The Big Lebowski - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Big Lebowski Reviews

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Super Reviewer
March 23, 2007
The Dude abides. Not much else I can say but what a great movie this is. One of the all time great cult films.
Super Reviewer
October 11, 2010
The "Dude", another specimen in the Coen gallery of fascinating, eccentric characters, easily wins our sympathy thanks especially to Jeff Bridges, who is wonderful and shines together with John Goodman in a very funny and engaging story.
Super Reviewer
½ October 7, 2007
A hilarious movie featuring Jeff Bridges in an iconic role as a lazy, unemployed stoner who gets himself mixed up in a dangerous situation. This movie has so many good actors and interesting characters, although I would've personally liked to see more of Tuturro's and Elliot's. Some of the characters are just flat out weird (like Julianne Moore's) and belong in another movie, because they don't really bring anything of importance to this one. Bridges and Goodman are a formidable team, and are reason alone to see this thing.
Super Reviewer
November 18, 2008
It was not a waste of my time.... but so many LOVE this movie, but I barely liked it.
Super Reviewer
March 3, 2008
A cult phenomenon that seems to only get better with age, the Coen Brothers' absolutely hilarious comedy The Big Lebowski should keep winning fans over as it gets seen and rewatched by newbies and fans all over the world. Jeff Bridges' iconic performance as "The Dude" is one of his all time best, while John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Julianne Moore, and John Tuturro as Jesus provide laugh after laugh after laugh. The film noir influenced plot is just the backdrop to the antics that The Dude and his bowling buddies are up to as they try to solve a kidnapping mystery involving a millionnaire named Jeff Lebowski and his young wife.
The Big Lebowski is classic Coen Brothers. It isn't quite a masterpiece like Fargo or No Country for Old Men. but it is a worthy film to the hype that has surrounded it over the past decade.
Super Reviewer
½ October 1, 2012
The Coen Bros. hot off their mega hit Fargo, created this off beat, yet off times brilliant piece where the actual storyline, while interesting enough on its own, is a mere backdrop to a much more meaningful dialog about.... Well, just about everything. That the Coen Bros. can pull this off with humor and pathos combined is the true mark of their expert storytelling, harkening back to their wonderful debut effort "Blood Simple".

There are similarities to "Blood Simple" in the storyline, but here the story is merely a jumping off point where the Bros. expand and amaze; riffing on everything from anger management, war (Vietnam in particular), and the rise of the entire slacker mentality, so wonderfully portrayed by Jeff Bridges as "the Dude".

From the beginning where you get a scripted voice over that sounds like a country version of a Chandler Noir book, as the visuals show a tumbleweed blown by the Santa Ana winds from the desert to the City of Angels, and then out to sea, all while the song Tumbling Tumbleweed plays in the background, you have all the roadmap you really need. The Dude embodies that tumbleweed, as does the script which reminds us that a simple act leads to other acts that snowball on top of one another creating a bizarre, hilarious, and yet believable mountain of incidents, where the only unbelievable parts are the characters of the bit players - from the Nihlist gang to Julianne Moore's hilarious portrayal as the Big Lebowski's daughter; all played for laughs.

But at the film's core you have Bridges and his bowling partner, a Vietnam vet with anger issues portrayed by John Goodman. The two are the solid core, and yet there are so many wonderful little pearls from the supporting cast - from the aforementioned role by Moore, to the fussy man servant portrayed by Phillip Seymore Hoffman, to an insane turn by John Turturro as the wacky bowling competitor Jesus (pronounced Jesus, not Heyzoos). Also in the mix is Steve Buschemi as the literal third wheel of the Dude's bowling team.

The film includes some bizarre and oft times hilarious bits of imagination that occur while the Dude is knocked unconscious (which happens frequently). Included in those bits of subconscious meanderings is a terrific bit where the Dude, who has just been drugged, imagines himself in the middle of a porno film that includes a dance number with Moore as a Valkarie with bowling balls as her breast plate - as the Kenny Rogers and the First Edition performance of "Seeing What Condition My Condition Was In" plays in the background. If the idea of a porno film couched around bowling seems odd to you - well of course it is - and yet it works wonderfully well; especially since the film expounds a kind of zen of bowling motif throughout.

