Parents' Guide to

Big Fish

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Delightful, sad father-son story for teens and up.

Movie PG-13 2003 125 minutes
Big Fish Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 15 parent reviews

age 12+

Santa claus unexpextedly spoiled

age 13+


Early in the movie, a group of children swear. "Your momma's a bitch." A girl then says "You shouldn't swear in front of ladies, and the boys respond with, "Shit." "Damn" "Screw". Later in the movie, Danny DeVito says, "You were hot shit back in Hicksville." We checked this site first and there was no mention of this.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (15 ):
Kids say (43 ):

Big Fish is the enchanting story of a father and son, but it's really the story of stories themselves. It's about all kinds of stories, from the first stories whispered by a father to a sleepy child to the stories a son tells his father to comfort him as he nears death. Facts are fine, but some truths can only be told by fiction, and this movie tells a captivating tale that is a delight for the eye, the heart, and the spirit.

Director Tim Burton, like Edward, believes that it's the fantastic that deserves our attention more than the mundane. The ravishing images are marvels, but it's the heart of the stories that captivate, especially when it all comes together at the end in a moving conclusion filled with connection, understanding, and forgiveness.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: December 10, 2003
  • On DVD or streaming: April 27, 2004
  • Cast: Albert Finney , Ewan McGregor , Jessica Lange
  • Director: Tim Burton
  • Inclusion Information: Female actors
  • Studio: Columbia Tristar
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Run time: 125 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: a fight scene, some images of nudity and a suggestive reference
  • Last updated: March 29, 2023

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