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Stranger Than Fiction
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Stranger Than Fiction

2006
Romance
Comedy
1h 53m
Will Ferrell plays Harold Crick, an IRS Agent whose world is turned upside-down when he begins to hear his life being chronicled by a narrator only he can hear. The Narrator, Kay Eiffel (Emma Thompson), a nearly forgotten author of tragic novels, is struggling to complete her latest and best book, unaware that her protagonist is alive and uncontrollably guided by her words. Fiction and reality collide when the bewildered and hilariously resistant Harold hears the Narrator say that events have been set in motion that will lead to his imminent death. (Sony)
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Stranger Than Fiction

2006
Romance
Comedy
1h 53m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 55.88% from 8415 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(8415)
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Rated 24 Mar 2010
87
90th
A really great idea to let author and protagonist get in contact. This movie is a treat for all fand of literature theory and literature in general. I was really astounded by Will Ferrell's performance and Emma Thompson was just amazing. I also get to notice Maggie Gyllenhaal more and more positively. The only mediocre performance but depending on that mediocre part is Queen Latifah's.
Rated 13 May 2007
50
48th
A meditation about the permanance of art in the face of the ephemerality of life. Or it would be, if only it had the balls to end the way it should have. Charlie Kaufman-lite.
Rated 23 Apr 2018
98
97th
Breaks a different kind of fourth wall....my heart. That almost landed. First time I saw this, I thought, "They better get this guy to do a James Bond movie." No, scratch that. Only an idiot would have that response. Edit: Full disclosure, this is one of the five or six movies I pop in to shoot tears out of my eyes when the mood strikes me. Take that with a grain of salt though because Babe is another one.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
75
50th
Will Ferrell is restrained and sympathetic in this quietly funny, surprisingly affecting dramedy. It's not perfect -- you may agree with Dustin Hoffman's character when he says the ending is "Okay, not great", as it seems a bit of an artistic compromise -- but this is a smart, sharp, mostly powerful movie masquerading as a broad, high-concept comedy. It works as both.
Rated 05 Jul 2015
88
75th
Very interesting concept, and Will Ferrell's semi-serious turn is engaging. However, Maggie Gyllenhall's character grates on the nerves.
Rated 13 Jun 2017
75
72nd
As is often the case, riotous comedy actors can really deliver in the acting stakes when they dial it back a bit. Ferrell does this here, and acquits himself very well. The high concept framing works, perhaps unravelling a wee bit towards the end, but the film gains a lot of charm from the excellent supporting cast. Forster does a good job marshalling the various elements, and the film feels fresh, funny, smart, and likeable. Well worth seeing.
Rated 13 Mar 2007
3
38th
An enjoyable, interesting and somewhat touching comedy. Ferrell plays a more serious role pretty well here, and the plot structure is unique and engaging. Still...copout ending and not amazingly poignant or anything.
Rated 15 Apr 2007
8
82nd
A very well made, enjoyable movie. I'm not a Will Ferrel hater so I didn't go in with this bias but i certainly didn't expect it to be this good. Maggie Gyllenhaal is lovable
Rated 30 Sep 2011
60
54th
Commendable for trying to make a visually interesting comedy and for the excellent chemistry between (a nicely subdued) Farrell and the dangerously cute Gyllenhaal. The absurdist premise is nice but it fails to deliver in a way that, say, the similar minded Groundhog Day does. The ending feels a bit like a copout and the snippets we're allowed to hear of Thompsons prose seem barely eligible for publication, let alone the makings of the great American classic it purportedly is.
Rated 05 Mar 2007
75
89th
Excellent.
Rated 05 Mar 2007
70
57th
Like a dumbed down Kaufman movie, but still really entertaining. I liked it because Will Ferrell finally played someone other than Will Ferrell. Cause let's face it, that Will Ferrell character was getting old, even for Will Ferrell.
Rated 19 Mar 2007
83
65th
Good movie but the cliche lines like "Little did he know" made me skeptical as to just how much these film makers actually know about good literature. Still, good story, fresh and interesting dialogue, and overall a nice change of pace for Will Farrel. The ending was overhyped so much I wasn't surprised when it didn't quite deliver. Yet it's still a memorable and entertaining film.
