'Big Fan' Critic Reviews

73%
MovieWeb:   4 reviews
87%
Rotten Tomatoes:   86 reviews
  • Owen Gleiberman Entertainment Weekly (Top Critic)
    84
    An unblinking look at the hidden (or perhaps not so 
 hidden) pathology of American sports mania, in which the power and victory of your team becomes the sole conduit for your self-worth.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Manohla Dargis New York Times (Top Critic)
    60
    Big Fan is a spasmodically funny and bleak film about the love that speaks its name.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Ty Burr Boston Globe (Top Critic)
    88
    A bleakly funny character study of a very particular species of urban fauna -- the sports radio call-in fanatic -- Big Fan is compulsively watchable.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Vadim Rizov Village Voice (Top Critic)
    Audiences are invited to congratulate themselves for not reviling Paul, as long as they keep him at arm's length.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Joe Neumaier New York Daily News (Top Critic)
    40
    The movie gets repetitive, and when it calls an audible and goes somewhere unexpected, it pulls back quickly. Too bad.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Chris Vognar Dallas Morning News (Top Critic)
    90
    Oswalt nails Paul's mix of sadness and devotion, and Siegel gives the whole affair an air of gloom with just the barest hint of satire.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times (Top Critic)
    88
    A comedy with dark undertones, it asks: What kind of a man listens to and calls sports talk radio compulsively, even at 2 a.m.? Even out of season? Even on, say, Thanksgiving? He should get a life, do you think?
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • J. R. Jones Chicago Reader (Top Critic)
    Though the movie isn't much to look at, he gets a credibly dark and pathetic performance from the typically comic Oswalt.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Steven Rea Philadelphia Inquirer (Top Critic)
    75
    Big Fan shares a nutty kinship with the obsessive-loner pictures of Martin Scorsese, namely Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy. And while Oswalt is no De Niro, the stand-up comic brings a schlumpy pathos to his portrait that shows depth and dimension.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Sara Vilkomerson New York Observer (Top Critic)
    Mr. Siegel nails so many quirky details, and finds humor in the smallest of moments, that Big Fan is surprisingly poignant, too.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Todd McCarthy Variety (Top Critic)
    It's a small, peculiar film, one unlikely to appeal much to women, non-sports fans and mainstreamers, but its uncomfortable comic insights should win it a loyal following.
    Full Review » 6 years ago
  • Kyle Smith New York Post (Top Critic)
    75
    Superb Noo Yawk attitude, dialogue and performances keep the movie lively and tart, but it also turns out to have a surprising plot with a few twists you won't see coming.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Linda Barnard Toronto Star (Top Critic)
    75
    First-time director Siegel shows promise. His script is solid, and although the last act feels somewhat awkward, the idea is clever.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Jonathan F. Richards Film.com (Top Critic)
    Writer-director Robert D. Siegel grew up listening to callers like Paul on The FAN, New York City's all-sports radio, and he gives us a bizarrely sympathetic portrait of a guy who is as devout and as obsessive as any religious fanatic.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Dana Stevens Slate (Top Critic)
    With its unremittingly bleak humor and eagerness to plumb the depths of fanboy abjection, Big Fan seems destined for a future in the cult canon.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • James Berardinelli ReelViews (Top Critic)
    75
    Writer/director Robert D. Siegel understands the psychology of the obsessive sports fan, and he brings it to the screen in Big Fan, a dark comedy that occasionally skirts close to the edge of tragedy.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Duane Byrge Hollywood Reporter (Top Critic)
    Dark and engrossing look at a sports fanatic.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Christy Lemire Associated Press (Top Critic)
    75
    What's left is a vivid portrait of an exceedingly ordinary man for whom there's no great epiphany or cliched redemption. That may be Siegel's trickiest play of all.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Peter Travers Rolling Stone (Top Critic)
    75
    Robert Siegel makes a potent directing debut with a scrappy movie that refuses to sentimentalize or ridicule its besieged hero worshipper.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Kenneth Turan Los Angeles Times (Top Critic)
    80
    Big Fan is a poignant, dead-on character study, an examination of a crisis in the life of the most die-hard of die-hard New York Giants football fans.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • Mark Pfeiffer Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
    59
    Astute at observing the behaviors and mindset of the fan who sees no distinction between himself and the team.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • David Fear Time Out
    80
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Marty Mapes Movie Habit
    88
    Unlovable loser chooses the "low" road
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Amber Wilkinson Eye for Film
    70
    Paul may in many ways be the ultimate 'loser' but he feels like a 'winner', so this becomes not just a study of obsession but of the essence of self-delusion and its importance in many people's lives.
    Full Review » 5 years ago
  • John A. Nesbit Old School Reviews
    84
    effectively delivers the clueless mentality of the empty headed sports fanatic to life,
    Full Review » 5 years ago