Big Nothing (2006) Movie Review

Big Nothing

Big Nothing (2006) is an intense, dark comedy that follows the journey of Charlie and his unlikely partner, a shady ex-preacher named Gus. When Charlie is fired from his job at a call center, he finds himself in desperate need of money. Desperate times lead to desperate measures and Charlie and Gus set off on a series of misadventures in pursuit of quick cash.

The film is written and directed by Jean-Baptiste Andrea, who has crafted an incredibly entertaining yet thought-provoking story. The movie features some great performances from its two leads, Simon Pegg and David Schwimmer, as well as excellent supporting turns from Alice Eve and Mimi Rogers.

Big Nothing (2006) is full of suspenseful moments that will keep you on the edge of your seat. It’s a smartly written movie that raises questions about morality, loyalty, and friendship. This review will delve into what makes this movie so special and explain why it deserves more recognition than it has received over the years.


big nothing

Big Nothing is a 2006 British-American black comedy film directed by Jean-Baptiste Andrea and starring David Schwimmer, Simon Pegg, and Alice Eve. The movie follows the story of an unemployed teacher named Charlie (Schwimmer) who teams up with a con man named Gus (Pegg) to scam an eccentric billionaire. In this overview, we will discuss the plot elements of the film as well as its analysis.

The plot of Big Nothing revolves around Charlie, a former schoolteacher who has been out of work for some time. After being offered a job by Gus to blackmail someone using their cell phone photos, they soon find themselves in over their heads when they discover that their target is an eccentric billionaire. To complicate matters further, it turns out that the billionaire has hired his own hitman to take care of any potential blackmailers. As the stakes get higher, Charlie and Gus must find a way to come out on top while evading capture from both the police and the hitman.

Big Nothing offers an entertaining look at crime and corruption in modern society. Through its dark humor and clever writing, it explores themes such as greed, desperation, and ambition in a lighthearted manner. The performances from all cast members are strong and convey each character’s unique motivations for getting involved with this scheme. Overall, Big Nothing provides an enjoyable ride through criminal activity with plenty of laughs along the way.

Plot Summary

Now that we have an overview of the film, let’s take a closer look at the plot. Big Nothing follows Charlie, a former schoolteacher who has been out of work for some time. Desperate for money, he takes on a mysterious job offered by Gus: to blackmail someone using their cell phone photos. After they find out that their target is an eccentric billionaire, they realize they’re way over their heads. To make matters worse, the billionaire has hired his own hitman to take care of any potential blackmailers.

The film then follows Charlie and Gus as they try to come up with a plan to get out of this mess while evading capture from both the police and the hitman. Along the way, they encounter various obstacles and learn more about each other’s motivations for getting involved in this scheme. Through dark humor and clever writing, Big Nothing explores themes such as greed, desperation, and ambition in an entertaining manner.

All in all, Big Nothing provides an enjoyable ride through criminal activity with plenty of laughs along the way. The performances from all cast members are strong and convey each character’s unique motivations for getting involved with this scheme. As we follow Charlie and Gus on their journey to survive this ordeal alive, we gain insight into the darker side of modern society and its consequences on those who get too close to it.

Cast And Characters

Big Nothing features a star-studded cast of actors in its lead roles. Charlie is played by David Schwimmer, best known for his role as Ross on Friends. Gus is portrayed by Simon Pegg, who brings his signature comedic charm to the role. The billionaire target is played by Jeff Bridges, adding an air of sophistication to the character. Other notable members of the cast include Alice Eve and Brad Garrett.

The characters in Big Nothing are unique and well-developed, making them easy to connect with. Charlie is a desperate man who gets caught up in a situation that he can’t control. He’s motivated by money and survival, making him sympathetic despite his misdeeds. Gus is an enigmatic figure whose motivations are more complicated than they appear at first glance.

His relationship with Charlie develops throughout the film as we learn more about their pasts and why they’re in this mess together. Finally, Jeff Bridges’ character provides an intriguing foil to our two protagonists as he attempts to take control of their situation for his own gain.

Overall, Big Nothing offers viewers engaging characters that bring depth to the story and keep us invested until its climax. Through clever writing and strong performances from the cast, each character comes alive on screen and adds a layer of complexity to this thrilling crime drama.

Production Details

For a low-budget crime drama, Big Nothing packs a lot of punch. The production budget was estimated at $8 million, and the filmmakers made the most out of every penny. The release date was December 8th, 2006 in the United Kingdom and then April 20th, 2007 in the United States.

Filming took place in Vancouver, Canada throughout 2005. This allowed for some beautiful shots of the city’s skyline which were then mixed with sound stages to create unique locations for specific scenes. Additionally, there were some outdoor shoots on location in British Columbia to capture some breathtaking natural beauty.

Big Nothing is an excellent example of clever filmmaking that makes a big impact despite its modest budget. It showcases many talented actors as well as stunning cinematography that make it stand out from similar crime dramas.