Rated 22 Mar 2007
67
36th
Ferrell is pretty good in this movie but ultimately the story is less engaging than I figured it would have been. It's a movie that doesn't really know what genre it is; one minute its a comedy, then it's a drama, then a romance, but never all-together in one.
Rated 08 Apr 2007
90
89th
Stranger Than Fiction is a delightful and heartfelt romantic comedy with unique twists and visual effects that make it stand out. The cast is terrific as well, led by an endearing performance on the part of Will Farrel and topped off by a deliciously eccentric performance by Emma Thompson. Awesome!
Rated 14 Aug 2007
7
84th
A wonderful screenplay, very Kaufman-esque with its skillful alternating between high-concept fantasy and character-driven scenes, laugh out loud comedy and quietly moving drama, with a few strong, quirky characters. Will Ferrell is unusually great, bolstered by a strong supporting cast.
Rated 05 Dec 2009
85
88th
Simply adorable. Think what you will of the plot, but there is no denying the disarming charm of Will Ferrell. His relationship to Gyllenhaal's cookie-girl is one of the most palpable seen since Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I think I'm going to sing a song of praise for Ferrell - it really _is_ his movie. Then I'm going to cry a bit. Then I'm going to watch it again.
Rated 20 Sep 2007
94
92nd
A simple, lovely fable that tends to be ignored quite easily with audiences because it's either slight (yeah, it doesn't pretend to be more than it is) or because it dares to commit one of the, apparently, more terrible sins of filmmaking: To be sweet. A rocking script, a cool visual approach and top cast make this one hell of a bloody great time. If you expect a laugh-riot, look elsewhere. Really good, just leave your cynic hat at the door. Highly recommended.
Rated 08 Oct 2007
100
99th
Beautiful script, intelligent, with rhythm and good analogies of the beginning to the end. I really identified me.
Rated 11 Apr 2010
89
60th
An odd little film in the spirit of Charlie Kaufman. Quirky, fun, and at times touching. A must see for Will Ferells surprisingly spot on performance.
Rated 26 Jul 2012
50
19th
An interesting premise for a bit of a disappointing movie.
Rated 08 Dec 2007
78
66th
I thought the cop-out made it better.
Rated 10 Jan 2008
84
81st
Stranger Than Fiction is a very funny romance with very good performances from both Ferrell and Thompson. At some parts i found it very touching and I wanted more, but i felt the ending was dragged on for much too long.
Rated 07 Feb 2008
90
95th
Great movie
Rated 05 Mar 2008
84
37th
Will Ferrel's step into the world of the respectable.
Rated 01 Jul 2012
85
48th
Will Ferrell goes for a less funny role, and in result, Stranger Than Fiction is lead on by his performance along with the rest of the cast and is a fun quirky heck of a time.
Rated 02 Jul 2009
85
81st
Delightful and charming, this one really surprised me, and it shows that Will Ferrell can actually do dramatic acting. The film is truly touching, and it was definitely a surprise.
Rated 21 Feb 2010
96
97th
I was very skeptical about seeing this movie at first, because I was expecting the same character that Will Ferrell plays in every movie. Here, though, as a lonely IRS auditor he actually acts and gives a wonderful performance with the help of a strong supporting cast. A very original movie, it is at times quite humorous and at times deeply moving. If only Will Ferrell would act more often...
Rated 06 Nov 2010
92
60th
Enjoyed every bit of the film while watching it. Had a lot of fun. But this will probably not stay in my memory for long. Somehow fails to make that impact. Interesting screenplay. Performances - of the two leading ladies (baker & writer) was very good, others was just ok. Its ok to settle for 'ok' instead of 'spectacular' in order to enjoy the smaller things and live a happier fuller life - that I think is the message of the film and what makes it worth a watch.
Rated 11 Oct 2008
45
16th
Bad Kaufman imitation, Meta-Narrative idea just doesn't work and the "deus-ex machina arm-watch" was really really a bad plot device. Bad. Uninspired. Watch Charlie Kaufman instead.
Rated 18 Mar 2011
57
40th
An underwhelming and blunderous ending, along with a particularly dubious plot device muck up a rather intriguing premise. To anyone who greatly enjoys this, I strongly propose that you run out and rent/buy Adaptation and see it as soon as you get home, but be warned, one's appreciation of this film is likely to decrease drastically upon completion of Kaufman's much superior work.
