Christian Science Monitor

By David Sterritt
The director of "Rushmore" and "The Royal Tenenbaums" scores his most funny-sad movie to date.
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Philadelphia Inquirer

By Steven Rea
Like the old and creaky Belafonte, the film itself seems forever on the brink of drifting away. But it's the kind of drifting that's nothing but enjoyable. In fact, it's beyond enjoyable - heading into waters full of whimsy, mystery and odd, psychedelic fish.
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The Hollywood Reporter

By Sheri Linden
Wonderfully weird and wistful adventure-comedy about a fish-out-of-water oceanographer.
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Rolling Stone

By Peter Travers
Wilson drops the ironic smirk to give a sincerely affecting performance. His scenes with Murray provide the ballast when the script veers off into unconvincing pirate attacks and animated sea creatures.
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San Francisco Chronicle

By Mick LaSalle
It's almost a great movie. For half of its running time, Anderson maintains a distinct and arresting tone of vague absurdity, and then he loses control and the film begins to dip into silliness. Individual scenes become labored. Yet even at its worst, The Life Aquatic is always interesting -- there's really nothing else like it.
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Entertainment Weekly

By Owen Gleiberman
As someone who has warmed up to Anderson's work only gradually, I'd call this a step back for him, but I also can't help but wonder: Will he ever take that crucial step forward and stop saying, Isn't it ironic?
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Boston Globe

By Ty Burr
The film's meta-fey title alone is an example of why some people adore Anderson and why he drives others absolutely crazy.
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Wall Street Journal

By Joe Morgenstern
There's a lot to appreciate here, especially Mr. Murray's variations on the sad but hopeful soul he played in "Rushmore" (and in "Lost In Translation"). Yet meanings get lost in a clutter of cleverness.
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USA Today

By Mike Clark
Nothing but attitude.
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New York Daily News

By Jack Mathews
If there's anything more tiresome in film today than hip irony, it is forced irony, and here comes a boatload with Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou.
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62 out of 100
Generally favorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.