A Serious Man
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Filmmaking duo Joel and Ethan Coen write, produce, and direct this period black comedy set in 1967 concerning a Midwestern physics professor whose staid and stable life slowly begins to unravel after his wife announces that she's leaving him. As if the failure of his longtime marriage wasn't enough for Larry Gopnik (Tony-nominated Michael Stuhlbarg) to contend with, now his socially inept brother refuses to move out of the house as well. Larry is a modest man of science. Up to this point, his life has been uneventful at best, but things are about to get interesting. When his wife,… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"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."
‑ Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor
"Their most inside joke ever, it leaves you with a lot to chew on, if not a lot to enjoy."
‑ Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel
"This might be the Coen Brothers' best film. I suspect they think so too. Even if you sense they can't quite grasp what they've stumbled across here, and surely don't want to."
‑ Will Leitch, Deadspin
"Brilliant but bleak comedy for mature Coen brothers fans."
‑ James Rocchi, Common Sense Media
"A sincerely sympathetic portrait of an American family man in crisis -- even as it insults its characters and derides their culture."
‑ Michael Atkinson, Sight and Sound
"If you're puzzled by the Coen Brothers' horrific comedies, this is the closest thing you'll get to an explanation."
‑ Rafer Guzman, Newsday
"Mostly, A Serious Man succeeds because it engages questions worth asking. What is integrity? Does our atavistic need for stories illuminate the meaning of life or further obfuscate it? What does it mean to be good and how are we to achieve it?"
‑ Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
"For all the droll wit on display, it's hard to warm to the Coens' chilly parable. Is Larry's suffering the work of God or the Devil, or just the random chaos of an indifferent universe? Arch-ironists to their fingertips, the Coens aren't telling."
‑ Jason Best, Movie Talk
"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)."
‑ Simon Miraudo, Quickflix
"It's serious about the craft of storytelling, both in form and function, with a dedication to characterization, pitch-perfect performances, and a cinematic backdrop that is both severely nostalgic and completely immersive."
‑ Monika Bartyzel, Cinematical
"The film's potency is rooted in quiet precision and detailed realisation. Roger Deakins's typically polished photography gives an oppressively hard edge to Midwestern suburbia."
‑ Ben Walters, Time Out
"Life is pain. Life is funny. Things happen randomly, with no purpose or reason that can be discerned. Searching for answers is futile. Enjoy what you can."
‑ Tom Long, Detroit News
"I guess gleeful misanthropy wasn't enough for the Coen Brothers. Now they want to make it clear that God ... excuse me, Hashem ... is an unforgiving bastard."
‑ Jeff Meyers, Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
"[A] film to be intuitively understood on an almost gut level and discussing it at length later to unravel its nuances is part of the pleasure of seeing such a film."
‑ Thomas Caldwell, Cinema Autopsy
"It's definitely a film worth seeing."
‑ Chris Bumbray, JoBlo's Movie Emporium
More reviews for A Serious Man on Rotten Tomatoes

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