A Serious Man

A Serious Man

(2009)

The masterful Coen brothers (No Country For Old Men, The Big Lebowski) present a black comedy set in 1967, about Larry Gopnik, a physics professor who watches his life unravel when his wife leaves him.... More

If that wasn't enough, Larry's inept brother (Spin City's Richard Kind) won't move out of the house, his son has a discipline problem, his daughter's stealing his money for her nose job, somebody is trying to sabotage his university career and his neighbour sunbathes nude. Larry turns to three rabbis for advice...Hide

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The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 8 ratings, 9 reviews
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BY Bonux superstar

A Serious Man does not describe the absurdity of some archaic traditions as much as it describes the absurdity of the community and the false sense of belonging it provides to their members. (staying together without a cause) It is the tragedy of mankind viewed from one specific angle, but it is nothing new. The biggest let down if I compare the character of the Dude (The Big Lebowski) and Larry Gopnik's is that Gopnik unlike the Dude is supposed to be a very educated man. Except that from... More start to finish, Gopnik is just clueless and his character is not progressing one bit and neither is my perception of him. He is a coward and he always will be. Whereas in The Big Lebowski, if you remember at the end of the movie the cowboy (the narrative voice in the movie) addresses the viewer and says something like "I don't know about you, but it is reassuring to know there is someone like the Dude out there" and what a fantastic conclusion it was.
The Dude was depicted as a loser who turns out to be able to make his own destiny. This is why the Dude is reassuring and likable when Gopnik is not.
The Big Lebowski and A Serious Man are two satires about society, one from the eye of the outsider, the other from the eye of the community. Only The Big Lebowski succeeds in being a comedy with a relevant twist.
This is why, in my opinion The Big Lebowski remains by far the best Coen movie and A Serious Man by far the worst one.Hide


BY Bonux superstar

The main character and his family are total idiots in a non-farcical way, his "journey" through the "mistery of faith" is so insignificant it will make you hope for the Big Lebowski to burst through a scene and kick their sorry behinds. There is no storyline, no direction in that movie. Start, middle and end have no linkage whatsoever, it is like deconstructed food on a film and it does not make for a happy watching. I am not sure what the viewer is supposed to think of A Serious Man. I could... More not find any sympathy for any of the characters, in fact I found myself to dislike them intensely. I would be curious to know what the New Zealand Jewish community thought of it. I guess you have to see it as a caricature but since it lacks the fun or the wit factor, I found it hard not to perceive it as a documentary about a seriously archaic and naive bunch. I am usually a big fan of the Coen brothers who have a real knack for creating excellent deadbeat characters but in this movie the characters seem all too real without that little thing that makes you like them for what they are. The ending is like the rest of the movie, it is abrupt not in a revealing pleasant way but abrupt like someone cut the power off because it was so boring someone had to put an end to the misery. Overall it was incomprehensible because there was simply nothing to comprehend. A Serious Man takes you for a free ride for the price of an admission ticket (or a DVD in my case). The story at the beginning of the movie, what was it even about? Who knows. Watching "A Serious Man" made me feel like visiting one of those Rabbi making his way through porky pies. Was it a comedy? I doubt so, it missed all the marks of a comedy. Was it a satire of the Jewish community in the 60's? It is more likely, but why market it as a comedy then? I was after some serious laughters, I did not get a single one. Pointless movie from A to Z. Where is the Big Lebowski when you need him... Seriously uncool.Hide


You can't take this movie too seriously. It is like a homage to middle-class Jewish American life in the 60s.


this movie was really boring to watch and dull, there is nothing funny about it, maybe it's funny because of how serious everyone in the movie is.


BY Philip-Moore superstar

The first scene does have relevance when that women rids the evil spirit that is reference to larry accepting the money from the student therefore he accepts evil and bad things happen. Most people like me and some wise critics love this movie and think this is one of the coens best you obviously no nothing about film, go back to watch some crap like twilight that your little brain would probably love it


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The Press Reviews

89% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • Have I mentioned A Serious Man is so rich and funny? This isn't a laugh-laugh movie, but a wince-wince movie. Those can be funny too. Full Review

  • Admirably low-key, deeply compelling and their warmest movie since Fargo. Full Review

  • A seriously funny film about an angst-ridden Jewish professor seeking the answers to life's questions and getting a metaphysical pie in the face. Full Review

  • The story is at once hilarious and horrific, its significance both self-evident and opaque. The same could be said of most of the Coen brothers’ movies, in which human existence and the attempt to find meaning in it are equally futile, if also sometimes a lot of fun. (For us, at least.) Full Review

  • But it's finally more grim than funny and leaves us with the same uncomfortable feeling that Burn did: that the boys are more interested in their own amusement than their audience's. Full Review

  • This seriously funny movie, artfully photographed by the great Roger Deakins, is spiritual in nature, barbed in tone, and, oh, yeah, it stings like hell. Full Review

  • A complex, non-commercial Coen film that strips back the stars for an absorbing, affectionate look at the Bros’ youth. It keeps much at arm’s length, but with Stuhlbarg holding the disorder in check, A Serious Man will be a serious contender for Coen fan Top Fives. Full Review

  • One doesn't know how (auto)biographical any or all of this is, but there's a tartness to the telling of what amounts to a well-shaped series of anecdotes that bespeaks distant pain or, at least, wincing memory twisted into mordant comedy by time and sensibility. Full Review