And really, that last bit is all you really need to know about the film - offbeat, to be certain, and yet, at least for me, this all fit together into a wonderfully well thought out film where, unlike so many current films, the oddness has a meaning and a purpose - and isn't merely weird for weird's sake.
Samuel Riley
Super Reviewer
August 21, 2012
A truely clever and very funny movie. Featuring superb performances from Jeff Bridges, John Goodman and Julianne Moore. With plenty of one liners, they are superb for quoting while playing bowling. Once you have watch this, you may not be able to stop quoting lines or remembering that 'The Dude abides'.
Market Man
Super Reviewer
August 16, 2012
"The Big Lebowski" is hilarious. I'm not a diehard fan of the film (besides owning a couple of t-shirts) but I do understand why it's so popular. The characters are great and the situations they end up in are memorable. With that said, I think the plot is a little hectic and could have flowed better. Definitely a quotable movie, that's for sure.
paul o.
Super Reviewer
½ August 8, 2012
After multiple viewings, the film feels like a well aged wine. The deadpan comedy is great and the acting from Bridges and Goodman are a riot. It truly is a film about nothing and the faster a viewer realizes this, the faster he/she will appreciate this gem.
Super Reviewer
June 12, 2010
This film has such a massive cult following that it has even spawned a traveling, annual festival called "The Lebowski Fest", at which fans congregate dressed as their favourite characters. It has also amassed a new belief system called "Dudeism" of which you can be ordained as a Dudeist priest. Now, this might be going a bit far but it's all in the name of fun, of which, this Coen brothers tale supplies plenty of.
Jeffrey "The Dude" Lebowski (Jeff Bridges) is a cannabis smoking throwback from the seventies. He minds his own business, enjoying "bowling, driving around and the occasional acid flashback". One day, two thugs break into his home and urinate on his rug - "which really tied the room together". As he looks for answers, he finds that he has been mistaken for his namesake Jeffrey Lebowski, the Passadena millionaire (David Huddleston). Otherwise referred to as "The Big Lebowski. Looking for compensation for his rug, he pays the millionaire a visit and finds that his absent, trophy wife Bunny (Tara Reid) owes money all over town - including known pornographer Jackie Treehorn (Ben Gazarra), who sent the thugs (to the wrong house) to collect on the debt. But the thugs aren't the only ones who have gotten their Lebowski's mixed up. A trio of Nihilists threaten "The Dude" for a ransom of $1 million, claiming they will kill his wife. Reluctantly, "The Dude" gets involved, with his crazed Vietnam veteran buddy Walter (John Goodman), in trying to get the bottom of all the confusion. Does this make sense? Don't worry, "The Dude" doesn't get it either.
Trying to even give a synopsis of the plot in this complex tale, is hard enough, but that's to the Coens' credit in concocting this elaborate modern day private detective story. In the past, the Coens payed homage to crime writer Dashiell Hammett with "Miller's Crossing" and here, they pay homage to Hammett's contemporary Raymond Chandler. It has all the elements of a classic private-eye yarn but masquerades as a zany comedy. It's so much more than that. It's a film that relies heavily on consistently sharp dialogue and each word, pause and stammer are delivered perfectly by an exceptionally brilliant cast; Bridges is a very fine actor but this is his moment of glory, in a role that is perfectly suited. He has received numerous plaudits throughout his career - for his more serious roles - but this is his most iconic. Coens regular John Goodman is also at his maniacal best as his loyal buddy, Walter. Sam Elliott is wonderfully endearing, as "The Stranger", in cowboy attire, that's narrates the whole wacky tale and a scene-stealing John Turturro is simply unforgettable as Jesus Quintana, a latino, sex-offending bowler. In fact, it's very difficult to single out a specific performance, there are so many great appearances: from the likes of Steve Buscemi, Julianne Moore, David Thewlis, Ben Gazzara, Jon Polito and the always marvellous Philip Seymour Hoffman. The entire cast are just sublime and deliver their, razor sharp, dialogue under the most creative guidance from the Coens. It's not just the performances that stand out though; usual Coens cinematographer Roger Deakins works with a rich and colourful pallet and the choice of music throughout, accompanies the scenes perfectly.
I could go on and pick out every perfect detail of this classic but then I'd just be ruining it for you, even if you've already seen it. It'll do no harm to see it again - with a spliff and a beverage - and allow your "casualness to run deep".
I have tried to find the words that do this film justice but I still don't think I have. Rest assured though, this is the most enjoyable Coens movie to date and an instant cult classic that wll take one hell of a film to topple it from my #1 spot.
Super Reviewer
January 10, 2008
When thugs urinate on his carpet in a case of mistaken identity, 60s burnout "the Dude" is drawn into a complicated caper involving a millionaire's kidnapped porn-star wife---in the middle of his bowling league playoffs! This quirky Coen brothers gem is, almost without a doubt, the greatest acid-flashback bowling-noir comedy ever made.
Super Reviewer
March 31, 2012
A perfect 10. That's a bowling joke. And a double meaning. This movie is a perfect 10. If this movie was a woman, I'd be kind of grossed out.... But a little attracted. But this movie is a movie, not a woman.
Super Reviewer
½ November 18, 2010
Super fun movie, man! Very funny film with awesome characters. Jeff Bridges and John Goodman are so great. I'm still not a huge Coen Brothers' fan, but this was definitely entertaining. I recommend it!
Super Reviewer
October 13, 2011
