MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 855 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 11,937 users  
Reviews: 82 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 49 titles
created 30 Jul 2012
 
a list of 24 titles
created 18 May 2013
 
a list of 22 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 37 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 31 titles
created 3 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 | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 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
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
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
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
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 5.4/10 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 6.1/10 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
The Muse (1999)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

With his career on the skids, a Hollywood screenwriter enlists the aid of a modern day muse, which proves to test his patience.

Director: Albert Brooks
Stars: Albert Brooks, Sharon Stone, Andie MacDowell
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
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
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Two parents deal with the effects when their son is accused of murdering his girlfriend.

Director: Barbet Schroeder
Stars: Meryl Streep, Liam Neeson, Edward Furlong
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

Feature film debut of Ethan Embry (as Ethan Randall), who portrayed Steve. 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

Referenced in Minority Report (2002) 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

 
Vastly underrated film, a real treat. Carpe diem.
6 April 1999 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

This film's tag-line "The first true story of what happens after you die," is so perfect for this film. This film is so consistently funny, I only wish I could screen it for all my friends at the same time, so I could share it with every one of them. I've seen this film many times, and enjoy it more each time. "Lost In America" is a great film of Albert Brooks', but this one is my favourite of his. Sadly, I rarely encounter someone who's already seen it. When I think of underrated films, I think of this one first.

Right off the bat, our protagonist, Brooks, is dead, flattened by a bus. Next thing you know, he's in Judgment City, where people go when they die, and where it will be decided if he will go on to the next level or go back for another crack at life on Earth.

In Judgment City he's reminded of all the key events in his life in something like a flashback screening room and his life is then evaluated by the custodians of the city, who will decide if he goes forward or not. Much like a court appearance.

There are great performances by supporting players, especially Rip Torn, and while I never associated Meryl Streep with great comedy, she holds her own as Brooks' love interest. There is a hilariously understated performance by Buck Henry.

The most fun with this film is learning bit by bit about the inner workings of Judgment City, as each aspect seems to have been well thought out and executed beautifully, right down to eating arrangements. A true masterful writing achievement for Brooks, who has shown his brilliance in many other films as well.

This film should've been a big success, but in a way, I feel privileged to be one of the few people I know who has seen this film and enjoyed it so much. I'll do my part though, spreading the good word as much as possible.

See it before you die.


53 of 56 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:
?