Intolerable Cruelty - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Intolerable Cruelty Reviews

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Super Reviewer
May 27, 2015
Screwball comedy. The words alone, so often said with admiration and esteem, the item itself so little seen, its akin to invoking "Shangri-La", and yet here is the real deal, unexpected particularly for the casting of its chief stars. Somehow I don't think of them when I consider that ethereal quality known as talent. Yet it's here, witty dialogue delivered with verve. Commentary on not just the culture of the uber-rich lifestyle that is Beverly Hills, but also on our national obsession with money in particular, that fat baby: greed ("if I don't get more right now of whatever it is I want I'm gonna cry very loudly!"). Very good work.
Clintus M.
Super Reviewer
January 8, 2014
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.
Super Reviewer
½ July 14, 2007
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.
Super Reviewer
July 2, 2006
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.
Super Reviewer
February 15, 2013
Miles Massey: I saw an ad in the paper. "No-fault divorce. Two week divorce without a lawyer". Made me sick to my stomach. No-fault divorce.

"Engage the enemy."

Intolerable Cruelty was one of the few Coen brother films I had yet to see. It's also one of their less popular ones and after watching it, I fail to see why. I guess I have affection for what is considered their lesser works such as this and The Hudsucker Proxy. All in all I thought this was an incredibly smart, well put together film that had all the Coen's wackiness in a different kind of setting. The movie is odd in about every sense. From scenes of crazy dramatic over the top-ness such as the court room scenes to bizarre supporting characters that yell such stuff as, "I just love trains(sexual innuendo possibly, haha)." 

Miles Massey is a divorce lawyer, and he's the best at what he does. He can win cases that he has no right to win just because he knows how the game works. On the other side of the fence is Marilyn, she's a devoted divorcee; meaning she finds rich men, marries them and divorces them for their money. The whole film is set in a lawyer/divorced couples setting, if that makes sense at all. What makes the whole thing go down perfectly is the Coen's ability to pull off all the brilliant wackiness that comes standard for them in a romantic comedy, albeit a Coen romantic comedy, which plays more like an anti-romantic, romantic comedy.

The acting was spot on as always with Coen's cast. Clooney is brilliant as Miles, and Catherine Zeta Jones is stunning, charming, and impressive as Marilyn. Cedric the Entertainer, Geoffrey Rush, and Billy Bob Thornton all pull off very interesting, but small supporting roles. 

Intolerable Cruelty is another Coen brothers film that I just fell in love with. It was brilliant fun from start to finish. Perfect, quick, intelligent dialogue, surrounded by incredible performances with direction and screenplay from two of the most original, creative, and brilliant filmmakers ever.... What the fuck isn't to like?
Super Reviewer
½ June 28, 2013
They usually manage to pull off the "pick a zany acting style" shtick, but it didn't quite work in this one.
Super Reviewer
March 28, 2012
One of the Coen's worst but still enough of thier humor and wit to entertain.
Super Reviewer
April 16, 2011
Sometimes filmmakers just want to have fun and make a movie, and that's all The Coen Brothers are really doing here. "Intolerable Cruelty" is light, farcical comedy. The satire feels contrite but it's the dialogue and wacky performances from the game cast (namely Clooney and Zeta-Jones) that make a viewing worthwhile. Marginally better than "Burn After Reading" for having just a tad more substance but "Intolerable Cruelty" is still one of the Coen's lesser works.
Super Reviewer
½ March 23, 2011
Not as funny as i'd hoped, but still was a very solid movie with a good plot and characters.
Super Reviewer
½ March 16, 2011
Mainstream Coen Brothers comedy isn't their best, but it's still pretty funny. Clooney is hilarious in this, and the rest of the cast stands out too (thortan). Not the best plot, and I wish the Coen Bros went a little riskier. Still a pretty fun watch.
Super Reviewer
December 13, 2008
Very funny, romantic, and full of high stakes, blithely clumsy action, another Coen collaboration goes off without a hitch. Between the alluring Zeta Jones and the always dashing and perfectly cast Clooney, there is instant elligibility for a perfect film.
Super Reviewer
½ January 22, 2007
although this film is a bit more panned than most coen films, i dont feel that the criticisms are deserved. this is definitely not a run of the mill romantic comedy. it was phenomenally well written, well shot by deakins, and well performed by each of the actors. a worth while film.
Super Reviewer
½ December 29, 2007
"Your husband had told me you were the most beautiful woman he'd ever met. I didn't expect the most beautiful woman I'd ever met."

