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Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt, Kristin Scott Thomas, Amr Waked, Tom Mison ... see more see more... , Rachael Stirling , Conleth Hill , Catherine Steadman , Tom Beard , Jill Baker , Alex Taylor-McDowall , Matilda White , Otto Farrant , Hamish Gray , Clive Wood , Peter Wight , Waleed Akhtar , Hugh Simon , James Cutting , Colin Kilkelly , Nayef Rashed , Steven Blake

When Britain's leading fisheries expert (Ewan McGregor) is approached by a consultant (Emily Blunt) to help realize a sheikh's (Amr Waked) vision of bringing the sport of fly-fishing to the desert, he... read more read more... immediately thinks the project is both absurd and unachievable. But when the Prime Minister's overzealous press secretary (Kristin Scott Thomas) latches on to it as a "good will" story, this unlikely team will put it all on the line and embark on an upstream journey of faith and fish to prove the impossible, possible. -- (C) CBS Films

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64% liked it

47,157 ratings


67% liked it

139 critics

PG-13, 1 hr. 52 min.

Directed by: Lasse Hallstrom

Release Date: March 9, 2012

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DVD Release Date: July 17, 2012

Stats: 1,702 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (1,702)

  • July 11, 2013
    Unusual story about two people are put together because of an ambitious project of fly fishing in the desert. Good cast.
  • June 6, 2013
    Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is a lovely story with likable performances. I liked the pace, nothing was rushed and the relationships were believable as were the characters. I think some elements were a little heavy handed, Kristin Scott Thomas's performance and character could hav... read moree been toned down a little but on the whole it worked well. Still, even with the few tweaks, it was never going to be an amazing film, not that there is anything wrong with that, it is simply a nice film and you can't knock a nice film.
  • April 22, 2013
    Really nice movie! Enjoyable. Sweet. Funny. Good acting from a notable British cast. Although I am not so sure about the plausibility of their venture, I really enjoyed their interactions. Kristin Scott Thomas's role was hilarious! I also appreciated the courtesy that each player... read more showed for the others' culture. It was sweet, sensitive, and promoted the "against all odds" idea. Nicely done!
  • fb100000145236770
    January 4, 2013
    I got a copy of this earlier in the year and didn't watch it because it looked boring and didn't want to make the time. Then the Golden Globe nominations came out and this is up for a lot of Comedy awards, so I figured I would go back and give it a chance. Since it is up for co... read moremedy awards, I assumed it would be hilarious, but it is not. This is a romantic drama through and through with an uplifting story about faith. How anyone thinks this is one of the best five comedies of the year, I'll never know. Ewan McGregor plays a fish expert who helps a consultant(Emily Blunt) realize a sheikh's(Amr Waked) dream of bringing fly fishing to the desert. He thinks it is impossible, but finds ways to make it possible while falling for Blunt. It's not a bad movie at all, kind of bland, but it's not bad. McGregor is one of the most underrated actors today and here he does a great job. Blunt is ok, and their chemistry probably could have been better, but it's better than most. If there is one reason to call this a comedy it's because of Kristen Scott Thomas's press secretary. She has some great lines and is the reason for the 2 times I laughed during the movie. If anyone should get any nominations for comedy in this it's her(she got nothing, btw). A lot of people I know will probably never think twice about watching this, but if your ever bored and just wanna watch a "feel good movie", pop this in. Might surprise you.
  • December 26, 2012
    Watery, messy, mixed up and bitty "romantic" "comedy" without enough clear links. Occasionally funny and engaging but far more frequently squirm-inducingly cringy, contrived and unfocussed.
  • October 28, 2012
    Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is an inspirational film featuring fine performances from Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt. The story overall pretty well thought out, but there were some parts of the film where I felt like I should've been filled in on more details. Some of the suppor... read moreting cast's acting was unbelievable and I was shocked to see that some of the parts spoken in other languages were dubbed over, but that it was so obvious that what was being said on film was different from what was dubbed over it. Reserved, fun, emotional, and ultimately unsatisfying, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen almost makes the jump to safe ground on the ladder.
  • October 15, 2012
    Salmon Fishing in the Yemen will likely not be outdone in 2012 for strangest title of a mainstream film release. It is indeed about the crazy idea of bringing salmon to an emerging system of rivers in a Middle Eastern country. You'd expect some cultural conflicts and even some ca... read moren-do uplift by the end. What I wasn't expecting was a hokey romantic comedy to take hold of the movie. Ewan McGregor plays a repressed fish expert who partners up with Emily Blunt, whose company represents a wealthy Yemen sheik with a cockamamie dream. I felt that the sheer magnitude of project, transforming an environment, the triumph of the human spirit and cooperation, would be compelling enough. But this trifle of a romance demands the greater attention. There's a contrived plot point where Blunt's boyfriend of three weeks is presumed dead in Afghanistan. Guess who comes back later? This entire storyline hinges around the fact that she was only with the guy for three weeks; even she admits, "I never got to know him better." The coupling feels extra tacky because McGregor is married too. Sure his marriage appears to be in a rut, but does that excuse his behavior? The political satire of the British government also feels pretty tin-eared and forced, like they're compensating with volume for wit. Then there are the corny moments like McGregor foiling an assassination attempt on the sheik with a fly fishing rod. Yes, he whips it around the attacker's arm like Zorro. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is a nice enough little film, at least it would have been had it ever been allowed to jettison the yoke of a lackluster romantic comedy.

