Nobel Son


Nobel Son

Critics Consensus

Despite the best efforts of a strong cast, Nobel Son is over-plotted and self-consciously odd.



Reviews Counted: 65

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,246


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.1/5

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Movie Info

A young man's moment of triumph is spoiled when he gets kidnapped before he can impress his father in this black comedy. Eli Michaelson (Alan Rickman), a well-respected scientist, has learned that he's won the Nobel Prize in chemistry, which is a mixed blessing for his friends and family; while Eli's ego is a bit strong under the best of circumstances, this affirmation of his talent and intelligence has made him insufferable. Eli's wife, Sarah (Mary Steenburgen), a talented forensic psychiatrist, is more than annoyed by Eli's fondness for extramarital affairs (and lack of concern about hiding them), while his son, Barkley (Bryan Greenberg), has spent much of his life struggling to live up to his dad's expectations, with little success. Barkley is about to receive his Ph.D, just in time for his father's prize ceremony, when he's abducted by a pair of hapless crooks. The kidnappers demand Eli's two-million-dollar Nobel honorarium in exchange for Barkley's safe return. Also starring Bill Pullman, Danny DeVito, Eliza Dushku, and Shawn Hatosy, Nobel Son received its world premiere at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Alan Rickman
as Eli Michaelson
Bill Pullman
as Max Mariner
Bryan Greenberg
as Barkley Michaelson
Mary Steenburgen
as Sarah Michaelson
Shawn Hatosy
as Thaddeus James
Eliza Dushku
as City Hall
Danny DeVito
as Gastner
Ted Danson
as Harvey Parrish
Ernie Hudson
as Lasasso
Tracey Walter
as Simon Ahrens
Kevin West
as Jaundice
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News & Interviews for Nobel Son

Critic Reviews for Nobel Son

All Critics (65) | Top Critics (27)

  • Is it a thriller? Is it a heist movie? Is it a comedy?

    Dec 8, 2008 | Full Review…
  • I had high hopes for Nobel Son at the halfway point, but it ultimately really completely collapses under the weight of its clever twists.

    Dec 8, 2008
  • The plot twists are mostly predicated on the characters' improbably shifting loyalties, the sort of thing you can get away with only when the people in your movie are drained of all compassion.

    Dec 5, 2008 | Full Review…
  • It's one of those films stuffed with odd characters in overblown situations. Unfortunately, you don't care about any of them.

    Dec 5, 2008 | Rating: C- | Full Review…

    Tom Long

    Detroit News
    Top Critic
  • Even if you can summon some admiration for Nobel Son's editing or snippets of clever dialogue, the movie is so relentlessly self-congratulatory, you can't help becoming thoroughly sick of it.

    Dec 5, 2008 | Rating: 1/4
  • Only when Nobel Son stops trying so hard does it have any appeal at all.

    Dec 5, 2008 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Nobel Son


Nobel Son is a well thought black comedy with a great cast and directing. I really enjoyed the film because it offers up a good idea for a movie, and with a fine lead performance from Alan Rickman, who always is best as playing characters that are arrogant. This is a smart film with a great cast, a clever script and great directing. The plot is well structured and it is an entertaining film that is smart and funny, something that is rare to see in comedies because everyone wants the same old tiresome humor. Nobel Son is a film that will certainly appeal to viewers looking for a different type of comedy, and with a cast like this, you can be thoroughly engaged into the story, its characters and what is going on on-screen. This is one of those rare films that succeed at creating something really original and combining it with a well layered plot. I really loved the film, and it is a fine independent production due to Rickman's performance which really stands out. I wish more films like this would get a wider release because in today's comedy genre, nearly every comedy tends to recycle the same dull material, which ends up falling flat. Nobel Son has its imperfections, but it is worth seeing if you enjoy these types of Black comedies. With a great cast at hand, this is a highly entertaining film that combines serious elements with the not so serious to create one of the better films in the genre. This film is really a treat for film fans that enjoy independent productions such as this.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

This movie, gets three stars purely for Rickman as he is awesome! Like everything that Alan Rickman is in he also proves to be a phenomenal actor even if the script and plot of the movie isnt up to scratch! Being a huge Alan Rickman fan i absolutely loved this movie, i was wishing that he was my professor that i could have an affair with however that aside the story itself is a bit over-ambitious! Your given a straight forward plot that gives you laughs and enjoyment but then the story goes somewhere completely else and gets a little bit harder to keep up as the plot delves into sub plots and a whole new direction in the last half of the movie! Although its a movie you can understand and follow you are left bewildered as to why they took that direction towards the end, and possibly there could have been a more satisfying ending! Its a good cast Alan Rickman is awesome and i love the American Accent hes putting on it makes him even more sexy! He's great and the supporting cast have their moments but the movie as a whole is a little disappointing. Rickman fans will enjoy this movie though!

Film Crazy
Film Crazy

Super Reviewer

"There is more barbarity in eating a man alive than in eating him dead." Barkley Michaelson is in a deep life rut. He's struggling to finish his PhD thesis when his father, the learned Eli Michaelson, wins the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

This is a perfect indie film with a bizarre script with endless twists and turns, excellent actors in quirky, often off-putting roles, a loud, funky soundtrack, and a pace that's so quick you'll need to see the movie twice to absorb it all. The ensemble cast is headed by Alan Rickman at his sarcastic best, wallowing happily in his role as a heartless husband and father. He's wonderful. Steenburgen's role is never fully explained; why would she stay married to such a beast? Bill Pullman is great as the cop who investigates the kidnapping. He's sympathetic, professional, and ultra-creepy all at the same time. Bryan Greenberg is good as the kidnap victim. Danny de Vito and Ted Danson round out the cast in small parts. The exciting script will keep you guessing and the acting is top-notch. Recommended.

Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Lorenzo von Matterhorn

Super Reviewer


Cast: Alan Rickman, Bryan Greenberg, Shawn Hatosy, Mary Steenburgen, Bill Pullman, Eliza Dushku, Danny DeVito, Ted Danson, Ernie Hudson, Tracey Walter, Lindy Booth, Kevin West Director: Randall Miller Summary: On the verge of receiving the Nobel Prize in chemistry, Prof. Eli Michaelson (Alan Rickman) learns that kidnappers have snatched his son Barkley (Bryan Greenberg), a promising graduate student. But when the captors want a ransom of $2 million -- the exact amount of the Nobel Prize money -- the self-serving Eli refuses to cough up the cash in this vitriolic tale about an acutely dysfunctional family. My Thoughts: "This movie is full of twists and turns, and I wasn't expecting any of it. I was expecting a dark comedy, which I got, but it also was a bit of a thriller. It was quite funny thanks to Alan Rickman. His character is completely full of himself, and his comments will either have you annoyed or laughing. I have seen some films with Shawn Hatosy, and I really like his acting. I thought this movie's story was fresh and interesting. Has a great cast all around. The story althought being fresh, is a bit farfetched. But its interesting none the less. Give it watch.. "


Super Reviewer

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