The cinematography of Big Nothing is a major highlight of the movie. The filmmakers use various techniques to create a unique visual style that enhances the mood and tone of the film. The camera work is sharp and precise, with close-ups that capture the emotion of each scene and wide shots that reveal the environment around them. Additionally, quick editing techniques are used to keep the pace moving throughout.

This style helps to give the film its gritty, noir feel. There is an emphasis on shadows and darkness, which adds a sense of danger and tension to each scene. This is further helped by some creative lighting choices and angles, which draw attention to certain elements while obscuring others at key moments. All these elements combine together to give Big Nothing a distinct look that keeps it interesting from start to finish.

Overall, these cinematography techniques come together in a way that makes Big Nothing stand out from similar crime dramas. It creates a captivating atmosphere that keeps viewers engaged throughout and really brings the story to life on-screen.


As the visuals of Big Nothing set a dark and suspenseful tone, the soundtrack brings it all together. The movie score is composed by Jonathan Elias and is full of eerie, atmospheric music that perfectly complements the visuals. Each piece of music captures the mood of its respective scene and helps to draw viewers further into the story.

The film music also serves as a narrative device in many scenes, with certain pieces conveying particular emotions or themes. For example, at times there are more upbeat tracks that signify excitement or humor, while slower and more intense pieces signal danger and tension. These touches add an extra layer of depth to the movie as a whole and really help to bring it to life on-screen.

Overall, Big Nothing’s soundtrack is an integral part of the experience, helping to make it one of the most captivating crime dramas out there today. It works alongside the visuals to create a unique atmosphere that keeps viewers engaged throughout and provides an added level of depth to the overall story.

Themes And Motifs

Big Nothing is a dark, suspenseful movie that deals with themes of existentialism and meaninglessness. Throughout the film, characters grapple with questions of identity and purpose as they come to terms with their desperate situations. The story is full of images and motifs that emphasize these ideas, such as the frequent use of empty hallways and abandoned buildings. These visual cues help to drive home the theme of futility that lies at the core of the film.

The soundtrack also plays an important role in conveying this sense of emptiness, with its eerie music painting a picture of hopelessness and despair. Even during scenes where characters are portrayed as having some measure of control or power, there is an underlying tone of uncertainty that serves to remind viewers just how meaningless life can be.

Overall, Big Nothing is an excellent example of how filmmakers can convey complex themes through visuals and sound. Combining elements like atmosphere, music, imagery, and motifs into a cohesive whole creates an intense viewing experience that resonates long after the credits have rolled.

Critical Reception

The critical reception of Big Nothing has been largely positive, with critics praising the film’s dark and thought-provoking themes. Most reviews praised the movie’s ability to create an atmosphere of suspense and unease, while also touching on deeper issues of identity and purpose. The performances of David Schwimmer, Simon Pegg, and Jesse Bradford were all well received, with many critics noting that their characters’ struggles to make sense of their lives were a powerful metaphor for our own search for meaning.

Analysis of the audience’s opinion reveals that viewers were similarly impressed by the film’s thought-provoking nature. Many noted that despite its bleak subject matter, there was still a glimmer of hope at the end, which resonated with viewers on an emotional level. Many also praised the soundtrack for setting a perfect tone for each scene, helping to draw them in even further.

Overall, Big Nothing is a well-crafted movie that succeeds in exploring difficult topics without becoming too heavy-handed or melodramatic. Its strong visuals and engaging story have resonated with audiences and critics alike, making it a must-watch for anyone who enjoys thoughtful thrillers.

Awards And Nominations

Big Nothing has been recognized for its quality by several movie awards ceremonies. It was nominated for Best Picture at the Saturn Awards and won an honorable mention at the San Francisco Independent Film Festival. At the Edinburgh International Film Festival, it was nominated for Best British Feature Film.

Additionally, both David Schwimmer and Simon Pegg were nominated for Best Actor at the British Independent Film Awards. The film also received several other nominations from various festivals and organizations, including three Golden Globe nominations.

These awards demonstrate that Big Nothing is a well-crafted and thought-provoking film that is worthy of recognition. Its dark themes and powerful performances have earned it acclaim from both critics and audiences alike, making it one of the best films of 2006.

Box Office Performance

Despite its critical acclaim, Big Nothing was not a major box office success. The film earned just over $2 million in the U.S., and an additional $1 million overseas, leading to a total gross of around $3 million.

To better understand the film’s box office performance, an analysis of its release is necessary. Big Nothing opened in limited release on December 8th, 2006, and expanded to a wide release on January 5th, 2007. During this time frame, it was competing with several other popular films like Casino Royale and Dreamgirls. As such, it had difficulty garnering attention from moviegoers who were more likely to see those larger-scale releases than an independent dark comedy.

Ultimately, Big Nothing’s small budget and lack of star power made it difficult for the film to make a significant impact at the box office. Despite its quality and recognition from awards shows, it failed to draw enough viewers in theaters due to its limited marketing campaign and competition from bigger releases.

