Critic Review - Goatdog's Movies

I hated just about every agonizing, smug minute of it.

December 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies | Comments (44)
Goatdog's Movies


Joseph D. Martinez

Joseph Martinez

I didn't completely "hate" this film until the tornado came. "jaqu7" has a spot on interpretation of how the film went for me. I registered on this site just agree with you two and I really hope the rating goes down for this film on this site.

Mar 28 - 01:45 PM

Fatima V.

Fatima Veras

I totally agree with you Michael and if that makes me an ignorant person, then I'm so glad to be the way I am:p

Mar 31 - 01:43 PM

Paul M.

Paul McIntosh

Just plain bad. I feel my whole evening was wasted. The walk to the video store and the time wasted viewing the movie. I feel a little sick that it was created by filmmakers that I respected. Until last night.

Apr 4 - 01:05 PM

Brad D.

Brad D

This film has to be the biggest disappointment of the year for me. Was this not nominated for Best Picture? A massive inside joke for a small, cloistered Jewish community in Minnesota that lacks depth, direction and humour. I hated, hated, hated this movie.

May 7 - 07:53 PM


Frank Hodson

Me too, Mr. Phillips. It seems the Coen brothers have disappeared up their own backsides.

May 15 - 02:39 PM

honkey b.

honkey blues

I think denigrating those who don't share your taste in films is a little narrow-minded and immature isn't it? I mean, not everyone subscribes to existentialism, nihilism, ironic observations of judaism, deviation from a generic framework, or even subtlety for that matter. Fortunately, no grading system exists by which one can scientifically measure the quality and worth of a piece of art. There are only subjective opinions, these of course as varied and diverse as the observer or the subject matter being observed.

This is not to say that nothing can be gained through a civil debate over the artistic merit of a film, on the contrary, it can stimulate intellectual growth, refine or even change one's interpretation. Indeed, depending on the impressionability, one can be influenced by another's opinion to such a degree that it completely changes one's own and, consequently, they see the film in an entirely different light. There is no shame in this, it's just human behaviour, also we should be thankful because without this the bourgeoise wouldn't have much to talk about and a lot of people would be out of work.

This film in a sense follows the same progressive strain as no country for old men in terms of the lack of moral equilibrium, resolution and perhaps, emotional depth. However I don't see this as a bad thing, it's true like Michael stated the Coen's have a fondness for peripheral characters and one feels that for all the expert craftsmanship, originality along with their innumerable other prestigious film-making abilities, one prominent criticism remains: When all is taken into account, a Coen's film rarely has any remnant of what could be described as a 'soul'.

However, for me, this doesn't detract from the fact they are my favorite film-makers and to call a film 'smug' (implying that the film-makings are lauding over us because they make such cleverly realised films) and express other similar seemingly bitter deprecations, only makes me like them more.
You obviously don't share my sense of humour, for even though I am a goy I thought the film to be consistently funny; the sharp witty dialogue, Larry gobnik's interaction with the cardboard cutouts around him and the best and funniest stoned POV i have seen put to film.

I didn't find it depressing despite the unfortunate circumstances that incessantly befall Larry. That's where the apparent lack of emotional depth should also come in handy for you. I mean if you take the stance that it's just a smug, self-indulgent exercise you can't deny the quality of the execution. You see, despite what you may think, I believe there is plenty of wisdom in this film: it's about man's uncertainty, the eternally unknowable, and an attempt to integrate this with judaism. Or maybe just an ironic application of these aspects to disguise the film-makers desire to maliciously torture their protagonist, either's fine, after all ambiguity in respect to the existence of meaning in life is what this film's about.

I am glad that you hate it, hate it to such a degree in fact that you express this, or other forms of emotional discomfort, many times in your disappointingly short review (which i might add, contains a plot synopsis). If you were to see an average film, you'd give it an average review, rather than 'hatred' and 'anger' for it you'd find it merely evoked in you disinterest and boredom. It's good to know the Coen's are doing something right if they're pissing you off this much.

Aug 15 - 10:58 AM

Rich L.

Rich L

I absolutely agree with Brad L., and I doubt I could have said it better. This movie is worse than a bad flick, it is agonizing and painful, devoid of any plot.

Dissecting every frame for the meaning of life is what this movie deserves? For real?

And condescension for not clamoring over it like the freakin messiah? I don't think so. Every character in the movie was an a-hole, and you liked the movie...dissect that.

Sep 18 - 08:15 PM


Kenneth W.


Nov 1 - 06:10 PM


Matanuki .

I'm a Coen fan, but this movie was a piece of shit. I wish I had gotten into the conversation back when all these pretentious clowns were posting their rants. What a joke!

Dec 16 - 12:40 PM

Mike P.

Mike Powers

Awesome review. I love their movies, but this one just sucked!

Dec 20 - 12:28 PM

Professor Chaos

Brian Parker

I liked it quite a bit. I assume that makes me pretentious, right Matanuki?

Mar 9 - 08:54 AM

Ittai S.

Ittai Sopher

Are you freaking kidding me????

Mar 16 - 07:49 PM

bob b.

bob balashi

There are two kinds of people - those who liked the movie, and those who completely missed the point.

The key to the film is the story the Rabbi tells Gropnik - it's a very fascinating event that would cause anyone to look for deeper meaning - but in the end, there IS no deeper meaning. And the sooner you realize that and stop looking, the sooner you can get back to living your life. That's what this movie is about, and it is 100% successful in making that point, if you are quick enough to catch on to it.

It's one of their best movies - the only weakpoint is the B-story of the son, which they themselves admit took a backseat to the father's story as they wrote the script.

Feb 5 - 09:45 AM

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