    Nate's Grade: C+
  • August 16, 2012
    Make the Improbable possible.

    Great Movie! Enjoying a film like "Salmon Fishing In The Yemen" is similar to acquiring a taste for actual fishing. Like the sport that some find invigorating while others find it dreadfully dull, this film has its draggy moments. However, there are... read more also enlightening points to the movie that come when you least expect them. The film has elements of romantic comedy, environmentalism, foreign relations drama, and insight-fulness that makes it difficult to concretely categorize. Fortunately, all these facets combine to create a story that's far from predictable. Just like a current, there are times you don't know where the story is going. In the leading roles, Ewan McGregor and Eva Green have a good chemistry with each other, and despite being very famous actors, they are both perfectly credible as two normal people in a labor situation which invites the romance almost by accident. "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" is a pleasure to watch and I can assure you you won't feel disappointed. Unles you are not the kind who appreciates a good old fashioned story, simple and yet full of determination.

    A visionary sheik believes his passion for the peaceful pastime of salmon fishing can enrich the lives of his people, and he dreams of bringing the sport to the not so fish-friendly desert. Willing to spare no expense, he instructs his representative to turn the dream into reality, an extraordinary feat that will require the involvement of Britain's leading fisheries expert who happens to think the project both absurd and unachievable. That is, until the Prime Minister's overzealous press secretary latches on to it as a 'good will' story. Now, this unlikely team will put it all on the line and embark on an upstream journey of faith and fish to prove the impossible, possible.
  • fb733768972
    August 12, 2012
    Due to the solid performances from it's two leads (Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor), "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" is a quirky little film. As the sport of Salmon fishing is not allowed/impossible in the "Yemen," there has been speculation on letting rivers run through the desert, ... read morein order for people to fish globally. It is a simple story accented with amazing scenery, great acting, and some stunning underwater visuals. Most of the time I felt like I was watching a series of short films that were linked together, because I felt like there was not enough development anywhere in the film. People are motivated to do things and that is where the movie takes off. The chemistry is great and that is what sold me. This film is very average in my opinion, but it was a nice watch once.
  • July 25, 2012
    Due to much of the rest of the film, SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN isn't wholly undercooked. There is a sense of delicious entertainment that seems to permeate the surrounding plot. In a sidebar story, the dramedy presented a growing love between the characters of Emily Blunt and E... read morewan McGregor. Usually, "second story romances" are one of my biggest cinematic pet peeves, but the idea worked surprisingly well, at a subtle, well-acted, believable standard that was no distraction from the more significant plot. The film, though perhaps lacking in the dramatic area it needs to achieve, has a sweet, charming sense of humor, one that sets the mood, evokes a chuckle every once in a while, and adds a hint of enthusiasm into the film. Though SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN is nowhere near perfect, it presents what I love best about sports-oriented films. It makes me care about the subject matter, despite my critical dislike for the activity. But that's in its beautiful feeling, not its lackluster presentation.

    "fish" for the rest of the review at

Critic Reviews

Guy Lodge
April 17, 2012
Guy Lodge, Time Out

The stars are endearing enough to keep things tolerable, though you may wonder why even McGregor's Scots brogue sounds artificially sweetened here. Full Review

Connie Ogle
March 29, 2012
Connie Ogle, Miami Herald

Hallstrom shores up his film with a terrific cast that can often make up for the parts that sag under the uneven weight of preciousness. Full Review

Calvin Wilson
March 23, 2012
Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

It's an engaging love story that should appeal to moviegoers with a flair for the offbeat. Full Review

Moira MacDonald
March 22, 2012
Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times

Only Scott Thomas, biting off all her sentences like a piranha, rescues "Salmon Fishing" from being a by-the-numbers romantic comedy; you wish the redoubtable Ms. Maxwell had her own movie. Full Review

Colin Covert
March 22, 2012
Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune

While "Salmon Fishing" fritters away the comic momentum of its madcap opening chapters, it's like angling -- a pleasant diversion if you can look below the surface and muster the patience to appreciat... Full Review

Bill Goodykoontz
March 22, 2012
Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic

A charming little movie. Full Review

John Anderson
March 16, 2012
John Anderson, Newsday

While both Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor are enormously appealing actors, Hallstrom has made a movie that pretends it is something it's not -- namely, an intelligent romantic comedy. Full Review

Scott Bowles
March 15, 2012
Scott Bowles, USA Today

Despite sporting the worst cinematic title since The Chumscrubber, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen hooks some charming laughs and a quaint romance by not delving too deeply into its subject matter. Full Review

Peter Rainer
March 9, 2012
Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor

I'll say this much for Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, it's got a catchy title. But beware of films with catchy titles. The films themselves usually don't live up to them. Full Review

Mary F. Pols
March 9, 2012
Mary F. Pols, TIME Magazine

Salmon Fishing was a novel first and you can see how all these juggled balls could stay in the air on the page, but in movie form, many of them just seem extraneous. Full Review

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