stars: Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis, Amy Poehler
Adventure | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Insp. Jacques Clouseau teams up with a squad of International detectives who are just as bumbling as he is. Their mission: Stop a globe-trotting thief who specializes in stealing historical artifacts.

Director: Harald Zwart
Stars: Steve Martin, Jean Reno, Emily Mortimer
Year One (2009)
Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

After being banished from their tribe, two hunter-gatherers encounter Biblical characters and eventually wind up in the city of Sodom.

Director: Harold Ramis
Stars: Jack Black, Michael Cera, Olivia Wilde
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Luke Wilson plays a good-hearted ex-con who gets a job in a retirement hotel. Three elderly residents help him win back his girlfriend as he lends them a hand in fighting hotel corruption.

Directors: Andrew Wilson, Luke Wilson
Stars: Luke Wilson, Eva Mendes, Seymour Cassel
Adventure | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Bumbling Inspector Clouseau must solve the murder of a famous soccer coach and find out who stole the infamous Pink Panther diamond.

Director: Shawn Levy
Stars: Steve Martin, Kevin Kline, Jean Reno
Promised Land II (2004)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

"Promised Land" tells the story of a group of young unwitting Estonian girls smuggled through Egypt to be auctioned off as prostitutes in Israel, and of their initiation into this trade of ... See full summary »

Director: Amos Gitai
Stars: Rosamund Pike, Diana Bespechni, Hanna Schygulla
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Historical Montage Narrator (voice)
...
...
...
Vicki
...
Vicki's Fiancée
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Greg Kean ...
...
Birder's Daughter (as Eva Allan)
Edit

Storyline

In birding, a Big Year is seeing or hearing as many different species of birds as possible in a calendar year. Three men pursue the Birder of the Year title: Kenny Bostick, who's seen a record 732 in a past big year, Stu Preissler, newly retired, and Brad Harris, who narrates the story. Life gets in the way: Bostick's wife wants a baby, Stu's firm needs him for sensitive negotiations, and Brad, divorced and underemployed at 36, has an encouraging mom and a disapproving dad. They criss-cross the continent (including a trip to Alaska's westernmost island), follow migration patterns, and head for storms that force birds to ground. Who will win, at what cost, and with what rewards? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for language and some sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 October 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Grande Ano  »

Box Office

Budget:

$41,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,251,884 (USA) (14 October 2011)

Gross:

$7,204,138 (USA) (16 December 2011)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Steve Martin wrote much of the music in his 2011 album,"Rare Bird Alert" (Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers) while on the set for this movie. See more »

Goofs

Attu island is not closer to Tokyo than Anchorage. Anchorage is 1440 miles from the island, Tokyo is closer to 2000 miles away. See more »

Quotes

On Screen Text: [first lines, the text that appears on screen] This is a true story.
On Screen Text: Only the facts have been changed.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the end credits, photos of every bird found by the winner are shown. See more »


Soundtracks

(If I Had) A Sandwich with You
Written by Dan DiPrima and Alex Marlowe
Performed by Zombie Bank
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The Big Year Soars Above Expectations
16 February 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Big Year's low IMDb rating and box-office take had me worried that this film would be a "lame-duck." Turns out, this movie is really good.

I am not a "birder" and know very little about birds other than what I find on a typical restaurant menu. The beginning of The Big Year made me think I would learn a little bit more about birds, but was pleasantly surprised to learn that the film is not about birds at all; it is about people, how we relate to one another, and the things that drive us to do the things we do.

The characters were more three-dimensional than those of any other movie I have seen in a long time. I think a lot of people are thrown off because we often don't know who to "root for" in this film. The characters seem like real people, albeit participating in a sport most of us do not understand and have never even thought about trying. I hesitate to even call birding a sport because there are no spectators, trophies or prizes involved.

Jack Black gives his finest performance ever imo, playing an average working-class guy named Brad who has a crazy obsession with birds. His dream of spending an entire "Big Year" spotting and photographing as many birds as possible seems odd to us (and Brad's family), but we soon learn that he is not alone with this obsession. All throughout the film, Brad offers glimpses of how birds and humans are more alike than different. Jack Black nails the dialog which manages to be insightful while avoiding any semblance of pretentiousness.

Owen Wilson plays a married contractor named Kenny who takes more pride in his world record "Big Year" than anything else in the world including his trying-to-conceive wife. He gives a believable, nuanced performance as someone who will go to any length to protect his record, yet he is far from an average scumbag villain. He reminds me more of a prescription drug addict that I might feel sorry for. Kenny is so blinded by his addiction to "birding" that he cannot see the proverbial forest for the trees.

Steve Martin gives a beautifully balanced performance as an aging business owner who has always dreamed of trying for the Big Year birding record. Martin is known mostly as an on screen "wild and crazy guy" but in The Big Year, he remains subdued as he has in previous films such as Grand Canyon and Parenthood. If you liked him in those movies, you will like him in The Big Year as well.

The Big Year was not meant to be a gut-busting comedy, but there are several humorous moments. This movie also manages to be quite touching, thought-provoking, sometimes uplifting, occasionally heart-rending, and beautiful throughout. A lot like life except with better direction, better actors, great dialog, and fantastic cinematography.


41 of 57 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
One of the worst movies I've ever seen poprocksncoke0013
5.9 Are you kidding me!!! shaneuk-1
The most expensive hobby ever? ericjstacey
Some goofs noticed in this movie Canonshooter-1
How will the birds be depicted? mhsmocktrial
BLAME THE MARKETING DEPT. FOR YOUR OPENING kmteam
Discuss The Big Year (2011) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?