Rated 12 Dec 2006
72
64th
The first half of the movie is funny, but halfway through the film, it became extremely inconsistent. It jumped from sappy, to way dark, to silly, and then dark again, until the ending copped out everything. On the other hand, a lot of the performances are really good (particularly Will Ferrell's). Queen Latifah seemed superfluous though -- I almost felt, why was she even there? It's generally a good film though, just inconsistent.
Rated 18 Dec 2006
66
21st
It was amazing until it ended. I felt it was a cheap Hollywood cop-out.
Rated 13 Apr 2024
60
58th
eng; [stranger than fiction]; ein steuerprüfer hört plötzlich eine Stimme die sein extrem monotones und langweiliges Leben erzählt, das er daraufhin ändert - mit der Aussicht dass die Stimme seinen Tod berichtet.;
Rated 08 Jan 2012
79
12th
Wikl ferell is truly great in this mo ie. If you only know him from crazy comedies, watch this one. It is his 'eternal sunshine'.
Rated 27 Jul 2010
80
88th
Lives up to its title. Aka how to create a sweet, funny, moving, life-affirming story via an inspired, engrossingly executed mindfuck. The moods of the film and the turns it takes might vary, but the viewer follows suit because they've invested in the characters and can find parallels between this surreal story and real life - a poignancy that is only facilitated by the all-around great acting, which includes a career-defining performance by Will Ferrell and a tour de force from Emma Thompson.
Rated 08 Sep 2009
39
7th
Was a little dissapointing.
Rated 16 Apr 2009
65
64th
I think this is the most average movie I've ever seen. Dustin Hoffman sums up the movie itself at the end.
Rated 27 Jul 2015
7
43rd
Excellent performance by Will Ferrell lifts this offbeat tale.
Rated 02 Mar 2007
94
97th
This movie just seemed to do everything right. An interesting plot, great acting all around, and great use of special effects. This movie isn't quite the comedy it's billed as, it is still funny, but it is more of a self-discovery story.
Rated 03 Mar 2007
50
43rd
A good premise, but didn't really go anywhere with it. And I found the romance completely unrealistic. Almost a parody of every other romantic comedy with its unflinchingly tight assed and boring male protagonist, and a carefree woman of the world hippie nutball who you know, opens him up or whatever.
Rated 31 Jul 2023
94
86th
1971th: it was wonderful. well written story and creative idea. love it.
Rated 08 Sep 2009
70
52nd
Great acting, okay story, well made.
Rated 07 Apr 2009
60
51st
Very interesting idea for a movie and for once Will Ferrell doesn't suck grapes. Good job for experimentation, didn't like the nice ending though.
Rated 29 Dec 2008
10
3rd
Do not see. Must have been made too fast... the story is poor, the acting is worse.... or maybe its the other way around.
Rated 07 Mar 2007
84
89th
Ah literature. The drama, tragedy, and comedy of everyday life for the ordinary person is captured quite well in this film. While the hero in this case is anything but, his pure ordinariness makes him extraordinary. And as the wheels of inevitability grind, he cranks against them as best as any can and finds purpose in it's futility.
Rated 10 Mar 2007
88
78th
I'm going to spoil the big plot twist right here: despite every indication, the ending is NOT the tritest thing imaginable. In fact, I was impressed with its relevance.
Rated 28 Dec 2008
73
78th
Wonderful movie. Great script also.
Rated 17 May 2007
91
89th
It is so nice to see original ideas. This isn't the best film ever made, but it is extremely entertaining and certainly a notch above the usual, especially the usual Will Ferrell movie. great movie, plays out like a toned down Charlie Kaufman flick.
Rated 09 Feb 2023
84
53rd
Perfect deadpan--you're either into it, or you're not. Will Ferrell does serious so well. Stellar music scene. Emma Thompson! Dustin Hoffman! This is a go-to mood lifter for me. Find joy and hope here.
Rated 13 Dec 2011
81
82nd
This is a different role for Will Ferell and he really pulls it off. Maggie Gyllenhaal is so adorable in this movie. She is a joy to watch in every scene she is in. The only thing I didn't like about this film was one choice the main character makes near the end of the film. The rest of the cast is all so good in this film.
