The BFG (2016) - Rotten Tomatoes

The BFG2016

The BFG (2016)



Critic Consensus: The BFG minimizes the darker elements of Roald Dahl's classic in favor of a resolutely good-natured, visually stunning, and largely successful family-friendly adventure.

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Movie Info

This film tells the tale of a young girl, the Queen of England and a benevolent giant known as the BFG, who set out on an adventure to capture the evil, man-eating giants who have been invading the human world.

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Mark Rylance
as The Big Friendly Giant
Penelope Wilton
as The Queen
Jemaine Clement
as Fleshlumpeater
Bill Hader
as Bloodbottler, Giant
Olafur Darri Olafsson
as Maidmasher/Cook
Adam Godley
as Manhugger/Lout #1
Rafe Spall
as Mr. Tibbs
Michael D. Adamthwaite
as Butcher Boy/Danish Driver
Daniel Bacon
as Bonecruncher/Lout #2
Jonathan Holmes
as Childchewer/Pub Landlord
Chris Gibbs
as Gizzardgulper/Late Night Walker
Paul Moniz de Sa
as Meatdripper/Lout #3
Haig Sutherland
as Danish Boy's Father
Shauna Hansen
as Danish Boy's Mother
Denise Jones
as Danish Driver's Wife
Chris Shields
as General #1
Matt Frewer
as General #2
Geoffrey Wade
as General #3
John Emmet Tracy
as Palace Staff #1 (aka Footman)
William Samples
as Palace Staff #2 (aka Footman)
Andy Thompson
as Palace Staff #3 (aka Footman)
Paul Barnhill
as Palace Staff #4 (aka Footman)
Paul Stuart Barnhill
as Palace Staff #4 (aka Footman)
Lucia Ryan
as Orphan Girl #1/Sophie Understudy
Julia Torrance
as Orphan Girl #2
Cal Davis
as Piper #1
Kyle Maloney
as Piper #2
David Orr
as Piper #4
Zachary Read
as Piper #5
David Glover
as Piper #6
Todd Biffard
as Pipe Drummer
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News & Interviews for The BFG

Critic Reviews for The BFG

All Critics (305) | Top Critics (78)

Visually, though, the film can be gorgeous.

December 30, 2016 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

When put into self-consciously cinematic form, The BFG becomes too big, too friendly, and too giant, in its rollicking gambols, patronizing slapstick, and certainly in its swelling sentimentality.

September 6, 2016 | Full Review…

The BFG is a delightful fantasy, one all associated with the film should be proud of, the end result an enchanting journey of resilience and imagination the likes of which dreams are born from.

August 9, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

In The BFG, a lengthy sequence in Dream Country is gorgeous, with dreams visualized as neon balls of glowing light, while the scenes in London are thoughtfully glum.

August 1, 2016 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…


July 24, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

This family-friendly blockbuster is not a Pixar pick-me-up, or a wacky Ice Age odyssey designed to send the little ones screaming excitedly through the foyer, hopped up on irony and wisecracks and heading directly for the nearest toy store.

July 22, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The BFG


It's a cute family fun drama but doesn't have the charm as the classic children's book!

