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The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

2004
Comedy
Drama
1h 59m
Internationally famous oceanographer Steve Zissou (Murray) and his crew set sail on an expedition to hunt down the mysterious, elusive, possibly non-existent Jaguar Shark that killed Zissou's partner during the documentary filming of their latest adventure. (Touchstone Pictures)
Your probable score
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The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

2004
Comedy
Drama
1h 59m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 57.69% from 9617 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(9617)
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Rated 09 Sep 2007
96
99th
Surreal, absurd, downright strange and touching. There are no obvious laugh-out-loud moments during the film however I did find myself laughing quite a bit during moments that turn the typical scene of the same nature on it's head. I loved it and if you're looking for something that's different and not found in reality then this is a must see.
Rated 01 Aug 2009
99
99th
The film that seemed to change Wes Anderson from darling of the critics too then suddenly pompous and self indulgent! I couldn't disagree more. Funny, moving, quirky and very pretty, this is without doubt my favourite Anderson film, and I love all his stuff. As for Bill Murray, well he's just brilliant. There is so much in this movie to love that even now, after I have seen it many times, I find something new to admire. The whole cast are fantastic & Mark Motherbaugh's score is magic. Sublime.
Rated 10 Jan 2010
93
98th
I guess I'm a heretic because this is my favorite Wes Anderson movie. Amazing that this became such a lightning rod of negative opinions even among people who love all of his other stuff.
Rated 04 Jul 2010
90
83rd
Somehow, Anderson can revel in his obsessions (shadow boxes, uniforms, unsmiling women, searches for lost fathers, etc.), add some improbably cast actors (Bill Murray as Jacques Cousteau!?), throw in a few pirates, an explosion or two, some impossibly successful gun battles, and David Bowie unplugged in Portuguese, and not only make it all work but touch us deeply too. He does this by making a movie so filled with artifice that it gives us the freedom we need to fully surrender our hearts.
Rated 11 Aug 2007
16
90th
Anderson is truly the master of creating bleak yet endearing masterpieces, his characters flawed almost to the point of caricature yet masterfully remaining heroes. Like The Royal Tenenbaums before it, The Life Aquatic engrosses us deeply in the rich tapestries of its characters' lives and as a result we feel incomparably close to them, warts and all.
Rated 08 Mar 2010
88
75th
The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou is a touching, funny and absurd contingency into the emotional bond of friendship and the grasp it has everyday. The art direction is exemplary, but this is no surprise considering this is Anderson. The cast is excellent, with Bill Murray pulling all of the stops with his accomplished and brilliant performance. The photography is beautiful, capturing the magic that happens below the ocean.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
86
94th
This gets better every time that I watch it. I was always impressed with wonderful art direction and Anderson's intense focus on detail. I found the story initially too somber, but I think I was just expecting something different (E.g. a wackier performance by Owen Wilson); the film has a very fine balance between it's lighter and darker elements that I have grown to appreciate. Murray may play the " cynical, over the hill man " role often, but he's really good here. Awesome music (Bowie!)
Rated 14 Aug 2007
96
98th
A wonderful Andersonian story of awkward family adventures. Bill Murray is amazing, and the relationship between fantasy and reality is incredible.
Rated 19 May 2009
91
93rd
"Let me tell you about my ship." There is so much to love about this movie. On top of the typical Anderson quirks and dry wit, we have a GREAT cast, Henry Selick providing stop-motion sealife, Seu Jorge rocking Bowie in Portuguese, and an end-credits sequence lifted straight out of Buckaroo Banzai (complete with Jeff Goldblum!). It's about daddy issues of course, but at its heart it is a loving ode to the adventure of filmmaking. Anderson's funniest, and I tear up at the finale every time.
Rated 13 Mar 2008
100
98th
This is my favourite Anderson film though it's hard to pin down why. The cast are excellent, it's consistently funny and it has heart. But I think the visual style might be what makes it work for me. The world presented is one of magic and wonder, full of fantastical sea life and vibrant colour . This uninhibited style contrasts with the repression and sadness of the characters wonderfully and coupled with the brilliant music gives the emotional scenes a beautiful bittersweet quality.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
25
12th
Star-studded crap. The writing is just awful.
