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The Big Year (2011)

PG  |   |  Comedy  |  14 October 2011 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 32,654 users   Metascore: 53/100
Reviews: 125 user | 109 critic | 29 from

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 <>

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 »


Many of the autumn shots (October, November) are shown with all the trees and other vegetation in full summer foliage. See more »


Stu Preissler: [Sitting in a bar] Bostick saw snowcocks.
Brad Harris: I can't afford snowcocks.
Stu Preissler: Snowcocks are on me.
Brad Harris: I can't even afford this beer.
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 »


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

the big year reaches inside
20 January 2012 | by (cincinnati) – See all my reviews

i was hesitant to watch the big year. i saw the critic reviews and saw that it flopped horribly at the box office. but i could not resist to watch it because i like jack black and love Owen Wilson.

i am more than happy i decided to watch the big year. i gave it a 9 out of 10. i thought it was well written and the cast did a nice job of drawing you into the story. i did not feel like i was watch jack black or Owen Wilson, i was watching brad and bostick.

i knew nothing about "birding". if you do then you would definitely love this movie. if you don't , don't worry you don't have to. i didn't and i still enjoyed it very much.

the movie was not too long or too short. there was not too much comedy or a lack of it either. the movie was the perfect length , had just the right amount of comedy and a perfect touch of drama.

this movie will make you chuckle a few times, make you sympathize with the characters and choke you up a couple times.

i highly recommend you watch it and enjoy it.

22 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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