This is one of the best comedies I have ever seen. The film offers sharp, witty humor, fun and interesting characters, and an absurd but fun plot.
Super Reviewer
January 9, 2011
This movie is very very 90s, and with the mixture of thriller conventions, edgy independent styles, and a bit of extravagance, you get the Coen bros. style. Overall, I didn't like this movie much, it wasn't as funny as I thought it would be, nor was it very exciting. It's not a bad movie, though, there are a lot of interesting scenes. If you're a fan of the Coen bros, you should see it.
Super Reviewer
January 22, 2011
'The Big Lebowski' is not only a terrific film, it's a celebration. This is the number one cult classic of all time, and I truly cannot imagine anything else taking it's place. I guess there is no real reason for this to be in my top five favorite comedies, but each time I watch it, it just clicks with me and I can't seem to get enough of it. The Coen Brothers (granted, they both wrote it but only Joel was the credited director) have crafted something of pure greatness, as well as all of their films that have followed. They both are very talented writers and with 'Lebowski', they have created the most quotable lines ever ("All the dude wanted was his carpet back", "Shut the fuck up Donnie") that become more funny after every viewing. The noir selections of this are well-intended and shot terrifically. I hate to admit it, I am guilty. I just saw this for the first time not too long ago, but even if I'm a newbie 'Lebowski' fan, and I'm not as a big a fan as others, I am confident to say that this was a terrific film that is suitable and clearly intended for multiple viewings. For many people, this is the film that made them fall in love with film. While I can't say that because I fell in love with film decades prior to seeing this, but I do understand why this is such a celebrated film. It has received so much praise from audiences and critics alike, that it has spawned a documentary and even costume screenings. The cast assembled here is perfectly picked and unbelievably charismatic. There is so much to say, but I'll start with the obvious; this is Jeff Bridges greatest performance. Jeff is so magnificent in his portrayal of the bowler/slacker Jeff Lebowski, but everyone calls him "The Dude, His Dudeness, or El Duderino" (by far my favorite line from this). John Goodman stars as Walter Sobchak, a retired veteran whose mind is "stuck" in Vietnam. Goodman is extremely well casted, and knows how to deliver his angry lines ("This is what happens when you fuck a stranger in the ass!"), but always seems to want to go bowling after all that happens throughout the film. Steve Buscemi plays Donnie, the innocent one, who according to Walter, needs to shut the fuck up. Donnie is apart of the bowling trio, and Buscemi is great, but his character isn't very important until the third act. Julianne Moore is Maude Lebowski, offering yet another fantastic role from this film. Maude is a free spirit, as well as a sexually insane feminist. The only issue I ran into with this character was that Moore was marketed as one of the key players in the film, and while she has some screen time, definitely not enough to be considered a bigger character than Donnie. Come to think of it, John Turturro's character Jesus had maybe five minutes or less of screen time, yet his name is on the poster. Being a very likable actor, there was no way that I wasn't going to love Sam Elliot in this. Elliot is one of the funniest characters in the film delivering an intentional over the top performance as The Stranger who delivers one of the most important lines in the end. I want to mention one more role, and that was Phillip Seymour Hoffman's character, Brandt, who was the assistant to The Big Lebowski. Hoffman's character is just so innocent and likable that I can't help but smile every time I see his character attempting to be the biggest kiss-ass to The Big Lebowski. He's particularly funny when he begins to call Jeff "The Dude" while intentionally making his character as over the top and ridiculous he can be. All of these characters are ultimately met with pleasing results. As I mentioned, there is no real reason why this is one of my favorites of all time, it just clicks with me. It's not expected that a small film about a case of mistaken identity would be this astounding and re-watchable, but it manages to be ridiculously fun. As I watch it over and over again, I realize how ridiculous and stupid 'The Big Lebowski' is, but you know what? I enjoy it each and every time. The dude abides.
Super Reviewer
March 16, 2011
One of the most audacious pieces of filmmaking I have ever seen. It is wholly original, well acted, and brilliant. Master craftsmen themselves, the Coens assembled a team of experts to pull off this bizarre masterpiece. From the stellar performances by the likes of John Goodman, to the pitch perfect music by T. Bone Burnett, the commitment from all of the players involved here make this would be disaster into quite an unforgettable experience. In the interest of full disclosure, I didn't like this film when I first saw it. Yet, with every repeat viewing, the film just delivered more every time. This is a testament to the Coen's genius, as they can truly elevate any material, no matter how outlandish, and create a monumental work.
Super Reviewer
½ February 27, 2011
The Big Lebowski asks the greatest question, why can't someone buy him a damn rug, it really ties the room together. The plot of the movie was so simple (even the Dude says its very complex) and dumb that it created the perfect comedy, I loved it. The cast was perfection, Jeff Bridges and John Goodman play two of the funniest roles I have seen in decades, they are truly one of a kind. The Big Lebowski is more than pissed on rugs, drunk bowlers, and the word f#ck, this movie is also awesome, and its one of the funniest and best films ive ever seen.
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