Rated 04 Mar 2007
80
71st
Son of a bitch, I'm sick of these dolphins.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
90
95th
An excellent film, a father son story of redemption and reconciliation, complete with Anderson's always incredible visuals, great acting (Willem Defoe is adorable), and an ass-kicking soundtrack. What's not to love? Oh and it proves my long held belief that Jeff Goldblum is "part gay"
Rated 14 Aug 2007
93
94th
The cast of The Life Aquatic is outstanding. Everyone does something a little different than what they are used to for this film, and they all do it brilliantly. It's a quirky and funny film that's even kind of insightful, at the very least very endearing. On top of it all, the music by Mark Mothersbaugh is wonderful. Awesome!
Rated 14 Aug 2007
90
96th
The Life Aquatic solidified Wes Anderson as one of the best directors in film. His use of color and music is a style completely his own, and the subtleness in his scenarios are what makes this movie hilarious and incredibly moving at the same time. And, of course, the scene. Sigur Ros and that look on Bill Murray's face makes for one of my favorite scenes in anything ever. This is a very different movie, and may take multiple viewings to fully appreciate.
Rated 06 Jun 2008
96
94th
The Life Aquatic is a great movie for the people with a good sense of humor to weed out their bad friends with. The next time someone tells me they thought this was a boring movie, I know to never take them seriously again.
Rated 02 May 2014
88
89th
I was thoroughly entertained from start to finish. I would say that Klaus (Willem Dafoe) is probably the best character invention I've seen for quite some time. And yes, I know it's Wes Anderson. But still. Hilarious.
Rated 04 Mar 2007
4
74th
Exemplary. It's creative in its cynical, sarcastic way of finding humor in the tragic and sometimes amoral situations the characters find themselves in. The atmosphere carries a kind of quirky sedation (much like The Royal Tenenbaums) that keeps it incredibly entertaining, and by the end everything seems pretty profound.
Rated 31 Jan 2010
88
70th
An awesome and crazy flick by Anderson which was topped by himself three years later with "The Darjeeling Limited". Zissou is one of those movies. that needs some time so that you appreciate this special humor. The "normal" viewer won't like this gem. 'm sure.
Rated 18 May 2019
71
37th
The problem I find with some Anderson films is that they are so entrenched in Andersonisms that it gets in the way of a good story and characters. Nonetheless, this film is gorgeous to look at and beautifully made. Sadly the second half of the film drags and the ending felt a bit mashed together. Could have been a great 90 minute film.
Rated 22 Mar 2011
45
7th
SO QUIRKY - FIND IT QUIRKY - SMILE BEMUSEDLY AT QUIRKINESS
Rated 04 Feb 2013
4
86th
Funny and full of love
Rated 26 May 2014
80
80th
I had a lot of fun with this one. Like most other Wes Anderson films, you just can't help but smile throughout (or most of it I guess). It's got it's ridiculousness and Bill Murray is right at the centre of it. I don't think there is much more I can say that hasn't already, but I thought it was great.
Rated 05 Jul 2020
90
95th
In many ways a new take on the classic adventure film, with Anderson very effectively deploying his playful visuals and ensemble cast to indulge the imagination of the viewer. The music is also a satisfying match for what we see on screen. It's a lot of fun, but with that element of melancholia just below the surface that defines most Anderson films. Perhaps this was the last film in which Anderson did not take himself too seriously and was not captive to his distinctive style.
Rated 28 Aug 2007
60
15th
For the first time Wes Anderson made a movie that I did not care for and I place the blame mostly on the lack of an Owen Wilson writing credit. Anderson relies too much on the formula that drove Tennenbaums visual appeal but left out the all important storyline and character development.
Rated 23 Jul 2009
70
59th
Very likeable in all aspects, Murray especially off course.
Rated 17 Sep 2010
7
57th
The character interaction felt uneventful rather than appealing, but all of them are awkwardly funny on their own, the events in which they are entangled approaching life-affirming qualities. Watching Bill Murray feels like being wrapped up in a warm blanket, as though nothing can go wrong. Nice little film.
Rated 29 Mar 2011
89
89th
My favorite Wes Anderson film. I think it has to do with the amount of Bill Murray.
Rated 19 Aug 2012
70
79th
Not my favorite Anderson film, but the large amount of Bill Murray still swings me over to loving it. The normal diorama feel of his films is still here, as well as the large talented cast, but with the additional dimension of the strangely presented wildlife, it becomes a whole different beast.
Rated 15 Dec 2008
98
98th
I love every second of this goddamned film.
