OK for kids 11+
Sweet travelogue/comedy is tame but not aimed at kids.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this good-natured comedy about birding enthusiasts may initially disappoint fans expecting the usual shtick from co-stars Jack Black and Owen Wilson. But they'll get over it, because what's left is an offbeat, gentle, but still hilarious movie about finding your bliss ... with balance. (There's lots to learn about birds, too.) Although the movie is rated PG, and the content is mild overall -- there's some swearing (including "s--t") and some sexual references -- this movie is more likely to appeal to older tweens, teens, and adults than younger kids.
- Families can talk about the movie's messages. What is it saying about friendship? About competition?
- How does the movie handle each character's obsession? Is it an accurate depiction of how a hobby can consume? Have you ever had an interest that "took over"?
- How does this movie compare to the stars' other films? Who do you think it's most likely to appeal to? Why?
The good stuff
Messages: The movie's central positive take-away is that it's good to set goals and work toward them, no matter the pace or the glory. Also, sometimes the goals change as you change -- and that's OK; we're all works in progress.
Role models: One of the main characters is hyper-focused on winning, even if it costs what matters most. But the two other birders are seeking balance and focus on the joy of their pursuit.
What to watch for
Violence: Some fighting among family members. Two characters get into a car crash caused by lack of sleep.
Sex: References between a husband and wife about needing to have sex to make a baby. Some flirting and kissing. References to birds' mating behavior.
Language: "S--t" is used, and there's one (nearly) silent mention of "what the f--k." Other words include "suckers," "damn," "ass," "hell," "goddamn," and "crap."
Consumerism: Many logos and brand names are visible, including Apple, 3M, Motorola, Microsoft, TripAdvisor, Snyder's pretzels, Dell, BlackBerry, iPhone, Oreo, Bergdorf, Nissan, Miller Lite, and more.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Some social drinking, but not really to the point of inebriation.
Fan Reviews provided by
Tells the story of obsessed birders, but with a heart and comedy by keithbrink
I confess that I love to bird, so I'm a little biased in my review. This is an honest and sometimes funny look at what anyone with a hobby goes through. People pursue their hobby with gusto and their friends and family either get it or they don't, like some of the critics of this movie. I saw myself and what I've put my wife through at times in my pursuit of the birds and was surprised at how true to life it was portrayed. These are human beings that love birds and love being out in nature and that is what draws me out of my house to hunt these beautiful creatures with binoculars and books. If you want a nice movie that is about nature lovers that are chasing a dream and not about blowing something up or hacking someone to death then go see this movie. It's charming and holesome family movie. If you're a birding enthusiast don't be to critical of some of the glaring bird inaccuracies, just go with it. Will be taking my wife to see it this week so she can see herself in it.
The Big Year by RMC JD
I enjoyed the film a great deal. It was mischaracterized in reviews and ads as "hysterical.' It certainly was very funny, but also touching, sweet and engaging; but hysterical, it was not. But that only served to make me expect something different. I expected a typical Jack Black, sort of slapstick funniness.
However surprised by the nature of the film, I was not at all disappointed. The acting was great; the cinematography awesome. I see it as appealing to older men; sort of a "coming of age" film for men, but sweet enough to appeal to women.
no violence, no zombies, no sex, no drugs, no exploding cars by patinwy
If you're still reading ..... then you might just love this movie! It's an entertaining story, perfectly cast, has it's twists and turns. There actually are still people who are thrilled by counting birds, and even if you are not, this movie leaves you feeling good. And it has beautiful scenery.
This movie had heart! by nrvana92
I liked that this movie taught 2 valuable lessons that are brought to all people at one time or another.The ability to see someone else that has the same desires and goals and to be non selfish enough to give them a chance to achieve something greater for themselves if you have already achieved so much in life already.
Also this movie teaches to do the things you love without abandoning the home-life and not abandoning those you love for your own selfish ambitions, other wise if you win you still feel empty inside.This is a wonderful movie because of these key points that are put into action and also three of my favorite comical actors play the roles very honestly and get the points across very clear. I rate this movie 4 stars because there is not many movies that are about ambition and are able to teach something valuable to the soul at the same time. This move had heart..most 80s movies have this and a lot of 60s& 70s movies but not many 21st century movies yet, but this movie does.
The Big Year by kitbunnell
This was an enjoyable movie about the weird competitive birder culture. Owen Wilson was sort of a bad guy in this one. He gave a good performance, as did Steve Martin and Jack Black. Supporting players and cameos were good too.
Some what funny. by rnsmatthews
I wouldn't pay to see it in a theatre if I only knew. One would think with the 3 main actors they would be able to make it funny. I guess we should have ran when the movie attendant taking our tickets that we were the only ones watching it. At least my husband and I could randomly talk during the movie without worry. Save your money.
The Big Year--Great fun! by mozartmom
A delightful movie. Interesting characters and very engaging plot. It's nice to see Steve Martin and Jack Black play basically nice, down-to-earth characters in a low-key but still very compelling mode. The whole cast is excellent. The scenery is fabulous and learning about the birding culture is a fascinating an eye-opener. If you like bang-up violence and action, this movie is not for you. But if you're interested genuine human emotions, exploring personal and interpersonal choices, a gentle comic tone, and spectacular scenery (and birds), be sure to see this charming sleeper.
Good Movie, Not Great but worth the money by Taxeon
Not a "birder" but the story was good, not too slow, mildly amusing. Just good. I enjoyed it. Wasn't sure if it would be crude language or lots of inuendo with this set of stars, glad that it was not. The story is exactly what it says and it has a lesson for all those that have hobbies that border on obsessions. There is a fine line between enjoying a hobby and obbessing in it.
The Big Year by raregoer0204
We really were expecting to see a funny Comedy....but it wasn't. The scenery was beautiful to view, but I would've liked to have seen the birds more clearly, instead of more like in a slide pace. Sorry, but I wouldn't promote it for my friends to see.....there are a lot of better movies out there!
Worst Movie Ever, Possibly! by vdog84
Watching this movie made me wish that I had not spent any money on it. I DEFINITELY would NOT RECOMMEND this movie to anyone. I have already put the word out to friends and family. If you like good movies, this is not for you. Also, if you like to save money, then definitely do not go see this movie. COMPLETE WASTE OF MONEY!!!!