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Intolerable Cruelty
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Reviews & Ratings for
Intolerable Cruelty More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

even when not at their best, the Coen brothers are good

Author: dromasca from Herzlya, Israel
2 October 2004

I confess being a great fan of the Coen brothers work. Everything they touch has style, and they are part of the best the American cinema can offer nowadays. Their later work is more commercial, but I do not complain - I believe that commercial cinema is the one that wins in this, and the big studios audience has a chance to see something close to cinema art.

Joel Coen's IC is probably one of the most commercial pieces the Coens ever made. The story is quite conventional. Handsome divorce lawyer meets beautiful professional divorcée, he trashes her in court, she is looking for revenge, and the story repeats itself in a spinning wheel style. Of course in the process the two fall in for each other. Under the hand of any other director this would have turned into another romantic comedy - here we have the director emphasizing the characters comedy, while letting the chemistry between the two main actors - George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones do the rest. Clooney is best under the Coens hand, we already know this from 'O Brother'. Zeta Jones is not a great actress, but her beauty fills the screen and is enough for this role.

It's not great cinema, but pleasant comedy and worth seeing. 7 out of 10 on my personal scale.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

So where's the spark?

Author: jim-mantle from Ottawa, Canada
6 September 2004

This film is advertised as a romantic comedy. It is neither.

George Clooney and Catherine Zeta Jones provide nice eye candy, and there are a few suggestive glances from CZJ to GC, but there is absolutely no connection between the two characters. They march through the film stating their lines, with no hint that there is anything between them other than a sterile and clinical spouting of predictable lines.

Clooney's performance is over-the-top, and is worth a smile the first time we see him, but his character quickly becomes beyond-silly, and is dismissable.

The supporting cast leave no lasting memory - except for the blondes jumping on the bed while wearing white lingerie, with the train conductor who has a heart attack, but that scene lasts for perhaps 10 seconds. Beyond-silly.

Don't waste your time watching this film, or your money renting it.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A pleasing update of the old screwball comedies

Author: Dave from Canberra, Australia
5 August 2004

I usually find the Coen brothers films enjoyable although they did produce my no. 1 worst movie of all time, The Hudsucker Turkey. So I was a little apprehensive when we picked this up from the Video Store.

It turned out be a pretty good movie. Clooney again was excellent as he was in O Brother, and Zeta-Jones is so good looking that I was too busy drooling to notice her performance. I felt Geoffrey Rush and Billy Bob Thornton were both a little under used. The inept hit-man Wheezy Joe provides some big laughs in his short role.

The movie itself is pretty ridiculous but has a nice twist. Not a classic but worth a look. 7/10

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Much Better Than Expected

Author: Gary Murphy ( from Olathe, KS, USA
5 July 2004

This is one of those movies that I didn't expect to enjoy. My wife wanted to see it, so we put it on the NetFlix list. The trailer made it appear to be silly, which it was to some degree, but the movie delivered a lot of laughs.

The Coen brothers are hit-and-miss with me. I find about half of their movies to be entertaining. This movie was made my the acting of George Clooney. I honestly didn't think Clooney was as good of an actor as this movie demonstrated. He played the self-centered attorney to a laughable tee.

I migrate toward serious, character-driven movies more than silly comedies, but this was a pleasant surprise.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Mildly amusing...

Author: Dax-8 from Perth, Australia
3 July 2004

After watching this film, I think my main feeling was disappointment. Although I did enjoy the movie, I felt a little cheated, that we really didn't get to know and empathise with the characters. They were two- dimensional, and I didn't really care what happened to them in the end. The storyline and dialogue were very clever, and the whole idea was a good one, but it didn't translate well to the screen. George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones did their best, but could not bring feeling of any kind, to the movie. The film had it's amusing moments, although it's not going to be one of my favourites! I would give it an 6.5 out of 10.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:


Author: jcanettis from Athens, Greece
2 June 2004

"Intolerable Cruelty" is one of those movies that make you spend two enjoyable hours, although you know that you will have erased the film completely from your mind after a while. In other words "Intolerable Cruelty" provides a nice time to the viewer, but nothing beyond that.

Still, even by fitting into this "light" category of movies, "Intolerable Cruelty" still manages to get a good mark. Although predictable, the story is funny (unless you are newly-divorced!), and features some witty scenes and dialogs in it. In particular, it involves Miles Massey (Clooney), a prominent and cold-blooded Los Angeles divorce attorney, who makes a total about-turn in his life when he meets and falls in love with Marylin Rexroth (Zeta-Jones) an unscrupulous and sly woman for whom divorce means business. As one can imagine, the two make a potentially explosive duo...

All performances are more than satisfactory, with Billy Bob Thornton and Geoffrey Rush having small but notable appearences. All in all, the film is what I said from the very beginning: Enjoyable. 7/10.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

not Grant, not Tracy, not Hepburn, not funny

Author: pwallas from Boston, MA
12 April 2004

A disappointingly weak effort by all concerned--no one shines. A few attempts at quick 1930s-style staccato dialog, a thoroughly predictable ending. What were they thinking? And how are we supposed to care about people more concerned with the whiteness of their teeth and pulling a fast one on their husband/wife? For me, the high point of the movie is Ollie's stumbling apologies on being found with Ed Herman's wife--a rapid-fire high-anxiety surfer dude gut spill, but that happens in the first 5 minutes of the film--it's all downhill from there. More attention went into Catherine Zeta Jones' makeup and lighting than into developing the script. I had hoped for something with the fire and pace of the old Tracy & Hepburn films, or the class of Cary Grant, but this clunker had neither.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A gem that already needs rediscovering

Author: zetes from Saint Paul, MN
21 March 2004

Undervalued film in the Coen Brothers canon. I liked it much more than their previous two films, The Man Who Wasn't There and O Brother, Where Art Thou? I don't know how anyone could think they were selling out with this, because it still has that patented Coen quirk, this time revisiting the classical Hollywood romantic comedy. It's nothing like modern romantic comedies, but closer to stuff like Adam's Rib and Bringing Up Baby. George Clooney, turning in his best performance ever, is a divorce lawyer who never loses, even when the odds are stacked against him. Catherine Zeta-Jones is the gold-digging wife of a philandering, rich husband (Edward Herrmann), who has in turn hired Clooney to defend him. The dialogue is perfect, and the plot takes a lot of fun and unexpected turns. All the performances are excellent; in addition to the leads, Cedric the Entertainer, Billy Bob Thorton, Paul Adelstein, and Richard Jenkins among others are simply awesome. No movie from 2003 made me laugh nearly as hard. Actually, I think I haven't seen a comedy that was this much fun since Bowfinger in 1999. 9/10.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:


Author: kevin c from HERTFORD, England
8 December 2003

A film for non-Coen Brother fans many critics argue. Well speaking as a Coen Brothers fan, this fell flat and didn't meet my favour. There's good chemistry between Zeta-Jones and Clooney, and Clooney is proving to be a good comic turn. It is funny in places, and has echoes of screwball Cary Grant. It just isn't any great shakes, and is diverting rather than interesting.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Cruel and Unusual Punishment.

Author: tfrizzell from United States
1 December 2003

Bad rotten egg whose only redeeming value is Catherine Zeta-Jones' beauty. Zeta-Jones stars as a crazed Beverly Hills socialite who is looking to make it on her own by divorcing two-timing husband Edward Herrman and then slowly but surely doing the same to all other ridiculously rich men who catch her fancy. Sleazy attorney George Clooney knows exactly what is going on, but his obsession with Zeta-Jones makes him turn the other cheek and his foolish antics could cost him big as well. Then again maybe the corrupt duo will find love with one another in the process. "Intolerable Cruelty" is so fast-talking and dim-witted that its light candy shell cracks almost immediately. Clooney and Zeta-Jones do not make as good a combination as you would think (Clooney is the real disappointment) and the rest of the cast really just fills in with well-timed comedic turns. The movie comes alive best when television producer Geoffrey Rush, would-be Texas oil man Billy Bob Thornton and private investigator Cedric the Entertainer come into the picture. Those three are not around near enough though. The Coen Brothers continue to search for another "Fargo", but sadly they seem to get further and further away with each tiring venture. 2.5 out of 5 stars.

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