Rated 16 Jun 2010
60
78th
-Harold's life was filled with moments both significant and mundane, but to Harold, those moments remained entirely indistinguishable.
Rated 31 Jul 2013
87
73rd
While I am normally irritated by Will Ferrell's characters, his performance as Harold Crick is surprisingly good. This charming story is well written, performed, produced and best of all, it's entertaining.
Rated 28 May 2014
78
49th
- 3/10/08
Rated 12 Feb 2011
90
88th
Best Will Ferrel performance, wonderfully understated. And the approach to the film was fantastic. It is my kind of film. I loved it.
Rated 18 Jul 2007
85
55th
O.K. Really unbelievable, but Farrell did a nice job in a dramatic role and Maggie Gyllenhal (sp?) was awesome.
Rated 07 Aug 2007
85
69th
Surprisingly enjoyable, will ferrel can act as well!
Rated 06 Aug 2021
65
32nd
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Rated 20 Oct 2010
25
61st
"If the Charlie Kaufman-like writing theme suggests Adaptation., Zach Helm's script really says little about authorship or form, settling for positing rather than explaining a capricious universe where a giant steam-shovel can bite out one's living." - Robert Keser
Rated 17 Dec 2009
78
66th
Amazing performance by Emma Thompson
Rated 21 Aug 2007
80
48th
I really enjoyed this film and I can't really describe why
Rated 04 Sep 2007
95
84th
Stranger than fiction is a neat little movie about Will Ferrel's character whose life is being narrated that only he can hear. He is an auditor who is not content with his boring life and is slowly losing his sanity while trying to find out who is writing his life. Ferrel does a great job, probably because he was no longer selling out, great unique story.
Rated 01 Jan 2021
75
69th
Really liked the meta-ness of this one even though it didn't seem to quite make sense even on its own fantastic terms.
Rated 05 Oct 2013
79
61st
78.500
Rated 08 Dec 2012
75
16th
Out of the box concept, realized in an enjoyable package.
Rated 17 Oct 2007
80
15th
pretty boring...
Rated 17 Oct 2007
45
28th
Good idea... decently played out.
Rated 24 Jun 2012
2
59th
Quite alright experimental plot
Rated 19 Jul 2009
92
83rd
One of the best movies Will Ferrell ever made. He doesn't do his usual shtick and it suits him very well. The rest of the cast, especially Maggie Gyllenhall is equally great.
Rated 24 Jan 2011
81
77th
This movie was fiction, and it wasn't strange at all.
Rated 17 Dec 2007
85
94th
Interesting idea, funny and a beautiful woman on top of it. Seriously, movies don't come much better than that.
Rated 21 Jul 2011
72
43rd
A fun, whimsical tale about an office drone trying to save his life from his narrator, Stranger Than Fiction features a subdued performances from Will Ferrell that contributes mightily to its quirky, mind-bending affect.
Rated 19 Jul 2009
70
27th
A dramatic change of pace for Will Ferrell proves to work wonders in this fairly fresh and original film. If only he had taken note of the success of this experiment and refrained from returning to the fast-growing-old ignorant sports star roles his filmography is littered with.
Rated 22 Oct 2016
72
23rd
Probably the only thing in life I've agreed on with my late dad. This movie got heart by the pounds.
Rated 13 Mar 2008
50
33rd
Robert A. Heinlein did this same kind of material MUCH better in his book _The Number of the Beast_
Rated 15 Mar 2008
90
61st
I can appreciate this movie on for various aspects. One of which is, having written myself, I found the author narrative hilarious and insightful! There's also some great points made by Gyllenhaal's character. Those things aside, the movie is wonderful and sweet, well written and well acted. I've always adored Thompson, and was utterly surprised at the honesty and depth Ferrell brought to a dramatic role. A great feel-good film!
Rated 24 Dec 2017
100
94th
This is one of my favorite all-time movies. An IRS agent with no life discovers that he can hear the story that some unknown author is in the process of writing. And it seems that the author plans to kill off her character unless Harold can find her and talk her out of it in time. Improbable? Sure but it works beautifully and it's *very* funny!
