Defending Your Life 1991

Defending Your Life

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97%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 32

83%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 9,973

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Movie Info

Daniel Miller (Albert Brooks) isn't having a good week. For starters, he died after he got hit by a bus. Then he discovers that in the afterlife he must defend his actions on Earth in order to ascend to a higher plane of existence. While awaiting judgment, he falls in love with Julia (Meryl Streep), whose near-perfect life on Earth seemingly makes her a shoe-in for ascension. However, Daniel's actions in his lifetime might not be enough for him to move on.

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Critic Reviews for Defending Your Life

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (31) | Rotten (1)

Audience Reviews for Defending Your Life

  • Jan 26, 2013
    Hilarious and philosophically interesting. While it possess a lot of the hallmarks of standard romantic comedies, the unique take on the afterlife as well as Steep's and Brooks' chemistry elevates this film to some fantastic heights. Rip Torn and Lee Grant are pretty great as well.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 03, 2013
    A sweet fantasy into a weigh-station where the departed make cases for whether they lived fearless lives, and after judgment, they move onto greener, more intelligent pastures or get reincarnated back to Earth. I'm not a fan of Meryl Streep, but she is angel bright as the fearless Julia. There seems to be a hidden layer of stupidity in those who move on - like that their diet consists of dirt and worms, or the substitute lawyer who uses 43% of his brain but doesn't say a word in court to defend Daniel - but they're just sight gags that don't come to fruition.
    Alice S Super Reviewer
  • Dec 28, 2010
    One of my all-time favorites!
    Sean G Super Reviewer
  • Oct 15, 2010
    An imaginative, hilarious look at an ad-man (Albert Brooks) killed in a car accident and sent to a purgatory-type afterlife, where he awaits judgment concerning if he lived a good life or not in order to see if he will be granted access into Heaven. If he isn't, he'll be sent back to Earth to live another life again. Albert Brooks really nails this from every angle - writing, directing, and acting, this is a genius film. It doesn't quite keep up the same momentum is has during its last half hour or so, but this is a mostly great comedy which features a great premise, and one that is executed soundly in almost every conceivable aspect. The ending is a strange one but fitting in a weird way. It's also very re-watchable thanks to its ability to get huge laughs, while at the same time possessing the skill to know when to become serious when time calls for it.
    Dan S Super Reviewer

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