Parents' Guide to

The Big Year

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Sweet travelogue/comedy is tame but not aimed at kids.

Movie PG 2011 100 minutes
The Big Year Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 13+

Slow, predictable comedy about obsessive bird watchers.

Three normally very funny comedians who clearly have been told to tone down by the director. I was quite shocked as to how the actress who played Owen Wilson's wife was used in this movie though. Normally a good actress but reduced to no more than a pin up with loose clothing and a very heated session on the bed with her husband. I honestly don't think this movie would appeal to children as is more of an adult feel good movie. The movie never really lifts off but there is enough to keep you going. I particularly liked the many many many different places they visit and think it's one of the strengths to the movie. The movie however did have a good message to share.

This title has:

Great messages
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 10+

Love this movie - family favourite!

This has become one of our all time favourite movies. Funny, but not overdone. The 3 mains are just great. beautiful scenery, great music and good plot. My 10 yr old daughter was so impressed by this that she requested binoculars and a birding book for Christmas. It also led me to read the book - slightly different but easy to spot the characters - great, funny book too.

This title has:

Great messages

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5):
Kids say (13):

It's hard to imagine Jack Black and Owen Wilson in a quiet movie (Steve Martin is less of a stretch), but here they are. The title is a decoy, really; though THE BIG YEAR could have gone big (and gone home as yet another obnoxiously loud film), it instead delivers subtlety and soul. So what if it's not laugh-out-loud funny? Yes, it could have used a few more major moments, and the competition could have been amped up for deeper laughs. But what we get instead isn't a bird of the same feather; instead, it's one that -- wait for it -- soars.

In all earnestness, expect to be surprised at how educational The Big Year feels (just wait for the scene showing how the bald eagle mates). But what differentiates the movie from a National Geographic special are its three leads, all of whom exhibit exquisite control over their comedic gifts. They've each found a way to mute (in a good way) their individual sensibilities -- Black's rocker-in-your-face-ness, Martin's sometimes too-cosmopolitan wit, and Wilson's aw, shucksness -- that, when let loose, sometimes overwhelm. Sure, each character's romantic counterparts seem incidental, and the film occasionally borders on identity disorder with its travelogue elements (did we really need to see quite so many countries and cities?). Otherwise, it's a delight.

Movie Details

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