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O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

O Brother, Where Art Thou?


Average Rating: 7.1/10
Reviews Counted: 149
Fresh: 115
Rotten: 34

Critics Consensus: Though not as good as Coen brothers' classics such as Blood Simple, the delightfully loopy O Brother, Where Art Thou? is still a lot of fun.

Average Rating: 6.4/10
Reviews Counted: 37
Fresh: 25
Rotten: 12

Critics Consensus: Though not as good as Coen brothers' classics such as Blood Simple, the delightfully loopy O Brother, Where Art Thou? is still a lot of fun.


Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 253,776


Movie Info

In the Depression-era deep South, three escapees from a Mississippi prison chain gang: Everett Ulysses McGill, sweet and simple Delmar, and the perpetually angry Pete, embark on the adventure of a lifetime as they set out to pursue their freedom and return to their homes. With nothing to lose and still in shackles, they make a hasty run for their lives and end up on an incredible journey filled with challenging experiences and colorful characters. However, they must also match wits with the … More

PG-13 (for some violence and language)
Drama , Comedy
Directed By:
Written By:
Joel Coen , Ethan Coen
In Theaters:
Jun 12, 2001
Box Office:
Buena Vista - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for O Brother, Where Art Thou?

All Critics (153) | Top Critics (37) | Fresh (115) | Rotten (34) | DVD (35)

After making what are still probably their two best features, the Coen brothers came up with their worst, a piece of pop nihilism.

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

Great dialogue, superb 'Scope camerawork from Roger Deakins, and a genuinely wondrous deus ex machina are among the delights.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

The Coens' usual arch deliberateness isn't quite as deliberate, and there's an appealing shagginess to some of the episodes and performances.

Full Review… | September 26, 2002
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

It's a wild, whacked-out wonder.

February 6, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

Leaves a sour taste.

Full Review… | January 12, 2001
Detroit News
Top Critic

A roller-coaster ride with a goofy fun-house spirit, it's full of clever pranks.

January 12, 2001
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

Well up to the brothers' usual high standards.

Full Review… | May 9, 2012

Everyone who has the capacity for abstract thought, raise your hands . . . and take this Coen brothers' journey.

Full Review… | December 29, 2011
Movie Metropolis

Even with its mock-pretentious parallelism to The Odyssey...O Brother, Where Art Thou? refuses to take itself seriously, which is both its principal failing and its charm. [Blu-ray]

Full Review… | September 26, 2011
Groucho Reviews

Teens might enjoy this offbeat Odyssey adaptation.

Full Review… | December 26, 2010
Common Sense Media

May not be the funniest or wackiest movie from Joel and Ethan Coen, but it is easily their most ambitious work to date.

Full Review… | September 4, 2010

This lightly engaging trifle could have been more fun with a greater helping of the Coens' antic spirit.

Full Review… | February 15, 2010

It has a remarkable (if playfully skewed) fidelity to the epic poem of mythical struggle, even if the filmmaking brother act never actually read Homer's work...

Full Review… | December 6, 2009
Turner Classic Movies Online

In its best moments (of which there are a few), O Brother, Where Art Thou? has a twang to it.

Full Review… | August 21, 2009

The Coens are like party acquaintances who keep changing the subject and then staring at you quizzically when you can't follow the thread, or when you stop wanting to follow it, but who then block all your exit routes from their obnoxious conversation.

Full Review… | July 22, 2009
Nick's Flick Picks

The ferociously one-dimensional characters here make this muddy ramble more of a guilty pleasure than a success.

Full Review… | August 7, 2008
Sacramento News & Review

It's not up there with Lebowski, but its still a darn good tale.

Full Review… | November 17, 2007
Dark Horizons

The Coen's tale of three escaped convicts has more to do with Homer the Simpson than Homer the poet.

Full Review… | July 14, 2007
Big Picture Big Sound

its tongue-in-cheek humor effortlessly gives way to poignant drama and period musical pieces throughout.

Full Review… | December 6, 2005

O Brother, Where Art Thou? is amazing.

Full Review… | December 6, 2005
Film Threat

Watching Clooney, Turturro, and Nelson ham it up singing 'Man of Constant Sorrow' is one of this year's greatest big-screen delights.

December 6, 2004
Looking Closer

O Brother, Where Art Thou? is the Being John Malkovich of the year 2000. The most remarkable thing about it is just how any sane studio executive agreed to back it.

Full Review… | March 6, 2004
Film Blather

It's an odd, charming movie, not for everyone, but definitely for Coen acolytes. A great adaptation. And buy the soundtrack.

Full Review… | July 3, 2003

As a big-budget film from two of our great contemporary social satirists, it falls short.

May 20, 2003
Palo Alto Weekly

Audience Reviews for O Brother, Where Art Thou?


Typically meandering and enigmatic, O Brother is not quite as great as the Depression it takes place during, but it still displays the Coen brothers eye for historical detail and dry humor and includes some beautiful music and cinematography.

Sam Barnett
Sam Barnett

Super Reviewer

The Coen Brothers' southern-comfort-film is a solid hospitable charm. O Brother, Where Art Thou? may stray away and become difficult to understand with the heavy hick-like accents, but it's delightful to hear such dialogue from its dynamic cast, including George Clooney, John Turturro & John Goodman. Regardless of its flaws, the film is comical and stylish in its direction and visual interpretation. 4/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer


Lightheartedly brilliant with a great script torn into by a great cast. Full review later.

Thomas Bowler

Super Reviewer

I really enjoyed this film. First off, the soundtrack is amazing but that is something you can expect when T-Bone Burnett produces it. Aside from that, the story is hilarious mostly due to the wild situations that the three main characters always end up in. The ending is a bit of a dues ex machina, but everything before is great.

Market Man
Eric Shankle

Super Reviewer

O Brother, Where Art Thou? Quotes

Tommy Johnson:
I had to be up at there crossroads last midnight, to sell my soul to the devil
Ulysses Everett McGill:
Well ain't it a small world, spirituality speaking. Pete and Delmar just been baptized and saved. I guess I'm the only one that remains unaffiliated.
– Submitted by Jamey B (2 months ago)
I've spoken my piece and counted to three.
Ulysses Everett McGill:
She counted to three. Goddamit! She counted to three. Sonafabitch!
– Submitted by Alyssa B (5 months ago)
Ulysses Everett McGill:
Why are you tellin' our gals that I was hit by a train?
Lots of respectable people have been hit by trains. Judge Hoover over in Cookville was hit by a train. What was I gonna tell them, that you got sent to the penal farm and I divorced you from shame?
Ulysses Everett McGill:
Uh, I take your point. But it does put me in a damn awkward position, vis--vis my progeny.
– Submitted by Alyssa B (5 months ago)
Ulysses Everett McGill:
Ain't you gonna introduce us, Pete?
I don't know their names. I've seen 'em first!
– Submitted by Alyssa B (5 months ago)
Vermon, he's got a job. Vermon's got prospects. He's bona fide. What are you?
– Submitted by Alyssa B (5 months ago)
Big Dan Teague:
So long, boys. See you in the funny papers.
– Submitted by Alyssa B (5 months ago)

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