Brigsby Bear Review

Updated on January 22, 2018
Ross Tanenbaum profile image

Ross is a student at the University of Maryland. He is planning on majoring in Film Studies and English.

A heartwarming, but troubling story about family and creativity


It's amazing how attached people can become to the movies or TV shows that they love. They can become obsessed with the world and characters that these shows create. There are also certain times where entertainment can help people get through tough times. This film shows how fan obsession can actually help bring people out of difficult times.


Kyle Mooney plays an adult who is stuck in a very child-like state of mind. This is probably because he was abducted at a very young age and stayed sheltered in a house in the middle of nowhere until he was an adult. He is finally found and returned to his original family. After being returned, he is still obsessed with a show called Brigsby Bear. He soon finds out that this show was only made for him by the people who abducted him. However, Mooney decides that Brigsby Bear is a show that can be enjoyed by everyone and begins to make his own version for the real world.


The performances in this movie are really great. Mooney takes on a dramatic role that is very different to his roles on Saturday Night Live and he really surprised me. He does a great job at capturing a character who has been hidden from the outside world and really doesn't know about anything. He hasn't discovered pop culture, music, and he hasn't had a lot of social interactions with other people his age. Mooney also is able to capture an adult who has a somewhat childish innocence, but is also trying to come to terms with his new reality.

The supporting cast around him also helps to propel his story. Greg Kinnear plays a cop who is helping out his family and he's really good. I also think another standout is Ryan Simpkins as Mooney's sister. She doesn't know how to handle the situation with her brother, but she does a good job at showing how she's trying her best to get to know him and adapt to it. Mark Hamill plays one of the people who abducted him and he's great as always. He takes a character who did a despicable thing and makes him somewhat likable. I never agreed with what he did, but there is one scene that made me understand why he did it. He also does the voice of Brigsby Bear and that's great to hear.

I loved how this film celebrates the idea of creativity. Even though Brigsby Bear spawned from a traumatic experience, it still shows the power of entertainment. Brigsby Bear had such an impact on Mooney that he felt like he couldn't live without it. When he begins to create his own version, it begins to impact other people and it's enjoyable to see.


The film is a bit tonally confused. There are times where it will just jump from being very lighthearted to very dramatic. Sometimes the message of celebrating creativity becomes muddled in the character study of an abducted child. For the most part, it does focus on Mooney developing Brigsby Bear, but it may cut to familial issues. I think it would've been more beneficial for the film to stick to one issue at a time instead of trying to blend them together.

Also, the film does drag a little bit in the middle, but it's very brief. The film is rather short so it never really gets too boring.

Final Thoughts

Brigsby Bear is a small, but delightful movie. It is very heartwarming, but also deals with certain problems that give it a unique emotional depth. It is a movie that I enjoyed a lot more than I thought it would, even though it didn't leave much of an impact on me. However, I did find myself a little inspired by the way that creativity can impact people from very different backgrounds.

Rating: 8.5/10

Brigsby Bear Blu Ray


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