6.2/10
40,867
151 user 105 critic

The Big Year (2011)

PG | | Comedy | 14 October 2011 (USA)
Trailer
1:54 | Trailer
Two bird enthusiasts try to defeat the cocky, cutthroat world record holder in a year-long bird-spotting competition.

Director:

David Frankel

Writers:

Howard Franklin (screenplay), Mark Obmascik (book)
1 win. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Cleese ... Narrator (voice)
Jack Black ... Brad Harris
Zahf Paroo ... Prasad
Stacey Scowley ... Vicki
Michael Karl Richards ... Vicki's Fiancée
Owen Wilson ... Kenny Bostick
Rosamund Pike ... Jessica
Steve Martin ... Stu Preissler
Kevin Pollak ... Jim Gittelson
Joel McHale ... Barry Loomis
JoBeth Williams ... Edith
Paul Campbell ... Tony
Cindy Busby ... Susie
Greg Kean ... Computer Birder
Eva Bourne ... Birder's Daughter (as Eva Allan)
Learn more

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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:

View content advisory »
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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

The Pink-footed Goose, a North Atlantic species which occasionally vagrates from its European breeding range to the Northeastern coastal states, has never been seen in Texas or Colorado as shown in the film. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Alternate Versions

UK BluRay sports an Extended Cut of the film, adding a good six minutes of minor background information on the three main characters and special birds. It also replaces Jack Black's narration of the story with a new narration by John Cleese who also receives a credit in the opening title sequence. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.14 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Surfin' Bird
Written by Al Frazier (as Albert Frazier), John Harris, Turner Wilson Jr. and Carl White
Performed by The Trashmen
Courtesy of Sundazed Music Inc.
See more »

User Reviews

 
A nice surprise.
15 October 2011 | by casademitchSee 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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

USA | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 October 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Big Year See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$41,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,251,884, 16 October 2011

Gross USA:

$7,204,138

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,179,416
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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