Rated 27 Feb 2010
100
95th
Consensus regarding the film might be mixed, but Wes Anderson tried something different here, and quite honestly, it worked. The characters are even more deadpan than usual, the effects even more outlandish and vibrant, but it all builds up into its own sense of reality. It simply doesn't feel like the characters exist on our own universe, yet it's still easy to relate to their bizarreness. Uproariously funny for those with receptive senses of humor and beautifully moving.
Rated 16 Feb 2022
92
85th
I think I enjoyed this movie more than most, but goddamn it I had such a fun time. Probably my favorite Murray performance out of all of Anderson's films. You can tell he's having a blast. Owen Wilson's Kentucky accent is hilariously bad, but I hope that was the intention. I would highly recommend this for film of Wes and/or Bill Murray. I give 9 jaguar sharks out of 10.
Rated 30 Oct 2009
96
75th
Hilarious movie that maintains a special charm throughout. The ensemble cast pulls off an amazing show, leading us on a journey to find the shark that ate Zissou's partner. The film maintains a mood of melancholy, exploring the consciousness of one man's existential crisis when faced with his own mortality. The films soundtrack and cinematography are top-notch.
Rated 01 Dec 2007
80
90th
"Son of a bitch, I'm sick of these dolphins."
Rated 29 Jan 2010
16
3rd
Expected so much from this one, but it never worked for me. The humour really isn't my thing and the story just wasn't interesting. It started of boring, and was never able to pick up a more interesting pace.
Rated 11 Jun 2014
45
36th
A fun, whimsical romp, as to be expected with Anderson. But this one didn't invoke anything beyond simple amusement, which isn't to be expected with Anderson. Perhaps I'll grow more fond of it over time, but as of now, it's my least favorite Anderson.
Rated 18 Mar 2007
46
17th
As usual, Wes Anderson makes a stupid comedy about nothing.
Rated 05 Jan 2014
2
29th
I don't know, people. Why do you like this so much? The visuals are nice, there are some niceish things, but does it really work as a film? I don't think so. I couldn't even finish it.
Rated 07 Feb 2007
91
98th
I'm not sure why I can watch this film over and over again. But I never get tired of it. The humour is so subtle, strange, and depressing that I can't help but love it. Bill Murray's performance is completely burned out, immoral, and lost, but still lovable somehow. It's more than a mid-life crisis film, it's more like the aftermath of a completely destroyed soul. Easily Anderson's best.
Rated 30 Jun 2007
90
85th
The "Search and Destroy" sequence brings an unabated joy to my heart every time.
Rated 11 Aug 2009
89
91st
Anderson's unique style taken to its extreme. Murray is, of course, fantastic. It's not perfect, but its laughs make up for its faults.
Rated 07 Apr 2018
45
22nd
I'd consider myself a real Wes Head, as I love his entire filmography, but this film doesn't work for me. Why? I don't entirely know. All the typical elements of his films are here, but why doesn't it work? I realize I won't be able to hear your answers. Send them to me by carrier pigeon.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
60
9th
smells like fish.
Rated 16 Apr 2008
35
14th
It's all been downhill for Anderson since Bottle Rocket, and this one is where he lost me altogether. Lacks cohesion and depth, and tries to fill the void with his most elaborately prepared doll house yet. The cast is unbelievably good, but it hardly makes a difference; there's just nothing here.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
90
77th
As odd as this movie is, I loved it. Funny storyline, great characters, memorable lines, overall shaped up to be a great film.
Rated 10 Oct 2013
99
96th
It's not a perfect distillation of Anderson's concerns and aesthetics like Rushmore, but it's definitely his best IMO. The style was the peak of his meticulous artificiality before he started paring it back to its essences, but the heart was still worn on its sleeve. It treats its flawed characters like humans and rewards us with sublime catharsis. Completely misunderstood and I think the backlash Anderson experienced dramatically altered his film-making.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
80
57th
Being overshadowed by the awesomeness that is The Royal Tenenbaums hurt this movie pretty badly but at the end of the day it's a Wes Anderson movie with a great soundtrack and immensely likeable characters. Case closed.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
58
32nd
Seems to me there are people who just go with wes anderson's stuff. i ain't one, doesn't touch my funny bone, quirky bone, whatever bone. But for seu jorge singing david bowie covers on the deck, many many thumbs up!
