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Intolerable Cruelty
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Intolerable Cruelty More at IMDbPro »

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The most underrated of all the Coen brothers' films.

Author: burst_balloon from London, England
14 April 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***


The Coen brothers are back on form in the form of this romantic comedy starring George Clooney as Miles Massey, a legal eagle defence lawyer and Catherine Zeta-Jones as Marylin Rexroth (trust the Coens to come up with these names, eh?) who go up against each other and also fall for each other, though they'll never admit it.

Clooney and Zeta-Jones just ooze class, character and confidence as they sustain amazing star chemistry. There's brilliantly comedic support from Geoffrey Rush, Cedric the Entertainer, and Billy Bob Thorton, making this one of the funniest films of the year and one of my top 5 favourites.

The jokes are hilarious and despite being a romantic comedy, there are the odd twists. Of course, it's obvious that George and Catherine get together, but in this film it worked out for everyone. Brilliant.

My rating: 9.25/10

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An Intolerable Viewing

Author: teddyryan from United States
3 April 2004

The Brothers de Cohen strike out big with INTOLERABLE CRUELTY. Whether it be the idiosyncratic characters that suck or the plethora of mindless spoofs that infest the story, I found this picture to be their worst.

From Catherine Zeta Douglas to Cedric the Performer and Geof Hush, we feel as if we're suffocating within the confines of an attempted dark comedy gone horribly wrong.

The trip to Vegas part is truly atrocious. The wedding scene is on par with a snippet from that awful movie HIGHWAY. In addition, Clooney's right hand man is about as funny as AMERICAN PIE frontman Thomas Ian Nichols.

The ending of IC is also garbage: a lazy shortcut, resembling a 20 year old NYU student trying to rip off REQUIEM FOR A DREAM.

Nonetheless, I have no doubt that Brian "The Mohawk" Grazer had a hand in creating this disaster. His taste in projects is venomous and can often lead to 120 minutes of wasted time. As a result, I'm staying away from the next Cohen offering until I'm assured make Grazer is not within 50 feet of the set.

Ted's Grade: C/C+ (for some clever dialogue)

PS: Although I trash IC, I'm not saying I could make a better movie.

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Fun to watch

Author: Lee Bartholomew ( from Cedar Falls, IA
23 March 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***


The movie Still Breathing is a serious look at this little nook. Women preying on rich men. Intolerable Cruelty is a comedic look at it. It was simply a delight to watch. Damn hilarious. Alot better than some of the dumb comedies out today. George is his normal O brother where art thou self. Catherine Zeta Jones is quite entertaining. Nothing wrong here.

It was quite hilarious though. Highly recommend this funhouse. Some of the dvd features can be fun too.


Quality: 9/10 Entertainment: 9/10 Replayable: 10/10

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Edward Hermann steals this movie!

Author: Jason Platt from Whittier, CA
15 March 2004

I saw this movie on an airplane so I don't remember the details too well and might have dozed off at brief moments but what I do remember is Edward Hermann (an actor who looks like a somewhat larger version of Mark Shields of CNN's "Capital Gang" political-talk show) was wonderful in his role--which isn't surprising because he has been a great-but under-appreciated-actor throughout his career. His character was so enjoyable to watch that you hope that the Coen brothers make a sequel to this movie with his character in the lead (as happens frequently in television). He's that great. Also, Billy Bob Thornton is hilarious in his too-brief appearance. The lead actors are fine but their characters are kind of bland and predictable.

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Fell apart in the last 30 minutes, this was nothing special.

Author: TheCheesyOne from Montreal, Quebec
14 March 2004

This movie was quite predictable, though it looked good in the theatres. I basically went to see it because of Catherine Zeta Jones, but even she didn't exactly save this movie. It tried too hard to be sentimental, but funny, and I found it to be really sappy from about the last 30 minutes or so. The only funny part was Clooney in a kilt, and of course Cedric the Entertainer. He was great, as always. Billy Bob Thornton was not bad as the Texan oil tycoon, though I found him a bit annoying. That was the point though... Clooney's speech to NOMAN was just not great. Lackluster, even. It didn't add much to the movie. All in all, it looked good in the previews, but in the end...not so much. 4/10

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NOT a classic, but quite entertaining on its own terms ...

Author: evilshenanigans from South Central (Pennsylvania), USA
13 March 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

***Possible Spoilers Alert***

I think the latter reviewers are closer to the mark. In both the performances, the sets, the wardrobe, freres Coen seem to going for a homage of sorts the old Cary Grant screwballs, while still being up to some of their old tricks (the diner waitress, Edward Herrmann as a ... train enthusiast, Wheezy Joe).

There are gaping holes in the plot (a soap-opera actor portrays an oil heir and a broke woman weds him in such a way that would never fly in the real world), but it is a tribute of a sort that these things really only occur to one after the fact.

I would definitely see "O Brother Where Art Thou" (or indeed "Sullivan's Travels" (which supplied the title for OBWAT)) before seeing this film but it's a fairly light, enjoyable film on its own terms especially for fans of Clooney or Zeta-Jones. 7/10

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Good movie - lackluster reviews

Author: superultraman from eg london england
9 March 2004

I am amazed at the lack of true movie knowledge that is displayed in these boards sometimes. If I had to guess at the age of the writers of bad reviews this particular movie has garnered in the reviews preceding mine, I would say at best 18. Not a single one of these unknowing boobs remembers Cary Grant, nor the fast-talking zany comedies like Bringing up Baby, and again nor the romance comedies of Hepburn & Tracy.

The Coen Brothers like to do re-hashes, ie. Miller's Crossing/Blood Simple/Big Lebowski are their different takes on film noir. And now they made an amusing film of a different era again. Sexiness/chemistry does not mean bare flesh, nor does action or cursing make a modern classic. The one fault of the Coen's in making this movie was a lack of close-ups - a dead giveaway for what they were trying to achieve.

At best, this is a funny romantic black comedy, with witty dialogue. At worst, it is absurdist black comedy.

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I can only speak for the first half hour . . .

Author: driker22 from Southampton, NJ
2 March 2004

I can only speak for the first half hour of "Untolerable Cruelty". It was at that point that I finally got the Coen brothers' joke. The film itself is intolerable cruelty as exercised upon the audience. Happily I was able to divorce myself from this awful film with the push of a button.

Comparing this thing to the mad-cap, but usually subtle, romantic comedies of the 30's, 40's and 50's is a lot like comparing a bulldozer to a Ferrari. Both can kill you if they hit you but the bulldozer will do a much more effective job. "Untolerable Cruelty" is most surely the bulldozer of comedy films. I visualized most of the dialog in this film (only the first half hour, of course) coming from the character's mouths in little cartoonish balloons. Oh, that's right, this wasn't "American Splendor". Also, I refuse to say anything about George Clooney's whitened teeth. Gosh, they sure were funny -- every time!

Please see my prior comments as coming from a fan of the Coen brothers. "Fargo" was magnificent. But, I cavil -- everyone gets his chance (usually more than one) at creating disaster. This time it's the Coen boys! Maybe next time.

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Enjoyable with a couple of laugh out loud moments

Author: Debb Curry-Millard from Gosport
28 February 2004

I was unsure about getting this film out as I am not that keen on Catherine Zeta-Jones.

However, George Clooney did make up for that and I must admit that CZ-J was very watchable.

The interaction between the two main characters was good, but I enjoyed Clooney's side kick, who couldn't stop crying!! I also thought that the side characters were very good. Billy Bob Thornton and Geoffrey Rush, whose parts were very small, were convincing.

Watch for the couple of laugh out loud moments.

Not worth paying to go to the cinema to see but worth getting out the DVD.

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Funny and smart

Author: udeaasykle ( from Sandnes, Norway
27 February 2004

George Clooney reminds me of the role he played in O' Brother, where art thou. A little nervous in some situations and a lot scared in others. But i really liked this movie. Then again i have always loved the Cohen brother's movies. My favorite part is of course when i noticed that Bruce Campbell had a cameo. Catherine Zeta-Jones plays the role of a money hungry gold digger, going through men like underwear. George plays a divorce lawyer who falls head over heels for Catherine. But who will trick who. Can you really trust a lawyer? And can you trust a woman who marries men just to divorce them and get half? Although it is not difficult to know what is going to happen, the road up to that point is very entertaining.

A romantic comedy with a twist. I give this movie a 7.

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