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The Big Year (2011)

PG  |   |  Comedy  |  14 October 2011 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 32,681 users   Metascore: 53/100
Reviews: 125 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.



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


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



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

14 October 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Grande Ano  »

Box Office


$41,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


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 »


[from trailer]
Brad Harris: There is going to be major fallout in a few hours.
Bill Clemont: Nuclear fallout?
Brad Harris: Bird fallout.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Features Today (1952) See more »


Away with Pie
Written by Dan DiPrima and Alex Marlowe
Performed by Zombie Bank
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

a high quality film
16 June 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

What's that expression? ... "All that's necessary for evil to prevail, is for good men to do nothing"... or something like that.

Well I agree with prashanta_guha: "people's taste in movies is getting worse by the year. They seem to give high ratings to mindless movies and fail to appreciate the good ones."

But maybe it's just that it's mainly idiots writing these reviews, and not enough good men? So this film made me sign up and write; this is my first review.

I absolutely loved this film. It's charming, warm and funny.

There are reviews on here about it not being funny enough or no real love story etc, but therein lies its beauty.

There's no over-the-top Hollywood slapstick comedy, no over-the-top romantic storyline, it's a little birdie but not too birdie. And so you're left with a subtle, very real, quality film.

I would say that whoever made the trailer should be fired as it has no reflection on the film, creates no desire to see the film and no doubt was the cause of the complete flop in theatre ticket sales. The film is not about mid-life crises. It's a simple film about hobbies and how they can affect your life, as well as being what all films essentially are; a story to entertain you for an hour and a half.

On top of that, I was delighted and amused to learn that this film is not too far off a true story. Take a look on Wikipedia, a big year is real thing in the ornithology world, and there is a world record holder with 745!

So if you like this film, write a review and let's get the rating up closer to what it truly deserves.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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One of the worst movies I've ever seen poprocksncoke0013
5.9 Are you kidding me!!! shaneuk-1
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The most expensive hobby ever? ericjstacey
How will the birds be depicted? mhsmocktrial
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