A Serious Man - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

A Serious Man Reviews

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½ September 9, 2017
Seems to me this is the forgotten/overlooked Coen Brothers movie. And rightly so IMO. I like it - it has that Coen Bros. sensibility and I give it a clear thumbs up - still, it is lacking something and belongs at the low end of the Coen spectrum. Not entirely baked. Particularly weak unsatisfying ending IMO. 6.9 out of 10
½ August 5, 2017
Worst movie ever with no redeeming value. After watching this, you know the Coen brothers left the world worse off: if there is such a thing as "the opposite of art", this movie is it. Kind of experience that makes you join the Dark Side. Wish I could get those minutes back.
June 21, 2017
A Serious Man is about a man who wants and tries to be a "serious man" in a world that is nonsensical, random, and seemingly capricious in the way that it treats its inhabitants.You may have been riding a streak of good fortune, when all of a sudden WHAM! You're hit with one bad circumstance after another---or simultaneously, for no good reason at all. If you have been raised like Larry Gopnick to believe that you'll be rewarded by God and the universe for being a "serious man" and doing good for your family and society, you find yourself asking , "What did I do?", or protesting, "I didn't do anything" (to deserve what's happened).Gopnick decides to consult with the religious leaders of his community, the rabbis of his synagogue, to seek answers to the bad that has befallen him. However, he learns that their non-answers are of no help to him. The Coens are here mocking Judaism, which pervaded their background, but, by extension, they are scoffing at all religious traditions. They have a nihilistic outlook which holds it is useless to look for reasons for and answers to the misfortunes of the universe; one might as well seek enjoyment from those pleasures that can be had, such as sex, music, and weed. In the film, Gopnick is a physics professor, who might be expected to take certitude and solace from the sciences of physics and math, but then he has to deal with the "uncertainty principle" which has been derived, I believe, from quantum mechanics. In addition to the main story involving Gopnick and his Minnesota milieu, there is a brief and weird prologue to the film, in Yiddish, which takes place in an impoverished Eastern European shtetl. It seems to describe two different archetypes of Jews: The husband who is a rationalist , and the wife who is a supernaturalist, and believes in such things as Dybbuks. Consequently they interpret the night visit to their shack of a bearded old man completely differently. I found this piece as entertaining as the rest of the movie. And despite---or because of--- its bleak philosophy, I found the movie to be hilarious. You don't have to be Jewish to enjoy the movie---but it helps. Likewise, if you are strongly into any religious persuasion you might not care for this basically Godless film. Stick to The Ten Commandments, or Ben Hur.
June 10, 2017
great piece of movie with lot of Coen's typical elements like camera perspective, real characters and the good guy who gets it all wrong. A bit heavy on Jewish religious surrounding but I guess this is what the Coens got trough in their childhood.
June 9, 2017
For me the best Coen Brother's film. Esoteric. Multi-layered. It wasn't until recently that I fully understood what was really going on.
½ May 16, 2017
What's going on? That is the point of this movie. Why do certain things happen to us out of nowhere? Our main character Larry is always saying he hasn't done anything and never takes any actions to try to stop any of his problems. He is always looking to interpret his problems, like seeking the help of three rabbis. The truth is, we don't have all the answers to make sense of life's events (or a story's plot points) and neither do the Coen brothers. One insignificant character in the film who appears to have an answer to just one of Larry's myriad of minor problems dies instantly with hysterical irony. Don't go into "A Serious Man" looking for answers, go into it looking for a change of perspective.
May 14, 2017
Did not enjoy this at all. It's so scattershot and has no jokes or whimsy, just annoying characters and "unfortunate events", as well as a whole heap of incomprehensible Jewish traditions and Hebrew being spoken with no subtitles... Very tedious, and - as per the title - too serious, with no fun.
½ April 5, 2017
Worst Coen movie Ive seen. This movie ending was retarded. Also, this movie continually kept using Jewish terms and never explaining what they meant-very annoying. I found the entire film boring and annoying mostly. Never got to a point and was very tedious. You keep waiting for the main character to grow a pair of balls or do something and he never does other than talk to idiot rabbis. I didnt even like a lot of the up close shots they chose. Other than the style decor of 60s this movie sucked. How did this get nominated for best picture-perhaps the critics were bribed like the main character.
January 30, 2017
A Serious Man is another very overrated work from two very overrated directors. It has its intriguing moments, the prologue is very interesting and the premise is actually quite fascinating, but the Coen brothers wasted such a great premise on such a poor execution with far from great performances and an unfortunate lack of focus plus there is no point to it whatsoever.
January 29, 2017
Not sure how anyone can like this movie -it is a caricature of Judaism,
with enough angst to make Woody Allen appear absolutely stable! This is
just an exercise in self-indulgence by the Coen brothers and whatever
other 'artist' felt we had to be subjected to this drivel. To
paraphrase another reviewer - it has no action, no suspense, no plot,
no ending... Don't waste your time
January 28, 2017
God has a plan for him, and it's not good!
At the end of Fargo, another Coen brothers film, I had to sit there for a moment and all I could think was, "Wow!" I had the same "wow" moment at the end of this one, probably more so.
January 27, 2017
The Coen Brothers present their latest film, A Serious Man. Michael Stuhlbarg is Larry Gopnik, a physics teacher which two kids and a wife. He is on the verge of making tenure, and his son is getting ready for his bar mitzvah everything seems to be looking up. This seems to be collapsing however when his wife announces she wants to divorce him, kick him out of the house and leave him for a much older man. His brother is in trouble and has the law after him. A Korean student attempts to bribe him for a non-failing grade, and he the troubles keeping piling on.

