7.3/10
167,897
657 user 269 critic

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)

Trailer
2:32 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
With a plan to exact revenge on a mythical shark that killed his partner, Oceanographer Steve Zissou rallies a crew that includes his estranged wife, a journalist, and a man who may or may not be his son.

Director:

Wes Anderson
Reviews
Popularity
2,755 ( 440)
3 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The eccentric members of a dysfunctional family reluctantly gather under the same roof for various reasons.

Director: Wes Anderson
Stars: Gene Hackman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Anjelica Huston
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A year after their father's funeral, three brothers travel across India by train in an attempt to bond with each other.

Director: Wes Anderson
Stars: Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman
Rushmore (1998)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The extracurricular king of Rushmore Preparatory School is put on academic probation.

Director: Wes Anderson
Stars: Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Olivia Williams
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A pair of young lovers flee their New England town, which causes a local search party to fan out to find them.

Director: Wes Anderson
Stars: Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Bruce Willis
Bottle Rocket (1996)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Three friends plan to pull off a simple robbery and go on the run.

Director: Wes Anderson
Stars: Luke Wilson, Owen Wilson, Ned Dowd
Adventure | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous hotel from the fictional Republic of Zubrowka between the first and second World Wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend.

Director: Wes Anderson
Stars: Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric
Isle of Dogs (2018)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Set in Japan, Isle of Dogs follows a boy's odyssey in search of his lost dog.

Director: Wes Anderson
Stars: Bryan Cranston, Koyu Rankin, Edward Norton
Short | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A prologue of one heart-breaking history of love and the prologue of the travel told in The Darjeeling Limited (2007).

Director: Wes Anderson
Stars: Jason Schwartzman, Natalie Portman, Waris Ahluwalia
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A faded movie star and a neglected young woman form an unlikely bond after crossing paths in Tokyo.

Director: Sofia Coppola
Stars: Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Giovanni Ribisi
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A family determined to get their young daughter into the finals of a beauty pageant take a cross-country trip in their VW bus.

Directors: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris
Stars: Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Greg Kinnear
Juno (2007)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Faced with an unplanned pregnancy, an offbeat young woman makes an unusual decision regarding her unborn child.

Director: Jason Reitman
Stars: Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner
Short | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Italy, September 1955. A Formula One driver crashes his car during a race, leaving him stuck in a small village but good surprises will come his way.

Director: Wes Anderson
Stars: Jason Schwartzman, Giada Colagrande, Giorgio Zancolla
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bill Murray ... Steve Zissou
Owen Wilson ... Ned Plimpton
Cate Blanchett ... Jane Winslett-Richardson
Anjelica Huston ... Eleanor Zissou
Willem Dafoe ... Klaus Daimler
Jeff Goldblum ... Alistair Hennessey
Michael Gambon ... Oseary Drakoulias
Noah Taylor ... Vladimir Wolodarsky
Bud Cort ... Bill Ubell
Seu Jorge ... Pelé dos Santos
Robyn Cohen ... Anne-Marie Sakowitz
Waris Ahluwalia ... Vikram Ray
Niels Koizumi Niels Koizumi ... Bobby Ogata
Pawel Wdowczak Pawel Wdowczak ... Renzo Pietro
Matthew Gray Gubler ... Intern #1
Edit

Storyline

When his partner is killed by the mysterious and possibly nonexistent Jaguar Shark, Steve Zissou and his Team Zissou crew set off for an expedition to hunt down the creature. Along with his estranged wife, a beautiful journalist and a co-pilot who could possibly be Zissou's son, the crew set off for one wild expedition. Written by FilmFanUK

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The deeper you go, the weirder life gets


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some drug use, violence and partial nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

25 December 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Life Aquatic See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$113,085, 12 December 2004

Gross USA:

$24,020,403

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$34,808,403
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The shot of Steve Zissou feeding a fish to a killer whale, which appears during a montage on Zissou's island, was also in the script for Wes Anderson's earlier film Rushmore (1998) (where it was written into a montage when Bill Murray's character is looking at fish specimens for his new aquarium). See more »

Goofs

When Steve pulls his gun on Jane during the interview, there is an audible thud as if he'd pulled the gun and then lowered it to touch the table, however when the shot changes to face him, he is holding the gun well above the table's surface. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[in Italian]
Festival Director: Ladies and gentlemen, we are very pleased to welcome you to the world premiere of Part 1 of the newest film from a great favorite of ours here at Loquasto, Mr. Steve Zissou. A brief Q & A will immediately follow the screening. Thank you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In memory of Jacques-Yves Cousteau and with gratitude to the Cousteau Society, which was not involved in the making of this film. See more »

