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The Big Year (2011)

PG | | Comedy | 14 October 2011 (USA)
1:54 | Trailer

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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 Carell and Dustin Hoffman were both attached to star at one point. 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 »


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 »


References Field of Dreams (1989) See more »


This Could All Be Yours
Written by Ryan Miller, Adam Gardner, Brian Rosenworcel and Joe Pisapia
Performed by Guster
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A nice surprise.
15 October 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I enjoyed this film. Jack Black can actually act. Who knew? And Steve Martin hasn't done anything this appealing since "Shopgirl." It's got some funny moments, and at least two laugh-out-loud moments, but mostly it's a movie with heart. And Black's character will tug at yours a little. Beautifully shot and sharply edited. Lovely scenery and wonderful music. I hope this is still in theaters at Thanksgiving, because it would be the perfect family outing (after devouring the Butterball species). The audience in my theater enjoyed it and some even applauded at the end. Eight is an honest vote, though I was tempted to give it a nine.

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