A Serious ManHD Closed Captioning
Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
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About the Movie
Academy Award®-winning directors Joel and Ethan Coen return to their comedy roots with this original and darkly humorous story about one ordinary man’s quest to become a serious man. Physics professor Larry Gopnik (Michael Stuhlbarg) can’t believe his life: His wife is leaving him for his best friend, his unemployed brother won’t move off the couch, someone is threatening his career, his kids are a mystery and his neighbor is tormenting him by sunbathing nude. Struggling to make sense of it all, Larry consults three different rabbis and their answers lead him on a twisted journey of faith, family, delinquent behavior and mortality in the film critics rave is “seriously awesome!” (Michael Hogan, Vanity Fair)
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 214
- Fresh: 192
- Rotten: 22
- Average Rating: 7.9/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: If you're puzzled by the Coen Brothers' horrific comedies, this is the closest thing you'll get to an explanation.
Fresh: The entire script is a mishmash: funny, droll, and anxiety producing, just like daily life in many Jewish families.
Fresh: Joel and Ethan Coen love to play God; they put their characters through hell, torturing them endlessly and treating them with disdain before finally giving them peace (usually through death, madness or some form of imprisonment).
Fresh: The Coens may play around with that tradition, they may disparage it or mock it. But they are irrevocably a part of it, and that's all to the good.
A solid film by the Coens
A Serious Man follows a Jewish college professor (Michael Stuhlbarg) who has tried to lead a life beyond reproach and has been rewarded with an unfaithful wife, an ethical dilemma, and debt. Adrift and losing hope, he turns to his faith for guidance. Stuhlbarg is superb as the nervous, put-upon protagonist, delivering a performance which is hilarious and poignant, often at the same time. And the Coens are in top form. This stylish film is overflowing with humor and wit and also serves as a wry exploration of religion and its ultimate failings. Not as memorable as O Brother, Where Art Thou? or No Country for Old Men, but, still, an easy recommendation.
If you're a fan of the Coen brothers' films...
...then I can pretty much guarantee you will enjoy this film. It is thoroughly original. The acting is excellent - better than 80% of acting in the common Hollywood blockbuster. But most significant, in my opinion, is the difficulty I've had in trying to identify a movie with a better script and better directing. Put simply, the Coens have created a great piece of literature on film.
If you're not a Coen brothers fan and you prefer a feel-good date movie starring Hugh Grant or Julia Roberts, or an action movie with The Rock, you may want to steer clear. But if you're willing to keep an open mind, you're willing to contemplate a film's meaning after its ending, and you are interested in filmmaking at its best, you may want to rent this. You may even find yourself wanting to watch this movie more than once.
a classic by any standard!
I've not been moved enough by a film to write a review before. That's how much I liked this film. The subtleness of the humor running through it is seemingly perfectly balanced with brooding drama, giving it a tone that is so tantalizingly enjoyable. The Jewish culture is portrayed so brilliantly. I'd often find myself grinning as much at the mastery of the film making as the content of the film itself. I'd give this movie 6 stars if I could.
- A Serious Man (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
- Various Artists