Rated 09 Feb 2012
83
89th
This Costeau-inspired, 1970s-driven father-and-son drama is Anderson's loveliest film: it might as well be the first avant-garde feature of the 21st century with a true, gentle heart. It's also the a great collective effort: Seu Jorge's nice David Bowie adaptations, my Sigur Rós' favourite song, Selick's strange animation segments, and warm acting all around. Just lovely.
Rated 28 Oct 2010
45
29th
Straddles the line between being brilliant and terrible. I really can't put my finger on it. There are things I like: the visual style, the deadpan humour, the soundtrack, but I also can't move past the fact that whole thing feels so incredibly self-aware. It's painfully quirky, which is alright in small doses, but becomes increasingly annoying over the course of two hours.
Rated 02 Jan 2011
95
80th
I laughed my ass off watching this one. Bill Murray and Wes Anderson are sooo good together!
Rated 27 Jul 2007
85
79th
What a great variety of characters and lots of subtle humor. While it's slow most of the way through, I find it very engaging.
Rated 23 Dec 2008
98
97th
I absolutely love Bill Murray! This was the perfect role for him! Wes Anderson is a genius. ^_^
Rated 14 Aug 2007
82
81st
It's got a cast that rivals that of another Anderson movie, the Royal Tenenbaums. While not as good as RT, it's still very good in it's own right. Jeff Goldblum is excellent in a very limited role, and Bill Murray is very quality as well.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
90
65th
Funny, funny, funny. I don't know how many times I had to back the film up because I had laughed over yet another funny moment in the movie. Murray is great as the bumbling and mildly idiotic Zissou, and Dafoe was wonderful as the constantly mispeaking shipmate. The movies humor was a little dry/sarcastic at times, and might be lost on those that lack quick wit.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
70
52nd
Lots of dry comedy. I liked it a lot. Some of the things that they did with the visual effects was just strange, but overall pretty good.
Rated 06 Jan 2007
100
0th
Wes Anderson's most recent and greatest achievement. I was working on a screenplay at the time when I first saw this film and it changed my whole perspective on filmmaking. As an actor, filmmaker, and a writer I am forever fueled by this film.
Rated 15 Oct 2007
88
86th
oh, wes anderson, why aren't we friends?
Rated 27 May 2008
45
8th
Either you love it or you hate it...I fall in the latter category. Not funny, not interesting, just a time waster.
Rated 17 Mar 2010
6
62nd
Seamlessly floats between the bleakness of Zissou's dying fame and the twilight of his years and the absurdity of life's lighter moments. Ned seems to be a counteracting figure to Zissou, almost a caricature of what he might have been in his lost youth. Most remarkable though is the stunning cinematography and screenplay which makes this a voyage worth embarking on!
Rated 08 Jun 2007
70
32nd
Good in parts, but not as good as Tenenbaums.
Rated 10 May 2008
90
91st
Watching this again, for some reason it seemed a fair bit better than the first time. It's very funny, but also very touching. Murray and Wilson always feel believable together and the art direction is top notch. There's even a couple of action sequences and explosions!
Rated 15 Jun 2008
80
76th
Stably melancholic under its hysterical surface and only sentimental in a personal and befitting manner, this tragicomedy from Anderson offer a delightful perspective on the difficulty of expressing ones emotions correctly. The scene in where Steve Zissou (played by a fantastic Bill Murray) dance to the music from the walkie-talkie in the helmet is completely unforgettable. This film's heart is tired, but throbbing!
Rated 31 Mar 2010
89
91st
One of my favorite films, People never seem to like my favorite films, BILL MURREY'S in it, he can't do no wrong...............I mean, he can do no wrong
Rated 03 Jan 2010
75
49th
I enjoy this for its brilliant colors, inventive production design, and every scene with Willem Dafoe. However, Zissou is the most difficult of all Anderson's protagonists to support. The character is too infused with ironic detachment to make his deep feeling for his dead friend as engaging as it should be. The film then is left with its ironic moments and cleverly conceived scenes, but not as much heart as Anderson typically injects into his films.
Rated 14 Mar 2021
100
96th
My favorite comedy ever. Objectively not the cleanest Wes Anderson movie but something about the outfits, the vibe, the constant forlorn yearning is just magnetic. Will watch until the end of my days.
Rated 27 Mar 2014
70
50th
I love Wes Anderson, but this seems to be his worst movie. There are many individual great ideas, and the concept itself is imaginative, but for once the jokes and drama don't really gel together and no characters other than Bill Murray as Steve Zissou are memorable. Besides that, the whole movie is just bogged down immensely by this huge negative energy. There's no appropriate foil character to Zissou's personality, and for all bright appearances and humor The Life Aquatic feels dead inside.
