Intolerable Cruelty (2003)



Critic Consensus: Though more mainstream than other Coen films, there are still funny oddball touches, and Clooney and Zeta-Jones sizzle like old-time movie stars.

Movie Info

Joel and Ethan Coen take on the classic battle-of-the-sexes screwball comedy with Intolerable Cruelty. George Clooney plays Miles Massey, a high-powered Los Angeles divorce lawyer nearing a midlife crisis . While representing wealthy client Rex Rexroth (Edward Herrmann), Miles meets his match in Rex's gold-digging wife, Marilyn Rexroth (Catherine Zeta-Jones). He's impressed by her similarly heartless ways of using marriage to fuel an expensive lifestyle, but he still defeats her in court. With … More

Rating: PG-13 (for sexual content, language and brief violence)
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Directed By:
Written By: Matthew Stone, Robert Ramsey, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 10, 2004
Box Office: $35.1M
Universal Pictures - Official Site


as Miles Massey

as Marylin Rexroth

as Donovan Donaly

as Rex Rexroth

as Freddy Bender

as Howard D. Doyle

as Sarah Sorkin

as Heinz, the Baron Kr...

as Herb Myerson

as Wheezy Joe

as Father Scott

as Bonnie Donaly

as Ollie Olerud

as Mrs. Gutman

as Mrs. Gutman's Lawyer

as Mr. Gutman

as Gutman Trial Judge

as Rex' Young Woman

as Gus's Pal

as Miles' Receptionist

as Nero's Waitress

as Ramona Barcelona

as Claire O'Hara

as Rex's Young Woman

as Gus's Pal

as Maitre D'

as Gus's Pal

as Maitre d'

as Court Reporter

as Stewardess

as Las Vegas Waiter

as Convention Secretary

as Santa Fe Tart

as Convention Lawyer

as Santa Fe Tart

as Judge Marva Munson

as Santa Fe Tart

as Stewardess

as Santa Fe Tart

as Santa Fe Tart

as Santa Fe Tart

as Mr. MacKinnon

as Bailiff
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Intolerable Cruelty

All Critics (184) | Top Critics (44)

Here's an anomaly: a comedy about smart people.

Full Review… | October 13, 2009
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

The Coens do an efficient job of stamping their signature grotesquerie on sumptuous Beverly Hills and Las Vegas settings and ladling on gallows humor and malice, sometimes with the verve of early Robert Zemeckis.

Full Review… | November 7, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Inventive and hilarious.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Screwball comedy for older teens and adults.

Full Review… | December 24, 2010
Common Sense Media

A competent bit of work from which striking originality and idiosyncrasy have mostly been pruned away.

Full Review… | May 6, 2008

This is the Coens dabbling in the mainstream, and bending it to their will.

Full Review… | September 24, 2007

Audience Reviews for Intolerable Cruelty

I was not expecting this gem; it was very funny and subtle in a way that only the Coen brothers can pull off. Its almost as entertaining as the Coens' "O Brother Where Art Thou," which also stars George Clooney. The balance between love and manipulation has never been funnier; it's a romantic black comedy if that makes any sense.
Clooney as divorce attorney Miles Massey is flawless, as is Catherine Zeta-Jones as conniving goldigger Marilyn Rexroth. CZJ is as funny as she is beautiful, definitely underrated as an actress. Its got a wonderful supporting cast: Cedric the Entertainer, Edward Hermann, and especially Julia Duffy-perfectly cast.
Stereotypes are skewered, and deception and hustling run rampant. God knows matrimonial attorneys deserve this treatment. If you missed this excellent film at theaters years ago, watch it now. I promise you'll love it.

Clintus M.
Clintus Maximus

Super Reviewer


Funny comedy about a divorce lawyer falling for a gold digger. Great chemistry between George and Catherine. George is brilliant at the slapstick comedy. Billy Bob Thorton is very funny.

Candy Rose

Super Reviewer

I am giving this a recommendation, but a minor one. The movie is uneven, and the script is quite weak, but the movie, like all Coen Bros. films, is still interesting, no matter how many flaws exist within. It is a quirky take on the screwball comedies of the 1930's/40's, and there are some great moments within, along with some fine performances.

The film is about a slick divorce attorney who begins to fall apart when he falls in love with a gorgeous, but scheming gold digger. Like I said, the script is weak, but I blame it on the two co-writers whose last names are not Coen. That's the troubling thing about this one: I can't really tell how much of this is the Coens, and how much isn't.

It does have its moments, but overall, it doesn't really feel like a true work from Joel and Ethan. I still kind of like this however, but it is easily their weakest film, and my least favorite. Maybe it's okay though. I know that not everyone bats 1,000, but at least we know for a fact that the Coens picked themselves way up after this minor effort.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Intolerable Cruelty Quotes

– Submitted by Jon K (23 months ago)
– Submitted by Brendan C (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Brendan C (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Jane M (3 years ago)

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