Connections

References Stingray (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

Sanctify Us
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Angela Hewitt
Courtesy of Hyperion Records Ltd, London, England
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
In twelve years, the baby will be eleven and a half.
12 January 2005 | by film-criticSee all my reviews

What a stunning body of work Wes Anderson has created. I will be honest, when I first saw the previews to this film I was worried that Anderson may have gone the way of so many other directors who have developed their name in Hollywood. Art is replaced by money, which is replaced by angry fans. I saw the CGI fish and began to feel a sweat break with nervousness. Will he be able to continue the humor from Bottle Rocket, the darkness of Rushmore, as well as the ensemble connectedness from The Royal Tennanbaums? Well, folks, I am here to announce that he has taken the Hollywood money and has not veered too far off his signature course. I always imagine Anderson's work as a very dry martini. His humor, the most intelligent work I have seen in a long time, is like the liquid itself, creating this bold texture while packing a powerful emotional punch. The olives are the cast, giving just some extra to nibble on while you enjoy the entire drink. Place these elements together, the drink and olives, and you have The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

To begin with, this film would not have worked without anyone else in the lead than Bill Murray. His ability to contain himself while also giving us the emotional stress of being a first-time dad as well as loosing his best friend is Oscar worthy. He is the perfect guide for our trip, giving us that knowledgeable laugh as well as those sympathetic eyes that seem to shout, "Everything will work out". He is bold and smooth as both the Captain of the vessel as well as learning the tricks of being a father. His ability to deliver his lines was both crucial and beautifully timed giving us just enough to make us fall in love with him by the end of the film. Coupled with his amazing performances is the work of everyone else involved. Willem Dafoe proves that he can handle any role, big or small, and make it very memorable. My favorite character during this voyage was Cate Blanchett's role that nearly stole the show from Murray. Her multi-depth character gave us just the distraction that we needed to see the power of the father/son relationship. Her quirks take us deep into the human soul and give us a mother's perspective to this mission. It is a beautiful counter to Murray's passive/aggressive father figure. Goldblum is quickly becoming a favorite actor of mine, while Huston proves that she still has the ability inside of her. Both of these guys need to see more work. The rest of the eclectic cast ranges from the hilarious "interns" to the melancholy songs of David Bowie (see if you can spot them!). Even Noah Taylor (of Vanilla Sky fame) turned out a stunning performance. The cast shines through beautifully, playing off each other, giving us some of the best performances of the year.

I will admit, Anderson's comic narrative will leave this dry taste in your mouth, but for me it was a great experience. His humor is dry, his films are dry, but that is what makes him different than others in his field. He gives us those long pauses and obscure references that will either force you to think or create frustration because you do not understand his meaning. I have grown up on his films since seeing Bottle Rocket, and I love the way this man creates. One of my favorite lines and scenes in this film that I have raved to everyone as the epitome of an Anderson film was when Zissou first takes Ned to the island and Eleanor tells Steve that one of his cats died. After some banter, Ned asks what type of cat it was. Zissou replies "Who cares. A tabby I think…" which isn't funny at first, but then you realize that all he has on the island are Siamese cats, which only make me laugh harder in my seat. That is Wes Anderson humor, and it works perfectly for me. His ability to create these challenging characters and put them in situations that I never saw coming (the "pirates" scene being one of them) was outstanding. It felt as if he was throwing his crew into different troubles daily who in turn produced some of the best work ever. Only Wes Anderson could create beauty out of chaos.

My fear of the CGI was muted immediately when I saw that Anderson used the technique to create some of the most imaginative creatures ever to lurk in the sea impressed me. He didn't use it as a central focus of the film (until the end), and used it sporadically so that it really didn't feel as if it was being used. The creatures that he created are so bold and colorful that skillfully he uses them to counter the life of Zissou, which seems be getting darker by the day. This contrast allowed me to see deeper into Murray's character and root for his misadventures throughout the entire film.

Overall, I was very impressed. I know that not many enjoyed this picture as much as his previous works, but for me it was a fresh chapter with a stellar cast. Anderson is slowly changing the face of cinema, and soon others will follow trying to recreate his award winning voice, but will not succeed. This man is in the same boat as Gondry, Coppola, Jonez, and Kaufman. These are the imaginative thinkers of Hollywood that continually break the mold and open the doors to new possibilities.

Grade: ***** out of *****


257 of 377 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 657 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed