7.0/10
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403 user 317 critic

A Serious Man (2009)

Trailer
1:41 | Trailer
Larry Gopnik, a Midwestern physics teacher, watches his life unravel over multiple sudden incidents. Though seeking meaning and answers amidst his turmoils, he seems to keep sinking.

Directors:

Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Writers:

Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
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Popularity
2,493 ( 71)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 78 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Stuhlbarg ... Larry Gopnik
Richard Kind ... Uncle Arthur
Fred Melamed ... Sy Ableman
Sari Lennick ... Judith Gopnik
Aaron Wolff ... Danny Gopnik
Jessica McManus Jessica McManus ... Sarah Gopnik
Peter Breitmayer ... Mr. Brandt
Brent Braunschweig Brent Braunschweig ... Mitch Brandt
David Kang David Kang ... Clive Park
Benjamin Portnoe Benjamin Portnoe ... Danny's Reefer Buddy
Jack Swiler Jack Swiler ... Boy on Bus
Andrew S. Lentz Andrew S. Lentz ... Cursing Boy on Bus
Jon Kaminski Jr. Jon Kaminski Jr. ... Mike Fagle
Ari Hoptman ... Arlen Finkle
Alan Mandell Alan Mandell ... Rabbi Marshak
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Storyline

Bloomington, Minnesota, 1967: Jewish physics lecturer Larry Gopnik is a serious and a very put-upon man. His daughter is stealing from him to save up for a nose job, his pot-head son, who gets stoned at his own bar-mitzvah, only wants him round to fix the TV aerial and his useless brother Arthur is an unwelcome house guest. But both Arthur and Larry get turfed out into a motel when Larry's wife Judy, who wants a divorce, moves her lover, Sy, into the house and even after Sy's death in a car crash they are still there. With lawyers' bills mounting for his divorce, Arthur's criminal court appearances and a land feud with a neighbour Larry is tempted to take the bribe offered by a student to give him an illegal exam pass mark. And the rabbis he visits for advice only dole out platitudes. Still God moves in mysterious - and not always pleasant - ways, as Larry and his family will find out. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some sexuality/nudity and brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The cast contains very few Coen regulars, and most of the actors in the film are relative unknowns. See more »

Goofs

Rabbi Marshak tells Danny "When the truth is found to be lies, and all the hope within you dies." The lyric in "Somebody to Love" is actually "...all the joy within you dies". See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Shtetl Husband: What a marvel... what a marvel.
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Crazy Credits

Fyvush Finkel's character is listed as "Dybbuk?". See more »

Connections

Featured in Nostalgia Critic: Top 11 Best Film Trailers (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Machine Gun
Written by Jimi Hendrix
Performed by Jimi Hendrix
Courtesy of Experience Hendrix LLC/Geffen Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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User Reviews

 
Quantum Physics Aside
29 January 2019 | by SweetWilliam63See all my reviews

There are two ways to watch this movie: One, taken at face value as a slice of life movie presented in the typically painful dark comic stylings of the Cohen Brothers. In which case, the writing, acting, story line (and lack of deus ex machina there in) about a put upon drudge in 1960's suburban Minnesota will not disappoint. Trust me. Go on. Enjoy. Or, 'B', informed by the many breakdowns and analysis provided by the internets in which case you may find yourself going "Oy Vey!". The first way, at face value, is how I like to watch movies. It is, in my humble opinion, art in it's purest form. I like a good denouement phase as will as the next guy but when you have to have someone else explain it in order to appreciate it, it morphs into something else. Having said that, I was intrigued enough by what I watched the first time to watch it again informed by the cheat sheets on quantum physics, the uncertainty principle, Werber Hiesenberg, and the super-posiition. This latter perspective did provide some resolution and undoubtedly enough impressive fodder for my next cocktail party but it also left me in the "super-position" of unfixed propability and unable therefore to identify the movie as being 'good' or 'bad'. Ha! See what I did there?


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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

UK | France | USA

Language:

English | Yiddish | Hebrew

Release Date:

6 November 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Serious Man See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$251,337, 4 October 2009

Gross USA:

$9,228,768

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$31,430,334
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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