The Big Year

The Big Year

David Frankel (2011)

PG Certificate


Our Score
Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson play rival "birders" who are doing "The Big Year", a competition to find the top spotter of different bird species on US soil. On paper, the trio looks like a comedy dream team. On film, however, they're amiably ordinary. Director David Frankel (who directed Wilson in Marley & Me) doesn't fully exploit the line-up of talent. Martin's silky comic skills, Black's broader shtick and Wilson's likeable patter are lost in a story that isn't quite funny enough to be a comedy or dramatic enough to be a drama, and there's a distinct lack of tension between the characters. Britain's own birders might be lured by the subject matter alone, but even they would fail to be transfixed by a feather-light tale that never really takes off.


A weather phenomenon brings an unusually large number of rare birds to America, which results in a prestigious year-long birdwatching competition. The event attracts three obsessive enthusiasts - a man on the brink of retirement, an amateur spotter whose family do not understand his passion, and a ruthless champion defending his reputation at all costs. Comedy, starring Jack Black, Owen Wilson and Steve Martin.

Cast & Crew

Stu Preissler Steve Martin
Brad Harris Jack Black
Kenny Bostick Owen Wilson
Raymond Brian Dennehy
Annie Auklet Anjelica Huston
Ellie Rashida Jones
Jessica Rosamund Pike
Brenda Dianne Wiest
Edith JoBeth Williams
Barry Loomis Joe McHale
Fuchs Tim Blake Nelson
Crane Jim Parsons
Jim Gittelson Kevin Pollak
Gil Gordon Corbin Bernsen
Historical montage narrator John Cleese
Bill Clemont Anthony Anderson
Director David Frankel
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: 20th Century FoxAvailable on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 2 Dec 2011