Intolerable Cruelty Reviews

Top Critic
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
October 13, 2009
Here's an anomaly: a comedy about smart people.
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
November 7, 2007
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.
Top Critic
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
February 9, 2006
Inventive and hilarious.
Top Critic
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
October 23, 2003
The Coen Brothers do provide enough of a diversion with bits and pieces of wacko casting, and with the deranged details of dress and makeup of their fleeting gargoyles, to make the proceedings at least moderately amusing.
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
October 16, 2003
This dim-witted, mean-spirited and brain-dead calamity should surprise no one.
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
October 13, 2003
[T]here's a lot of problems with the script, and some of the stuff with Edward Herrmann I don't think works at all, it's not funny it just kind of falls flat. But Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones, I think they deliver enough to say it's worth seeing.
Top Critic
October 11, 2003
No different from most of the other dumb slapstick spoofs that pass for screwball comedy these days.
Top Critic
Charles Taylor
Salon.com
October 11, 2003
George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones square off deliciously, but this '30s-style battle of the sexes from the Coen brothers never catches fire.
Top Critic
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
October 10, 2003
In its nasty, blackhearted take on contemporary coupling and uncoupling, Intolerable Cruelty has the distant though unmistakable ring of truth.
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
October 10, 2003
Smart, silly, splenetic and a bit smug, it's a movie that might put a viewer's teeth on edge were it not for its winning lead performances.
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
October 10, 2003
Not brilliantly funny nor incisively clever, Intolerable Cruelty is still moderately satirical and laugh-out-loud enjoyable.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
October 10, 2003
If you're going to take comic aim at a target as big and obvious as Beverly Hills matrimonial combat, the least you can do is what Joel and Ethan Coen do in their neo-screwball anti-romantic comedy Intolerable Cruelty: spare no ammunition.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
October 10, 2003
Wonderfully fluffy concoction.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle
October 10, 2003
Too slick but amusing marital farce.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
October 10, 2003
A frustratingly sharp misfire that comes close to being hilarious but never quite clicks in its pacing, timing or tone.
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
October 10, 2003
Edward Herrmann gets a very funny part as a train-happy millionaire; Cedric the Entertainer pulls the movie in another direction as a streety private detective. And as Clooney's worshipful, weepy best friend, Paul Adelstein nearly steals the movie.
Top Critic
Elvis Mitchell
New York Times
October 10, 2003
An intelligent, modern screwball comedy.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Megan Lehmann
New York Post
October 10, 2003
Harks back to the screwball comedies of Howard Hawks and Preston Sturges -- and owes much of its pizzazz to the spark-plug pairing of George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
October 10, 2003
If Intolerable Cruelty isn't a convincing love story, it's a hugely entertaining one.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle
October 10, 2003
The movie simply isn't interesting.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
October 10, 2003
If Intolerable Cruelty establishes one thing, it's that George Clooney is the closest thing that contemporary Hollywood has to an old-fashioned matinee idol.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
October 10, 2003
An amiable romp of a movie, a romantic comedy in which romance is plundered and ridiculed while simultaneously longed for.
| Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
October 10, 2003
Watching Clooney's Miles and Zeta-Jones' Marylin eye each other is a simmering pleasure.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
October 10, 2003
It's determined to keep Clooney's considerable comedic skills front and center. He's never been looser, sexier, or more antic.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
October 10, 2003
Clooney and Zeta-Jones make for a glamorous couple, and there is enough chemistry between them that you might find yourself wondering if Michael Douglas has a Miles Massey prenup.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
October 10, 2003
Better in its setup than in its resolution, Intolerable Cruelty nonetheless provides laughs and a fine comic performance from George Clooney.
| Original Score: B
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
October 10, 2003
Joel and Ethan are bounteously gifted filmmakers, but sometimes you just want them to lay off the irony and climb down here with the groundlings.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
October 9, 2003
Little more than an exercise in mimicry, an empty if stylish exercise in mocking sendup.
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
October 9, 2003
Testimony to the power of old-style star wattage.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
October 9, 2003
So clever, so funny, so suavely entertaining that it comes as a shock to realize that it's not nearly as satisfying as all those qualities would lead you to believe.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
October 9, 2003
There are obvious Coen touches, comic Post-it notes from the underground that have a 'Kilroy was here' feel. But mostly, killjoy was here.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
October 9, 2003
Clooney is definitely the man of these two hours. His portrait of a shark in love is a model of classy comic acting.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
October 9, 2003
There are laughs here aplenty, and sexy, goofy, off-the-cuff charm.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
John Anderson
Newsday
October 9, 2003
As Miles Massey, Clooney brings an absurdist charm -- and some Cary Grant-like gestural hilarity.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
October 9, 2003
Rarely has strife between the sexes been so ruthless, so civilized, and so funny.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
October 9, 2003
Intolerable Cruelty isn't half as clever as most Coen films ... but it's much more likable.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
October 9, 2003
Full of malicious fun, weirdness and enough star power to blast through any repetitiveness.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
October 9, 2003
The Coens fail to give us a compelling reason why, if at all, we should invest ourselves in how things pan out.
Top Critic
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
October 9, 2003
Elegant, cheerfully cynical fun of the kind we used to get regularly from Billy Wilder, Howard Hawks and other masters of the classic Hollywood screwball comedy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Steve Murray
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
October 9, 2003
A display of two high-wattage stars sweating to enliven a paper-thin script that substitutes plot twists for an engaging story.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
October 8, 2003
I cannot detect a heartbeat of feeling, no matter how close I press a stethoscope against the star machinery of George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
October 8, 2003
To see Clooney tenderize, season, grill, and serve this ham hock of a role is to see an old-fashioned virtuoso in perpetual motion.
Top Critic
Jean Oppenheimer
Hollywood Reporter
September 5, 2003
A broad farce that is long on manic, cartoonish behavior and short on intelligence and wit.
Top Critic
David Rooney
Variety
September 4, 2003
A thoroughly entertaining comedy about love, lawyers and fat divorce settlements.