Home Media Release

Though it failed to make a splash at the box office, Big Nothing eventually received a home media release. On June 5th, 2007, the DVD of the film was released in the US and Canada. The disc included special features like deleted scenes, audio commentaries, behind-the-scenes footage, and interviews with the cast and crew.

The availability of Big Nothing on DVD likely helped to spread its popularity among viewers who might not have seen it in theaters. In addition to its physical release, the film was also made available for streaming on various digital platforms such as iTunes and Amazon Prime Video. This allowed people from all over the world to access it with ease, thus increasing its exposure even further.

As a result of these releases, Big Nothing has become something of a cult classic in recent years. It has gained a passionate following thanks to its darkly comedic tone and memorable characters that are still discussed today.

Influence And Legacy

Since its release in 2006, Big Nothing has left a lasting impression on popular culture. The film’s influence can be seen in many movies that followed it, such as the 2009 black comedy In Bruges and Edgar Wright’s crime-comedy Hot Fuzz. It also had an impact on television, inspiring shows like Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul.

Beyond its influence on other media, the film has become a classic in its own right. Its darkly comedic tone and memorable characters have helped make it one of the most beloved cult films of the last two decades. Fans of the movie often discuss its themes and references online, creating a passionate fan base dedicated to keeping the legacy of Big Nothing alive.

The 2006 movie continues to draw the attention of new viewers as well as long-time fans alike. Thanks to its home media release, Big Nothing can now be seen by people around the world who might not have had access to it before. This makes it easier than ever for audiences to appreciate this underrated gem and understand why it remains so influential today.

Easter Eggs

For fans of Big Nothing, there are plenty of secrets to uncover. The film is full of hidden references and Easter eggs that can be found with a bit of searching. From subtle nods to other films to in-jokes about the production itself, the movie has something for everyone who takes the time to look at it.

One of the most interesting easter eggs in Big Nothing is the appearance of a painting by artist Mark Ryden during one scene. The painting is called “The Treehouse” and is part of a series that features elements from popular culture, including characters from The Simpsons and Star Trek. This reference may have been overlooked by some viewers, but it adds an extra layer of depth to the movie’s narrative.

Big Nothing also contains several references to director Jean-Baptiste Andrea’s previous films, such as his 2001 movie Un moment d’égarement. These nods to his earlier work create an interesting dynamic between past and present that shows how Andrea has grown as a filmmaker over time. Whether you’re looking for these Easter eggs or simply enjoying the film on its own merits, Big Nothing is sure to surprise viewers with its clever references and hidden details.

Fan Theories

Big Nothing has inspired a wide array of fan theories over the years, ranging from the plausible to the completely outlandish. Viewers have proposed several interpretations of the movie’s plot and characters, all of which add an extra layer of interest to this cult classic.

One popular fan theory suggests that Big Nothing is actually a prequel to another 2006 movie, The Prestige. This idea has been shared by many viewers who believe that both films share similar themes and motifs that tie them together. While this theory is far-fetched, it does provide an interesting perspective on how the two films can be connected.

Another popular fan theory concerning Big Nothing centers around protagonist Charlie Kane’s hidden past. Some viewers speculate that he was once part of a criminal organization or even had ties to organized crime. Whether or not this theory is true remains unknown; however, it does add an exciting element of mystery to the film as viewers wonder what secrets Charlie may be hiding. No matter what your opinion of Big Nothing may be, it’s clear that this movie continues to inspire debate and speculation among its fans.


As a cult classic, Big Nothing has attracted its fair share of movie trivia and behind-the-scenes stories. These little-known facts offer a fascinating insight into the making of the film and its lasting impact on viewers.

One interesting piece of trivia is that the movie was filmed entirely in Canada. It was shot in both Vancouver and Toronto, but it’s set in Oregon — this discrepancy is often pointed out by fans who are familiar with the locations used for filming. Additionally, several scenes were actually filmed inside an abandoned mental hospital located in Toronto, which adds an intriguing atmosphere to certain parts of the movie.

Big Nothing also has an impressive cast list that includes recognizable actors such as David Schwimmer and Simon Pegg. Interestingly, Pegg was originally offered a much larger role in the film; however, he decided to take on a smaller part instead due to scheduling conflicts. This decision ultimately paid off as Big Nothing has since become one of his most memorable roles.

From its unique filming locations to its star-studded cast, Big Nothing continues to captivate viewers with its interesting mix of comedy and mystery.


In conclusion, Big Nothing (2006) is a UK-American dark comedy, directed by Jean-Baptiste Andrea and starring David Schwimmer, Simon Pegg, and Alice Eve. It follows the story of Charlie, a disgruntled ex-teacher who joins forces with an eccentric vacuum cleaner salesman on a mission to blackmail their former boss.

The film was praised for its innovative cinematography style that captures the dark humor in the story, as well as its clever use of symbolism and Easter Eggs. Its influence has been seen in many films since its release and it has developed a cult following due to its unique blend of wit and absurdity. While Big Nothing may not be remembered as one of the greatest films ever made, it certainly stands out from other comedies from the early 2000s in terms of originality and is worth a watch for any fan of British comedy.

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