Rated 11 Dec 2006
96
99th
ME LOVE LIFE AQUATIC
Rated 15 Sep 2007
65
49th
Charming and quirky, but doesn't completely work.
Rated 11 Feb 2009
90
81st
This excellent film doesn't get the credit it deserves.
Rated 10 Jul 2022
59
22nd
Either this has something to say and it's not saying it very well, or it has nothing to say and has no just reason to manipulate your emotions when it decides to be dramatic. Not weird enough to dismiss any substance, not funny enough to be a comedy, not grounded enough to take seriously; not a complete failure on the entertainment spectrum either, but what does it all add up to? Alas, I've never been good at maths. One thing's for certain: Owen Wilson can't act for fruitcake.
Rated 24 Feb 2010
0
1st
I just don't get the humor.
Rated 06 Dec 2008
88
38th
Favorite Wes Anderson movie, great film.
Rated 31 Mar 2010
86
63rd
Crazy fun, could be the most fun I ever had with Bill Murray. Wes Anderson signature film.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
88
66th
Better than most people give it credit for. Could've sped the fuck up at times for sure. Also, the music was more than a little self indulgient.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
50
26th
Interesting and with an excelent soundtrack, but lacking enough to make me care.
Rated 27 May 2019
85
90th
Wes Anderson's worlds are finally adapting to the wackiness of his characters and the result is wonderful.
Rated 16 Nov 2013
50
47th
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou isn't necessarily a bad film, but it's not one that's really worth seeking out unless you want to see the entire filmography of Wes Anderson, wish to see one of the better performances of Bill Murray's career, or desire an homage to Jacques Cousteau. It's not a terribly funny or dramatic film, and most of the secondary actors are playing caricatures instead of actual characters. There's no reason to avoid the film, but there's also little reason to seek it out.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
90
93rd
Great, but I am afraid Wes Anderson starts imitating Wes Anderson a bit too much.
Rated 24 Mar 2007
100
92nd
One perfect piece of work.
Rated 24 May 2014
40
5th
Too much style, not too much about the content...
Rated 14 Aug 2007
70
52nd
Not one of Bills best but worth seeing. Great music!
Rated 20 Mar 2023
90
56th
Sad, calm, real life vibe with a futuristic world.
Rated 14 Apr 2009
84
73rd
His last masterpiece.
Rated 31 May 2009
40
3rd
A waste of time. It just doesn't work.
Rated 27 Feb 2021
72
28th
The weakest one of Anderson's filmography. Apart from 2/3 significant moments the rest of it is quite boring imho. Didn't left in me any emotion at the end of the day
Rated 24 Feb 2010
89
86th
Though not often considered Anderson's best work, The Life Aquatic resonates with me on so many levels that I have to consider it my favorite of his works and also one of my all-time favorite films. I acknowledge its flaws and choose to cancel them out with my own personal taste.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
70
27th
Fails where most of Anderson's works succeed.
Rated 11 Sep 2007
84
40th
Quirk begins to reign supreme.
Rated 05 Aug 2012
87
70th
Yet another brilliant focus-on-characters and relationship between them. And can you ignore the soundtrack?
Rated 19 Jan 2013
100
99th
Whimsical movie that - despite consisting of weird and surreal situations - is extremely relatable and emotionally rewarding.
Rated 01 Dec 2016
68
53rd
Perhaps the weakest of Anderson's work, despite a certain uniqueness to its design, as the film in which the balance of smug to sincere tips too far to the former.
Rated 01 Jul 2008
88
86th
Classic Bill Murray.
Rated 05 Jul 2010
82
69th
Bill Murray doing tragi-comic to perfection. I can watch this over and over again
Rated 08 Mar 2014
80
86th
Willem Dafoe is a very talented German.
Rated 22 Jan 2018
75
73rd
Amusing.
Rated 09 Feb 2017
60
47th
Beautiful interior design and score, some funny scenes. Sadly the focus is on the tedious father/son drama.
Rated 12 Nov 2007
85
66th
Good & funny. Cate Blanchett and Willem Dafoe are amazing of course. The whole cast is, now that I think about it more. Fantastic movie!
Rated 11 May 2009
70
63rd
pleasantly odd.
Rated 31 May 2007
91
88th
i thought it was phenominal and hilarious

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