6.2/10
41,229
152 user 106 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)
Reviews
Popularity
3,989 ( 1,025)
1 win. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

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

More Like This 

Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

When a lonely guy meets a woman on the internet who happens to be in prison, she breaks out to get him to prove her innocence, and proceeds to wreak havoc on his middle-class life.

Director: Adam Shankman
Stars: Steve Martin, Queen Latifah, Eugene Levy
Sgt. Bilko (1996)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Sgt. Bilko is a well-liked conman in charge of the army base's motor pool, developing a hover tank and unofficially of gambling etc. One man hates Bilko and he's coming to inspect the base for possible closure.

Director: Jonathan Lynn
Stars: Steve Martin, Dan Aykroyd, Phil Hartman
Roxanne (1987)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The large-nosed C.D. Bales is in love with the beautiful Roxanne; she falls for his personality but another man's looks.

Director: Fred Schepisi
Stars: Steve Martin, Daryl Hannah, Rick Rossovich
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

The remake of the 1970 Neil Simon comedy follows the adventures of married couple Henry and Nancy Clark as they are vexed by misfortune while in New York City for a job interview.

Director: Sam Weisman
Stars: Steve Martin, Goldie Hawn, John Cleese
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
Bernie (2011)
Biography | Comedy | Crime
    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
My Blue Heaven I (1990)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An all too uptight FBI agent must protect a larger than life mobster with a heart of gold, currently under witness protection in the suburbs.

Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: Steve Martin, Rick Moranis, Joan Cusack
Shopgirl (2005)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A film adaptation of Steve Martin's novel about a complex love triangle between a bored salesgirl, a wealthy businessman and an aimless young man.

Director: Anand Tucker
Stars: Steve Martin, Claire Danes, Jason Schwartzman
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Two salesmen whose careers have been torpedoed by the digital age find their way into a coveted internship at Google, where they must compete with a group of young, tech-savvy geniuses for a shot at employment.

Director: Shawn Levy
Stars: Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Rose Byrne
Envy (2004)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

A man becomes increasingly jealous of his friend's newfound success.

Director: Barry Levinson
Stars: Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Rachel Weisz
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Upon learning that their mother has been lying to them for years about their allegedly deceased father, two fraternal twin brothers hit the road in order to find him.

Director: Lawrence Sher
Stars: Owen Wilson, Ed Helms, Glenn Close
Cruel Shoes (2020)
Animation | Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

A woman goes into a shoe store to try - the cruel shoes.

Director: Kevan Peterson
Stars: Steve Martin
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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's cast includes two Oscar winners: Dianne Wiest and Anjelica Huston, and two Oscar nominees: Rosamund Pike and JoBeth Williams. See more »

Goofs

On Day 1, Brad only has one species - out his office window. Done for humor but completely inexplicable for any birder in one day. Even worse, in the image of gulls used to show the audience the "one species" - there are actually three different species of gulls. What would have been funnier and more accurate would be if Brad was looking out his work window and saw only pigeons or starlings. The audience would recognize, empathize and laugh at that situation. See more »

Quotes

Stu Preissler: [Upon seeing his business associates approaching] Hey, look everyone. Vultures!
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

Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.13 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

The Devil Never Sleeps
Written by Iron & Wine (as Sam Beam)
Performed by Iron & Wine
Courtesy of Sub Pop Records
See more »

User Reviews

 
A comedy without great laughs, but lots of birds instead...
18 March 2012 | by paul_haakonsenSee all my reviews

Initially I had expected this to be somewhat more of a laughing-comedy, given the three headlining names on the poster; Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson. However, "The Big Year" was much better than just that. Instead of being just another comedy, this movie was more meaningful and profound.

"The Big Year" is a warm story about friendship and fulfilling your dreams and chasing after what you want. Though it may come at a cost, and just what are you willing to sacrifice to obtain your dreams? There weren't really any major laughs throughout the movie, but still the story manages to maintain your interest and you want to sit around to see what happens next. The movie manages to get you submerged into the race between the competitors in the birding competition, and when they do manage to catch a glimpse of that rare bird, you feel like you are right there with them.

"The Big Year" is actually holds one of Jack Black's best performances, proving that he is more than just your average standard comedian actor. And the on-screen chemistry between Martin, Wilson and Black is really working quite well.

"The Big Year" is a movie full of beautiful shots of nature, scenery, and of course, birds. I think you will appreciate this movie a tad more if you are into birding yourself. I am not into that, but I still found the movie to be rather good, because of the warm and compelling story that it told.

However, I doubt that this is the type of movie that you will watch a second time around, unless you are into birding, because there actually is very little leverage in the storyline to support a second watching. But still, if you haven't seen the movie yet, sit down and watch it, because it is actually a rather beautiful movie.


13 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 152 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

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 »

Edit

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 »

Contribute to This Page

Your Next Binge Watch Awaits

Looking for something to watch? Check out IMDb's "What to Watch" series to find out what's really worth watching.



Recently Viewed