Rated 24 Jun 2011
68
41st
While the story lends itself to lazy comparisons to Kaufman, the intriguing beginning unravels as the film goes on and becomes a bit silly. Still, the concept is fun and it is very entertaining. Ferrell is pretty good, and manages to give up the most annoying character award to Emma Thompson (she plays the self-loathing writer WAY over the top), and Hoffman's Rain Man references are great.
Rated 29 Sep 2010
78
77th
Fun idea, executed well. Very entertaining.
Rated 27 Nov 2008
71
90th
People complain that this film doesn't know whether it is a comedy or a tragedy (most point to the ending as a problem), I can only wonder how they managed to miss the point so disastrously. It's a very good watch, even though the second half is jarringly weaker than the first.
Rated 07 May 2008
4
32nd
Some interesting ideas, but too many wrong turns. Really really hated the ending, but there were still some heartwarming moments.
Rated 17 May 2008
75
48th
Will Ferrell is better on lower volume.
Rated 15 Oct 2017
100
64th
Brilliant love story
Rated 11 Mar 2010
71
17th
The post-modernist viewpoint is a little too arch, Will Ferrell fails to impress in his most ambitious attempt at serious acting, and the resolution of the plot just isn't convincing because somebody involved--writers or producers--lacked courage to kill off their main character.
Rated 20 Feb 2009
60
42nd
It's good to see Will Ferrell break form a bit and try a more mainstream-type comedy, but the end result falls a little on the bland side. The movie is a decent concept that is conveyed well, but I'm left feeling more could be done.
Rated 18 Nov 2008
80
96th
Best romatic guesture of all time.
Rated 27 Jun 2008
85
60th
good story, good movie
Rated 01 Jul 2008
66
36th
Come on really Will.
Rated 10 Apr 2011
87
82nd
An obvious message, but told in a very unique way with symbolism that neither hits you on the head nor forces you to dig.
Rated 06 Mar 2010
94
93rd
Quirky, fun, good.
Rated 16 May 2014
50
48th
Interesting but ultimately disappointing effort that never becomes as weird or clever as it sets itself up to be. The biggest irony is that a film so focused on writing has such an abject screenplay, failing to bring out the mystery, laughs or heart the story deserves; eventually coming across more as a bog-standard romance hiding under a fancy premise. And what was the point of Queen Latifah's character? Ferrell's good, playing his relatively straight role to a tee.
Rated 09 Feb 2009
70
79th
Will Ferrel makes a gigantic sacrifice that is ultimatly cheapened slightly in the end by not being entirly fulfilled.
Rated 18 Dec 2009
64
52nd
Very original, creative, charming and funny movie about a guy who begins to hear his own life being narrated. Nice movie to watch with friends.
Rated 10 Aug 2008
62
40th
Intruiging movie, but i didn't really love the ending.. Could have been better..
Rated 12 Aug 2008
1
17th
Felt like someone watched Adaptation, missed the point, but decided to remake it anyway. Ferrel does a lovely rendition of "Whole Wide World" and Gyllenhaal is radiant as always, but it's not enough. The book's ending was certainly not good enough to warrant all that fuss in the first place, but the author managed to make it even more pointless. Unfortunately, that also goes for the ending of the film.
Rated 21 Nov 2016
83
72nd
good and different
Rated 03 Apr 2011
55
40th
Challenging, interesting premise and any movie narrated by Thompson is worth a watch or two. But Ferrell is nevertheless hopelessly miscasted and never seems the slightest at ease, making Harold an both ackward and - sadly - boring protagonist.
Rated 09 Jun 2009
80
69th
Just like Jim Carrey did in "The Truman Show," Will Farrell seems desperate to prove that he can actually act and isn't just that funny man we all know whose movies consistently rack up hundreds of millions of dollars.
Rated 08 Jun 2009
85
96th
Maggie Gyylenhall is mesmerizing, Ferrell loveable and Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffmann make up a wonderful ensemble. A personal favourite of the last few years.
Rated 03 Oct 2008
90
94th
A clever movie!
Rated 04 Oct 2008
88
83rd
As much as I hate the type of ending this movie has, I felt that it was kinda "right" in this one. Of course, another may have been better, but may have not - and I am completely satisfied with the movie as it is. Oh, and Maggie Gyllenhaal is soooooooooo cuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuute!

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