7.3/10
70,105
254 user 128 critic

The Squid and the Whale (2005)

Trailer
2:25 | Trailer

Watch Now

With Prime Video

ON DISC
ALL
Follows two young boys dealing with their parents' divorce in Brooklyn in the 1980s.

Director:

Noah Baumbach

Writer:

Noah Baumbach
Reviews
Popularity
4,465 ( 187)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 23 wins & 47 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Frances Ha (2012)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A New York woman (who doesn't really have an apartment) apprentices for a dance company (though she's not really a dancer) and throws herself headlong into her dreams, even as the possibility of realizing them dwindles.

Director: Noah Baumbach
Stars: Greta Gerwig, Mickey Sumner, Adam Driver
Greenberg (2010)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A man from Los Angeles, who moved to New York years ago, returns to L.A. to figure out his life while he house-sits for his brother. He soon sparks with his brother's assistant.

Director: Noah Baumbach
Stars: Ben Stiller, Greta Gerwig, Jennifer Jason Leigh
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A lonely college freshman's life is turned upside-down by her impetuous, adventurous stepsister-to-be.

Director: Noah Baumbach
Stars: Greta Gerwig, Lola Kirke, Shana Dowdeswell
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Margot and her son Claude decide to visit her sister Pauline after she announces that she is marrying less-than-impressive Malcolm. In short order, the storm the sisters create leaves behind a mess of thrashed relationships and exposed family secrets.

Director: Noah Baumbach
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Flora Cross
Comedy | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A middle-aged couple's career and marriage are overturned when a disarming young couple enters their lives.

Director: Noah Baumbach
Stars: Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Adam Driver
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An estranged family gathers together in New York City for an event celebrating the artistic work of their father.

Director: Noah Baumbach
Stars: Adam Sandler, Grace Van Patten, Dustin Hoffman
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A bunch of guys hang around their college for months after graduation, continuing a life much like the one before graduation.

Director: Noah Baumbach
Stars: Josh Hamilton, Eric Stoltz, Samuel Gould
Mr. Jealousy (1997)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Lester is an occasional substitute teacher and he's very jealous. He is jealous about the last boyfriend of Lester's slightly wacky current partner Ramona - arrogant best-selling author ... See full summary »

Director: Noah Baumbach
Stars: Eric Stoltz, Annabella Sciorra, Chris Eigeman
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

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
Stars: Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Anjelica Huston
Paterson (2016)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A quiet observation of the triumphs and defeats of daily life, along with the poetry evident in its smallest details.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani, Nellie
Comedy | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

As the extremely withdrawn Don Johnston is dumped by his latest woman, he receives an anonymous letter from a former lover informing him that he has a son who may be looking for him. A freelance sleuth neighbor moves Don to embark on a cross-country search for his old flames in search of answers.

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: Bill Murray, Jessica Lange, Sharon Stone
De Palma (2015)
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A documentary about writer and director Brian De Palma.

Directors: Noah Baumbach, Jake Paltrow
Stars: Brian De Palma
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Owen Kline ... Frank Berkman
Jeff Daniels ... Bernard Berkman
Laura Linney ... Joan Berkman
Jesse Eisenberg ... Walt Berkman
William Baldwin ... Ivan
David Benger David Benger ... Carl
Anna Paquin ... Lili
Molly Barton Molly Barton ... Graduate Student
Bo Berkman Bo Berkman ... Graduate Student
Matthew Kaplan Matthew Kaplan ... Graduate Student
Simon Kaplan Simon Kaplan ... Graduate Student
Matthew Kirsch Matthew Kirsch ... Graduate Student
Daniella Markowicz Daniella Markowicz ... Graduate Student
Elizabeth Meriwether ... Graduate Student
Ben Schrank Ben Schrank ... Graduate Student
Edit

