Intolerable Cruelty


Intolerable Cruelty

Critics Consensus

Though more mainstream than other Coen films, there are still funny oddball touches, and Clooney and Zeta-Jones sizzle like old-time movie stars.



Reviews Counted: 184

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Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 2.9/5

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Movie Info

Joel and Ethan Coen take on the classic battle-of-the-sexes screwball comedy with Intolerable Cruelty. George Clooney plays Miles Massey, a high-powered Los Angeles divorce lawyer nearing a midlife crisis . While representing wealthy client Rex Rexroth (Edward Herrmann), Miles meets his match in Rex's gold-digging wife, Marilyn Rexroth (Catherine Zeta-Jones). He's impressed by her similarly heartless ways of using marriage to fuel an expensive lifestyle, but he still defeats her in court. With Marilyn looking to get her revenge and Miles finding himself attracted to her, the two engage in a ruthless romantic pursuit to out-swindle each other. Billy Bob Thornton shows up in a small role as Texas oil tycoon Howard Doyle. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, Rovi

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George Clooney
as Miles Massey
Catherine Zeta-Jones
as Marylin Rexroth
Geoffrey Rush
as Donovan Donaly
Edward Herrmann
as Rex Rexroth
Richard Jenkins
as Freddy Bender
Billy Bob Thornton
as Howard D. Doyle
Julia Duffy
as Sarah Sorkin
Jonathan Hadary
as Heinz, the Baron Krauss von Espy
Tom Aldredge
as Herb Myerson
Irwin Keyes
as Wheezy Joe
Colin Linden
as Father Scott
Stacey Travis
as Bonnie Donaly
Jack Kyle
as Ollie Olerud
Judith Drake
as Mrs. Gutman
George Ives
as Mrs. Gutman's Lawyer
Booth Colman
as Gutman Trial Judge
Kristin Dattilo
as Rex' Young Woman
Wendle Josepher
as Miles' Receptionist
Mary Pat Gleason
as Nero's Waitress
Mia Cottet
as Ramona Barcelona
Kiersten Warren
as Claire O'Hara
Ken Sagoes
as Gus's Pal
Doug Fisher
as Maitre D'
Dale E. Turner
as Gus's Pal
Douglas Fisher
as Maitre d'
Isabell Monk
as Judge Marva Munson
Mary Gillis
as Court Reporter
Julie Obburn
as Stewardess
Gary Marshal
as Las Vegas Waiter
Blake Clark
as Convention Secretary
Kate Luyben
as Santa Fe Tart
Allan Trautman
as Convention Lawyer
Camille Anderson
as Santa Fe Tart
Kitana Baker
as Santa Fe Tart
Bridget Marquardt
as Santa Fe Tart
Julie Osburn
as Stewardess
Tamie Sheffield
as Santa Fe Tart
Emma Harrison
as Santa Fe Tart
John Bliss
as Mr. MacKinnon
Sean Fenton
as Bailiff
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News & Interviews for Intolerable Cruelty

Critic Reviews for Intolerable Cruelty

All Critics (184) | Top Critics (46)

Audience Reviews for Intolerable Cruelty

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.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

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.

Clintus Maximus
Clintus Maximus

Super Reviewer


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.

Candy Rose
Candy Rose

Super Reviewer

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.

Chris Weber
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

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