As all of these events occur Gopnik seems to have his life spiraling out of control all because of circumstances that are beyond his control. He turns to his faith, he turns to his family, and even to his neighbors, but none of them seem to really offer a way out any of his troubles. More events such as bills, funerals, and gambling debts have Gopnik's need for money piling up.

A serious man is a for lack of a better words, a serious comedy from the Coen brothers. The film is not one of the goofier or slapstick comedies such as Miller's Crossing, Hail Caesar or O Brother Where Art Thou. The film is not as dark or morbid as Fargo. The film does still have many characteristics of Coen Brothers films. Many of their films feature characters that seem to have events occur to them out of nowhere with no cause or reason for it. There is a mysterious rabbi that is similar to the mysterious boss that was in the comedy Intolerable Cruelty. A serious man really is a tough film to gauge, and it does not particularly stand out among so many of films they have made. I am certain that because I am not particularly familiar with the Jewish culture, I did miss up on several comedic references throughout the film. Void of violence and extreme measures make this film a change of pace for the Coen Brothers, but this film does not leave much to hang its hat on. A serious man is overall a good film, but not a film that can really be recommended even though it is a better film than many of their other comedies. Stuhlbarg does a good job leading a pretty unrecognizable cast, and perhaps bigger names would have been the only thing that would have warranted granting this movie a bigger audience. I certainly was surprised to see the film nominated for best picture and best writing, but this film does have somewhat of that sophisticated feel to it that the Oscars typically clamor for.

-1.27.2017
½ January 18, 2017
i love the coen brothers but this 1:45 movie feels like five hours.
January 17, 2017
Flat out terrific, another masterpiece by the Coens.
½ January 14, 2017
I think everyone can relate to someone here and it gives you a chance to ponder for yourself... What does it all mean?
January 14, 2017
An overlooked Coen's brothers masterpiece.*great movie
½ January 12, 2017
1/11/17 We had already seen this at some point, but I didn't remember much at all about it. Usually, that is a bad sign, but this is an enjoyable film. It is just interesting to sit back and watch what happens to this family. There is a bit of dry humor, which I tend to enjoy when in the right mood. It isn't a long film, so it is worth the time commitment if you like the Coen brothers and a film that is a bit quirky.
½ January 11, 2017
This bizarre tragi-comedy should fail on every level, but it doesn't, proving just how masterful the Coen Brothers really are at crafting a story. A Serious Man raises to the heights of some of their best work, being equally thought provoking and ridiculous, with a stellar performance from Michael Stuhlbarg.
½ December 16, 2016
Gotta love the Coen Brothers where every little thing has importance in someway and may or may not show up again later in the film.
December 4, 2016
The acting is good but I definitely missed the point of this one.
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