Film Crazy
Film Crazy

Super Reviewer

Now to a British person around my age (30 +), Roald Dahl will mean a great deal. Back in the UK during the 80's Roald Dahl was huge, probably the most well known and loved children's story teller around at the time. His stories were virtually legendary for all kids. We read them in school, we read them at home (no internet or much on the home videogame front back then) and we saw them read on TV courtesy of [i]Jackanory[/i] on CBBC. 'The BFG' was arguably Dahl's most glorious achievement in this field, but to be blunt, they were all fantastic. The story is all about a little 10 year old orphan girl (named Sophie) living in London. One night she accidentally sees a giant as he goes about his business. The giant notices the girl and basically kidnaps her, bundling her away to giant country (to protect his existence). In giant country Sophie learns that the BFG catches dreams (in dream country) which allows him to control children's dreams, making them nice or nightmares. This why the BFG goes into the human realm every night, to give children dreams. Sophie also learns about the bad giants that eat people, a real threat to all humans. The main crux revolves around Sophie and the BFG convincing the Queen to help them capture all the bad giants before they can eat anymore people. So here we have the big screen adaptation of the beloved classic. The big Hollywood adaptation with flashy effects and A-list stars. We have already been blessed with the [i]Jackanory[/i] reading of the story back in 1983 by Bill Oddie which blended narration with still hand drawn imagery perfectly. So did we really need a movie? More to the point, was a live action approach the right approach? The first thing that hit me with this movie was how weak the CGI was, at least at first. Its a strange thing but the movie looks like something made for TV for quite some time. Now baring in mind this IS a Steven Spielberg flick I did find that really quite surprising. For around the first 30 minutes or so there is nothing of interest going on both story wise or effects wise, in fact the greenscreen effects are bad in my humble opinion. Its only when you start to see the BFG's face up close do you fully appreciate the CGI quality on display. So yes as things progress the effects do start to look much better, oddly, although don't go expecting a visual treat of colour and wonder. What was impressive, as said, was the detail on the BFG's face, and other giants. I think they really captured the look of the BFG from the original drawings by Quentin Blake, perfectly. They have nailed the giants scrawny, ragged, wrinkly physical appearance whilst also getting his country bumpkin-esque face right too. That might sound odd but it could of been very easy to get the face wrong, the wrong type of face. It seems they actually modelled the giants face on the actor who voices the BFG, Mark Rylance, I think. You can clearly see a resemblance if you ask me and this shows both good casting and decision making. Using Rylance's actual face will have clearly helped tremendously in giving the giants face such a realistic, original and quirky appearance, more like a caricature. I noticed they also got the mouth movements/speech pattern of the BFG spot on too. The CGI creation actually looked like it was speaking the dialog whilst Rylance's vocal tones and accent were also spot on too. So the visual effects were a mixed bag really, stunning close up details on giant faces but overall its a rather glum looking flick. Not even the sequences in dream country look overly marvellous, but I suppose it does all fit in with the book. Had everything been set in a vomit inducing CGI world much like the recent 'Alice in Wonderland' flicks...well that would have been very bad. Of course the story is now dated so it kinda seems a bit shallow really, at least compared to some kids stuff these days. The bad giants eat people, but do they do this a lot? often? We don't actually get much insight into why Sophie decides to try and capture all the giants, other than they are bad and are rumoured to eat people. Sure they ate a previous child that the BFG was friends with but there isn't really any evidence of much else. Its also very cutesy how the duo are able to get close to Buckingham Palace and the Queens window (a giant not getting seen??). All the typical British character stereotypes such as the stuffy military officers, the cliched British kinks and quirks such as what they eat with the Queen, attire and accents. But again its all part of the book, the time it was written is obviously a big part of the story thusly things are out of time. I think the movie is pretty faithful to the original book and it does well in bringing everything across to be fair. Although overall the movie has clearly been lightened up somewhat because believe it or not but Dahl's stories are actually pretty dark. This is why they were always so popular with kids, the fact that his stories were a bit gruesome and twisted (a modern equivalent of the Grimm fairy tales perhaps). Interestingly Spielberg did feel the need to include the tragic backstory for the BFG which surrounded the previous child that got eaten. This is not in the book but is actually just as dark as other bits of content, so it does question why some things were lightened up whilst this was added. The entire notion of different humans from different parts of the world tasting differently is totally gone. I can see how that might have triggered some types in this modern age (groan!!). Also the ending has been changed quite a bit from the book, although, I do actually feel the movies conclusion for the bad giants is actually better than the book. Quite frankly the books ending for the giants is ridiculous. So despite this being an all American affair I do believe they did capture the olde worlde, whimsical British atmosphere to a tee. I think the casting was very good (Ruby Barnhill as the chirpy Sophie especially), the voice work was very good and the effects were good in part. I think the general problem here was the stories lack of bite because they watered it down, plus the fact it generally didn't really feel all that thrilling. Maybe its because I know the tale and I'm an adult, I'm sure kids will enjoy this...I would think, but I could be wrong. In all honesty when watching this classic Dahl story as a full movie you do notice how light on plot the story actually is. Its very basic (obviously as it was for kids) and relies heavily on the quaintness of merry old England (in the 80's), the movie that is not the book. All in all I was kinda expecting a timeless journey of wonder and excitement...but it just felt lacklustre, a bit drab. I'm not a fan of all things being CGI even though it might look very good (in part). I dunno, I just get the feeling this could of looked and felt so much more fantabulous had it been created with stop motion animation (think 'James and the Giant Peach'), or maybe hand drawn animation. You really can lose that special magical spark with something like this and CGI if you ask me, not always of course. Anyway, 'tis a fine family adventure for sure, but I think it could/should of been better.

Phil Hubbs
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

The visual effects using performance capture are great, but there is no magic, beauty or even genuine emotion in this lifeless, poorly-structured and tedious movie that almost put me to sleep and certainly ranks now as one of the worst of Spielberg's entire career.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

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