A Serious Man Reviews

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Top Critic
Ella Taylor
Village Voice
September 29, 2009
The production notes are larded with the Coen Brothers' disclaiming protestations of affection for their hapless characters, but make no mistake: We're being invited to share in their disgust.
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
October 2, 2009
What do the Coen brothers want of us? More specifically, what do they want us to think of the repellent people in this pitilessly bleak movie?
Paul Chambers
December 20, 2009
The Coen brothers lost all touch with the mainstream on this film. Nothing funny about "A Serious Man," just odd and off-putting. Paul Chambers, CNN.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Top Critic
Christopher Orr
The New Republic
October 9, 2009
Humor and empathy alike have trouble flourishing in the grim narrative soil the Coens provide, in which every cosmic joke is a black one.
Victoria Alexander
October 22, 2009
Every character is ugly and repulsive except the shiksa next door. What does this say about the Coen Brothers?
Kyle Smith
November 15, 2009
You're unlikely to react with much more than a shrug.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Cole Smithey
September 28, 2009
It's not so much that "A Serious Man" isn't accessible--it is that. But the film never sets down parameters.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Anthony Quinn
November 20, 2009
Comedy, even tragicomedy, should not feel like such hard work.
Willie Waffle
October 9, 2009
A Serious Man is no more special than a Jennifer Aniston movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Susan Granger
SSG Syndicate
October 28, 2009
Bleak and tedious, it's an ambivalent memoir about Biblical adversity, filled with edgy, alienating angst.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/10
Jules Brenner
Cinema Signals
September 23, 2009
The bemusements of family turmoil, ambition in academia, three rabbis and one lawyer, and the universality of self-absorption demonstrate that the Coen's love of satire is intact, but with a guy to whom you're too unattached for a warm hug.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Michael W. Phillips, Jr.
Goatdog's Movies
December 17, 2009
I hated just about every agonizing, smug minute of it.
Full Review | Original Score: 0.5/5
David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews
September 21, 2009
...a typically inscrutable effort from the Coens...
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Tony Medley
October 13, 2009
Sort of a modern day setting for the Book of Job, although the acting is exceptional this is probably too esoteric to appeal to a wide audience.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/10
Daniel M. Kimmel
The Jewish Advocate
October 9, 2009
It's fair to ask - even beyond the gargoyles and caricatures who pass for Jewish people in the film - what the point of it all was.
Dustin Putman
October 8, 2009
A faint promising shadow of the potential masterwork it should have been.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Mark Palermo
Coast (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
November 4, 2009
Larry's spiritual crisis doesn't attain its demanded empathy, leaving A Serious Man as a lesser work by great artists.
Top Critic
David Denby
New Yorker
September 28, 2009
As a piece of moviemaking craft, A Serious Man is fascinating; in every other way, it's intolerable.
Top Critic
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
October 2, 2009
Since everyone is turned into such a caricature, the answers feel optional. It's hard to forget that Larry's fate is being controlled not by God or luck or even his own worst instincts, but by the Coens.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Louis Proyect
October 17, 2009
One might put up with the insufferable sense of superiority of the Coen brothers if this movie had some laughs.

Sight and Sound
June 18, 2012
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