O Brother, Where Art Thou?


O Brother, Where Art Thou?

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.



Total Count: 150


Audience Score

User Ratings: 256,508
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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 cunning and mysterious lawman Cooley, who tracks men, bent on bringing the trio back to the prison farm.


George Clooney
as Ulysses Everett McGill
Tim Blake Nelson
as Delmar O'Donnell
John Goodman
as Big Dan Teague
Holly Hunter
as Penny Wharvey
Chris Thomas King
as Tommy Johnson
Charles Durning
as Pappy O'Daniel
Del Pentecost
as Junior O'Daniel
Michael Badalucco
as George `Babyface' Nelson
Ray McKinnon
as Waldrip
J.R. Horne
as Pappy's Staff Member
Ed Gale
as The Little Man
Royce D. Applegate
as Man with Bullhorn
Frank Collison
as Wash Hogwallop
Quinn Gasaway
as Bog Hogwallop
Lee Weaver
as Blind Seer
Milford Fortenberry
as Pomade Vendor
Stephen Root
as Radio Station Man
John Locke
as Mr. French
Gillian Welch
as Soggy Bottom Customer
A. Ray Ratliff
as Record Store Clerk
Mia Tate
as Siren
Michael W. Finnell
as Interrogator
Georgia Rae Rainer
as Wharvey Gal
Marianna Breland
as Wharvey Gal
Lindsey Miller
as Wharvey Gal
Natalie Shedd
as Wharvey Gal
John McConnell
as Woolworth's Manager
Issac Freeman
as Gravedigger
Wilson Waters Jr.
as Gravedigger
Robert Hamlett
as Gravedigger
Willard Cox
as Cox Family Member
Evelyn Cox
as Cox Family Member
Suzanne Cox
as Cox Family Member
Sidney Cox
as Cox Family Member
Buck White
as White Family Member
Sharon White
as White Family Member
Sheryl White
as White Family Member
Ed Snodderly
as Village Idiot
David Holt
as Village Idiot
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Critic Reviews for O Brother, Where Art Thou?

All Critics (150) | Top Critics (38) | Fresh (116) | Rotten (34)

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

    Nov 7, 2007 | Full Review…
  • Great dialogue, superb 'Scope camerawork from Roger Deakins, and a genuinely wondrous deus ex machina are among the delights.

    Jan 26, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    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.

    Sep 26, 2002
  • It's a wild, whacked-out wonder.

    Feb 6, 2001 | Rating: 5/5
  • Leaves a sour taste.

    Jan 12, 2001 | Rating: 1/4
  • A roller-coaster ride with a goofy fun-house spirit, it's full of clever pranks.

    Jan 12, 2001

Audience Reviews for O Brother, Where Art Thou?

  • May 16, 2017
    Quirky Coen Brothers film with a phenomenal soundtrack. I dug it. Rating: 72
    Bradley J Super Reviewer
  • May 29, 2016
    Three convicts escape from their chains and head off to find 1.2 million in cash waiting for them. Along the way hilarious situations arise. A thoroughly entertaining and funny adventure by the Coen brothers.
    Peter B Super Reviewer
  • Dec 09, 2014
    While it isn't the best Cohen brothers movie out there, O Brother still offers up plenty of chuckles with excellent acting and dialogue to keep it enjoyable in one of the most deplorable times in history. The three leads are fun to watch scamper around the country on the loose from their chain gang. Some of their adventures dabble in the absurd while others are pretty cooky, but overall, it comes full circle to a story about friendship and resolution more so than what it starts out being in a search for treasure.
    Lane Z Super Reviewer
  • Aug 26, 2014
    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 B Super Reviewer

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