the big year 'The Big Year': Steve Martin, Jack Black, Owen Wilson team upWhat do Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson have in common? Birdwatching? Nope. But all three star in “The Big Year” — a comedy that unfolds against the backdrop of a bird-watching competition.

The movie opened eighth in theaters on Friday (Oct. 14), but is generating plenty of Internet buzz thanks to its all-star triumvirate. So is it worth watching? We decided to check a few of our go-to spots to get a quick take on the film which, we feel duty-bound to report, has a 39 percent Rotten Tomatoes critic score, despite being “liked” by 65 percent of alleged viewers.

The three leads land a few laughs, but the fine cast and Frankel–for all
his sweeping shots and soaring music–can’t get any lift on the
material, which is grounded by tedium and repetition. — EI

Even though none of these guys is ready to kick the bucket, “The Big Year” has an unmistakable affinity with “The Bucket List,” another bromance that attempted the calisthenic feat of simultaneously tickling our funny bone, plucking our heartstrings, and draining our tear ducts. The problem is that director David Frankel and screenwriter Howard Franklin, working off a nonfiction book by Mark Obmascik, are experts at neither tickling, plucking, nor draining. — The Christian Sciene Monitor

“The Big Year” is the kind of film that sneaks up on you. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it at first, and at some point my interest began to wane…then the film circled around and got to me. I think it was when the filmmakers tipped their hand that the movie is less about birding than it is about finding contentment, no matter where you are on life’s journey. — Leonard Maltin

People watching birds is a nice thing. People watching a movie about people watching birds is sort of a snore. — The Detroit Free Press

Posted by:Liz Kelly Nelson