The Coen brothers have made several successful movies throughout their career but sadly some seriously bad films also include in their filmography. 'Intolerable Cruelty' may just be the worst of 'em.

The film details advertise this film as a romantic comedy. Ok, romance is sometimes nice to look at but I just can't find it here. This film has nothing to do with romance. All I see here are shallow fortune hunters, both sexes represented. I find it hard to understand why would George Clooney's character Miles Massey, the successful divorce lawyer, fall in love with Catherina Zeta-Jones' maneater, Marilyn Rexroth.

The film does include some entertaining scenes, but the fun of 'em are instantly deleted when the film focuses again on the lame main story. The plot is simply so stupid and incredible that I found it hard to find anything that resembles Coen brothers other works. But like I said, some scenes and dialogue will surely give a smile on your face.

I did enjoy some of the actors performances. George Clooney again proves his comedic talents, that we saw for example in 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?', another Coen bros film from 2000. His performance saves this film from being a total waste of time. Billy Bob Thornton, who does a short appearance as one of Marilyn's "victims", steals every scene he is in. And of course Paul Adelstein (Prison Break) as Miles co-worker, Wrigley should be mentioned. He causes the funniest moment in the film, the diner scene where he tries to order a salad from a snappy waitress.

Intolerable is the right word to explain this movie. It's difficult to understand, as a fan of Coen's work, why they decided to make this film. The film was followed by 'The Ladykillers', yet another lame attempt for a comedy, so I like to think that they decided to do 2 poor films, just to bring some bread to the table, while writing their future masterpiece, 'No Country For Old Men', the film where they returned to the genre they master... Crime.
Super Reviewer
½ November 18, 2008
I want to give props to the Coens for actually taking on various genres with their films. While we are on the subject of genres, romance is not one of my favorites, but the Coens actually do something decent with this picture. Unfortunately, it is still a disappointing movie from them.The plot is not your typical touchy feely dramatic love story, although there is a little bit of that in the middle. Instead there is a revenge concept flowing throughout the picture and that sounds more like something the Coens can work with. The first hour does have its wacky moments, but just not enough of them. Luckily, the last 20-25 minutes turn into what the title suggests, "Intolerable Cruelty." Is it enough to save the movie? No. It just takes too long to get to the fun, unless you like romantic films.The acting is quite entertaining. George Clooney is a little over the top and Cedric the Entertainer has a nice role. Catherine Zeta-Jones isn't all that impressive, but she is d*** beautiful. The one thing about this film is that the characters aren't highly memorable, with the exception of Clooney and Zeta-Jones, who hog all the airtime. The supporting cast of Richard Jenkins, Cedric the Entertainer, Geoffrey Rush, Ed Hermann, and Billy Bob Thornton are all forgettable by the end of the credits.Intolerable Cruelty is not a bad movie. It is just a movie that the Coens don't do enough with. This is a good watch if you like romantic comedies and only a decent watch if you like films from the Coens.
Super Reviewer
½ December 12, 2006
An outragiously hilarious comedy, the only way The Coen Brothers can do it. A real good time. This film is nothing fun from begining to end. George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones are teriffically funny and delightful. Also a great supporting cast that brings on more entertaining laughs you cant get enough of.
Super Reviewer
½ August 11, 2007
Not hysterically funny, nor too clever. but considerably enjoyable modern day screwball comedy.
Super Reviewer
July 25, 2007
Can you deal with the Coen Brothers hitting the mainstream? If "yes," you will like this movie. If "no," stay away from it. It has a lot of the trademark Coen oddities in characters, dialogue, wit, and dark, biting humor, but it moves into a realm left relatively untouched by the Coen's by introducing more elements of the traditional "romantic comedy" than seen in their previous works. Not to mention the casting of high profile stars (though I seem to remember a film of theirs starring Holly Hunter and Nicholas Cage...hmmm) and some transparency in plotline. That being said...I liked the film. It was one that I had no expectations of and found myself having fun watching it. If you want a straight up Coen Brothers original this won't be the movie for you. If you want a romantic comedy that has obviously been crafted by the masters and are willing to let some things go with regards to style'll really enjoy this movie.
Super Reviewer
January 6, 2007
A pretty good rom-com with a twist. Mainly about divorce proceedings!
Super Reviewer
½ May 30, 2007
honestly should be lower-ranked, but the ideas were SO cute and clever (albeit not executed well) that i gave it an extra half star. ending was very fake, but some great moments. (puffy vonesby)
Super Reviewer
February 5, 2007
Good comedy with some amusing twists
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