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Fargo (1996)

  R HD Closed Captioning

Joel Coen

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Plot Summary

In Fargo, filmmaking brothers Joel and Ethan Coen both embrace and satirize their North Dakota roots. A patrolman and two innocent bystanders are discovered murdered in cold blood on a snowy North Dakota highway, leading very pregnant policewoman Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand) on an investigation that uncovers a conspiracy of greed and ineptitude. Minneapolis husband, farther and car salesman Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy), who has long chafed under the thumb of his wealthy boss and father-in-law, concocts an elaborate scheme involving the kidnapping of his wife and a million-dollar ransom to pay off his extensive gambling debts. However, everything that could possibly go wrong indeed DOES go wrong. Officer Gunderson's outwardly homespun and folksy persona conceals a penetrating mind and a fierce moral compass, and she easily sees through the poorly executed and badly hidden events perpetrated by the bumbling, yet highly dangerous kidnappers (Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare). Her hilarious and arresting performance netted her an Oscar, and the Coens were also rewarded with a Best Original Screenplay award.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews

TOMATOMETER

94%
  • Reviews Counted: 84
  • Fresh: 79
  • Rotten: 5
  • Average Rating: 8.6/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Fargo is a strikingly mature, uniqueentertainment that plays on many levels ... all satisfying. – Leonard Klady, Variety, Jul 7, 2010

Fresh: Chief Gunderson was created by the Coens specifically for Frances McDormand ... and they've been rewarded by a brilliant and unblinking comic performance. – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times, Apr 21, 2014

Fresh: A few scenes go around in circles, as if snow-blind, and the humor may be too inward and contorted for some tastes. But McDormand brings order to the weirdness and warms it up. – Anthony Lane, New Yorker, Apr 21, 2014

Fresh: Fargo, with its grotesque murders and cheery detectives, is a cold gem that takes us to the far north. Its seemingly pitiless light opens up the realms of darkness concealed beneath that world of white. – Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune, Apr 21, 2014

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

a perfect movie

One of the greatest screenplays of all time, Fargo is a must see. The best Coen Bros film, Fargo is a masterpiece with excellent cinematography and characters. I love this movie, it's one of the seven movie i own.

Go, Bears!!

Great movie; one of my top 5 (maybe even number 1) of all time!!

Outstanding

I can't think of any other movie where just listening to the way people say something is this damn entertaining. Yes it's a good movie besides that, but I can still watch it over and over just to hear the crazy banter with the trippy accent. Love it.

Fargo (1996)
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  • $14.99
  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 1996

Customer Ratings