MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 91 this week

Defending Your Life (1991)

 -  Comedy | Drama | Fantasy  -  22 March 1991 (USA)
7.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 11,760 users  
Reviews: 81 user | 22 critic

In an afterlife resembling the present-day US, people must prove their worth by showing in court how they have demonstrated courage.

Director:

Writer:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 35 titles
created 19 Feb 2011
 
a list of 24 titles
created 20 Sep 2011
 
a list of 24 titles
created 14 Dec 2011
 
a list of 22 titles
created 8 months ago
 
a list of 43 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Defending Your Life (1991)

Defending Your Life (1991) on IMDb 7.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Defending Your Life.

User Polls

4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A husband and wife in their 30s decide to quit their jobs, live as free spirits and cruise America in a Winnebago.

Director: Albert Brooks
Stars: Albert Brooks, Julie Hagerty, Sylvia Farrel
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Five unmarried sisters make the most of their simple existence in rural Ireland in the 1930s.

Director: Pat O'Connor
Stars: Meryl Streep, Michael Gambon, Gerard McSorley
Mother II (1996)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A neurotic, twice divorced sci-fi writer moves back in with his mom to solve his personal problems.

Director: Albert Brooks
Stars: Albert Brooks, Debbie Reynolds, Paul Collins
Real Life (1979)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A pushy, narcissistic filmmaker persuades a Phoenix family to let him and his crew film their everyday lives, in the manner of the ground-breaking PBS series "An American Family". However, ... See full summary »

Director: Albert Brooks
Stars: Dick Haynes, Albert Brooks, Matthew Tobin
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Albert Brooks directs himself as a successful film editor with far too many issues that affects the relationship between him and his remarkably patient girlfriend.

Director: Albert Brooks
Stars: Albert Brooks, Kathryn Harrold, Tyann Means
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Substance-addicted Hollywood actress Suzanne Vale is on the skids. After a spell at a detox centre her film company insists as a condition of continuing to employ her that she live with her... See full summary »

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Meryl Streep, Shirley MacLaine, Dennis Quaid
Plenty (1985)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A young Englishwoman spends 20 years to make whatever kind of life for herself at the expense of others around her in post-World War 2 England.

Director: Fred Schepisi
Stars: Meryl Streep, Sam Neill, Charles Dance
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

To improve its relations with Muslim countries, the United States government sends comedian Albert Brooks to south Asia to write a report on what makes followers of Islam laugh.

Director: Albert Brooks
Stars: Albert Brooks, Sheetal Sheth, John Carroll Lynch
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A mother, whose child was killed in a Dingo attack in outback Northern Territory, Australia, fights to prove her innocence.

Director: Fred Schepisi
Stars: Meryl Streep, Sam Neill, Dale Reeves
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A career woman reassesses her parents' lives after she is forced to care for her cancer-stricken mother.

Director: Carl Franklin
Stars: Meryl Streep, Renée Zellweger, William Hurt
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Respected liberal Senator Joe Tynan is asked to to lead the opposition to a Supreme Court appointment. It means losing an old friend and fudging principles to make the necessary deals, as ... See full summary »

Director: Jerry Schatzberg
Stars: Alan Alda, Barbara Harris, Meryl Streep
She-Devil (1989)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A cunning and resourceful housewife vows revenge on her husband when he begins an affair with a wealthy romance novelist.

Director: Susan Seidelman
Stars: Meryl Streep, Roseanne Barr, Ed Begley Jr.
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Agency Head
...
Jeep Owner
...
Car Salesman
...
Tram Guide
Peter Schuck ...
Stan
...
Porter
...
Sharlie Stuart ...
Susan
Beth Black ...
Soap Opera Woman
...
Soap Opera Man
Jim McKrell ...
Game Show Moderator (as James MacKrell)
Wil Albert ...
Game Show Contestant
Sage Allen ...
Game Show Contestant
...
Waitress
Edit

Storyline

Yuppie Daniel Miller is killed in a car accident and goes to Judgment City, a waiting room for the afterlife. During the day, he must prove in a courtroom-style process that he successfully overcame his fears (a hard task, given the pitiful life we are shown); at night, he falls in love with Julia, the only other young person in town. Nights are a time of hedonistic pleasure, since you can (for instance) eat all you want without getting fat. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The first true story of what happens after you die.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

22 March 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Visa al paraíso  »

Box Office

Gross:

$16,371,128 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This 1991 movie was the first feature film Albert Brooks appeared in since Broadcast News (1987), a break of four years. See more »

Goofs

In the Italian restaurant scene, when Daniel asks Julia to turn back around so that Lena wouldn't see her sucking in the long strand of pasta, there is a split second where the strand can be seen falling out of Julia's mouth, but it remains in her mouth in the very next shot when she's facing Daniel again. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Daniel Miller: I was driving to work this morning thinking I will be here, in 2 months, it'll be 10 years. And you're like my real family. Isn't that tragic.
[laughter]
Daniel Miller: I got a call from my mother this morning, she wished me a happy birthday, and hinted around the fact that I wasn't making enough money. If you can call "are ya still making the same salary, honey" a hint. And my ex-wife used to say the same thing, although she never used the name "honey".
[laughter]
Daniel Miller: So, maybe in three years I can ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

References Patton (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

Something's Coming
Music by Leonard Bernstein
Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Performed by Barbra Streisand
Courtesy of CBS Records Music Licensing Department
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

An amazing and unique commentary on life and death
21 May 2001 | by (Frostburg MD) – See all my reviews

Defending Your Life is one of those movies that has stuck with me over the years for some reason. The most likely one is that this film presents one of the most plausible and thought-provoking views of the afterlife that I have ever heard from a movie, or anywhere else for that matter. The protagonist (Brooks) dies and wakes up in Judgement City, where it's just like earth, only 70 degrees and clear all the time, and you can eat all of the most delicious food in existence that you want and not gain a pound.

The catch is that you are essentially placed on trial. Several random days from your like are examined, and the judges decide whether you will "move on", or be sent back to earth to try again. The most interesting thing to me is that you aren't judged according to how well you followed the commandments, but on whether you let your fear keep you from making the right choices in your life. You see, fear is what keeps those of us on Earth (comically referred to as "little brains") from realizing our full potential.

As great as this theory is, it's the character played by Albert Brooks that makes this film worth watching. We can sense his bewilderment, as well as his shame at not living his life as well as he could have. In fact, it is so easy to empathize with his character that I felt sorry for him, seeing myself in his place one day. But Don't get me wrong, Defending Your Life is also a very funny movie. Judgement City is a sort of parallel reality to our own, in ways that are very pleasant to see. And the ending is perfect. You owe it to yourself to see this movie.


36 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
'I was trapped near the intercircle of fault' zigistardusted
What's your favorite meal at Judgement City? CoffeeRules
Why fear? petekrug17
Funniest Part? dextermovies
Stopping at Waiter/server level timruf53223
movies about the afterlife james_madison
Discuss Defending Your Life (1991) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?