Storyline

In 1986, In Brooklyn, New York, the dysfunctional family of pseudo intellectuals composed by the university professor Bernard and the prominent writer Joan split. Bernard is a selfish, cheap and jealous decadent writer that rationalizes every attitude in his family and life and does not accept "philistines" - people that do not read books or watch movies, while the unfaithful Joan is growing as a writer and has no problems with "philistines". Their sons, the teenager Walt and the boy Frank, feel the separation and take side: Walt stays with Bernard, and Frank with Joan, and both are affected with abnormal behaviors. Frank drinks booze and smears with sperm the books in the library and a locker in the dress room of his school. The messed-up and insecure Walt uses Roger Water's song "Hey You" in a festival as if it was of his own, and breaks up with his girlfriend Sophie. Meanwhile Joan has an affair with Frank's tennis teacher Ivan and Bernard with his student Lili. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Joint Custody Blows.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, graphic dialogue and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 December 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Squid and the Whale See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$129,844, 9 October 2005

Gross USA:

$7,372,734

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$11,098,131
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the movie is heavily autobiographical, director and writer Noah Baumbach said he never pretended to have written "Hey You" by Pink Floyd for a school contest. In reality, a friend of his did it with a song by The Who. Baumbach borrowed the story because it felt so much like something that could've come from his childhood. See more »

Goofs

When Bernard is in Walt's room, telling Walt he should see a psychologist, a boom microphone arm is visible in the reflective surface of Walt's guitar. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Frank Berkman: Mom and me versus you and Dad.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits include this dedication: "For Mannie". See more »

Connections

Features Three's Company (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

Figure 8
Written by Bob Dorough (as Robert Dorough)
Performed by Blossom Dearie
Courtesy of American Broadcasting Music, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
I've never been so interested in people I don't care about
5 September 2013 | by rooprectSee all my reviews

The opening scene hits us with a bunch of characters who are so unlikeable that you may wonder what's the point in watching their lives for 81 minutes. In hindsight, and after watching the DVD interview with writer/director Noah Baumbach, I'm sure this was deliberate. By disliking (or rather disconnecting from) the characters at the outset, the audience can take a more objective, emotionless view of this dysfunctional family--much the same way the family approaches itself.

So don't expect many weepy scenes where you say to yourself, "I feel exactly like that character!" Because unless you're an egotistical snob of a father who ironically swears like a common sailor at his kids, or unless you're the cluelessly devoted son who parrots everything the father says, or the passive-aggressive mother who has affairs rather than confront her marital problems, or the younger son who seems pretty cool until he inexplicably starts doing disgusting things in the library (and I mean disgusting!), then I don't think you'll immediately associate with any character in the film. Not the way you might in a standard Hollywood crowd pleaser.

If you can make it past that, "The Squid and the Whale" becomes a thoroughly engaging, entertaining, and at times funny experience. It kept me riveted from start to finish, and I found myself wishing it had been longer.

A word about the humor: don't expect any big gags. In fact, in the interview Noah talks about how he had to tell the actors *not* to read their lines as if they're funny. He didn't intend it to be a comedy, but still (owing largely to the fantastic deadpan performances by Jeff Daniels & Jesse Eisenberg) you might find yourself cracking up at how plain bizarre everything is. Jeff Daniels (the father) in particular plays such a satirical caricature of a horrible parent that there's no other way to interpret his character than: a clown.

Something that has to be mentioned is the setting & time period of this film. Brooklyn 1986. Although I'm not a Brooklynite, I can speak as an 80s kid who loved all the minor references... clothes, hairstyles, Burger King collectible glasses at the dinner table, and the music! They picked a few gems I probably haven't heard since '86. All of this adds tremendous authenticity to the story and takes you on a sort of fantasy ride. It's hard to believe they got 21st century Brooklyn to look like 1986 on a small indie budget of $1.5 million, but I thought it was flawless.

On a filmmaking level, I noticed some cute nods to the French New Wave school of film (handheld cameras swinging back & forth for jarring effect à la "Jules & Jim" by Truffaut) and a general Godard-ish, brooding vibe to the whole presentation while not afraid to show bright, vibrant scenes. Whether or not you're a fan of New Wave, if you like unconventional camera work you'll probably get a kick out of Noah's approach.

Film I would compare this to are the excellent "City Island" which is on the lighter side, "The Savages" which is on the darker side, and "The Beaver" which is on the mildly psychotic side. Don't hesitate to see any one of them if you get the chance.


8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 254 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 Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed