Jeremy of We Got This Covered wrote, "Who thought it would be a good idea to make a film about birding, one of the dullest hobbies on paper without a doubt. Jack Black, Steve Martin and Owen Wilson star in David Frankel's birding comedy that plays out more like a dull history lesson about birds, uninteresting characters and irritating voice overs. Not even Rashida Jones could save this film with her brief role as the love interest for slob boy Jack Black, but at least Anthony Anderson's cameo appearance proves that he can take a role without trying to be funny. Oh, who am I kidding, there's nothing good about The Big Year. It's a train-wreck before it even leaves the station."