Down 4,965 this week

Zen Noir (2004)

 -  Comedy | Drama | Mystery  -  21 April 2004 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.4/10 from 224 users   Metascore: 27/100
Reviews: 16 user | 7 critic | 8 from

A nameless 'noir' detective, still mourning the loss of his wife, investigates a mysterious death in a Buddhist temple, but his logical, left-brained crime-solving skills are useless in the intuitive, non-linear world of Zen.



0Check in

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 8 titles
created 20 Nov 2011
a list of 149 titles
created 12 Aug 2012
a list of 135 titles
created 08 Mar 2013
a list of 31 titles
created 10 May 2013
a list of 211 titles
created 2 months ago

Related Items

Search for "Zen Noir" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Zen Noir (2004)

Zen Noir (2004) on IMDb 6.4/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Zen Noir.
5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Siddhartha (1972)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The story of a young Indian who embarks upon a journey to find the meaning of existence. Based on the novel by Hermann Hesse.

Director: Conrad Rooks
Stars: Shashi Kapoor, Simi Garewal, Romesh Sharma
A Buddha (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Un Buda follows two brothers orphaned as children when their parents were taken by the military during the "Dirty Wars" of the 1970s in Argentina. Tomas (Agustin Markert) is now a drifting ... See full summary »

Director: Diego Rafecas
Stars: Agustín Markert, Carolina Fal, Diego Rafecas
Samsara (2001)
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A spiritual love-story set in the majestic landscape of Ladakh, Himalayas. Samsara is a quest; one man's struggle to find spiritual Enlightenment by renouncing the world. And one woman's ... See full summary »

Director: Pan Nalin
Stars: Shawn Ku, Christy Chung, Neelesha BaVora
Tuning In (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A feature-length documentary exploring, for the very first time and in a very down-to-earth fashion, the phenomenon of channeling. Popularized by the late Edgar Cayce, this ancient and ... See full summary »

Director: David Thomas
Stars: Darryl Anka, John Cali, Lee Carroll
Free the Mind (2012)
Documentary | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In 1992 Professor Richard Davidson, one of the world's leading neuroscientists, met the Dalai Lama, who encouraged him to apply the same rigorous methods he used to study depression and ... See full summary »

Director: Phie Ambo
Stars: Travis Leanna, Richard Davidson
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Thought Exchange is a simple yet profound way of looking at the world, that allows us to understand and experience the truth about who we really are, where we really live, what we really want, and how to have that all the time.

Director: Usher Morgan
Stars: Lucie Arnaz, David Friedman, Colleen McGloin
Documentary | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An actor hits the wall with ego and vices in the modern times and decides to pursue the answers to happiness. A docudrama with extraordinary interviews and insights to wisdom.

Director: Larry Kurnarsky
Stars: Sean A. Mulvihill, Eckhart Tolle, Obadiah S. Harris
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

G.I. Gurdjieff is a spiritual teacher and mystic who, after a lifetime study, developed a form of meditation incorporating modern dance.

Director: Peter Brook
Stars: Dragan Maksimovic, Terence Stamp, Mikica Dimitrijevic
Reconvergence (2012)
Documentary | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Reconvergence offers an intriguing exploration of mortality, consciousness and identity in the modern age from the perspectives of four distinct characters: a naturalist, a neuroscientist, ... See full summary »

Director: Edward Tyndall
Stars: Eustace Conway, Preston Estep III, S. Waite Rawls III
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The story of a band of brothers who travel the world in search of the answers to the burning questions: Who am I? Who is Man? Why do we search for meaning? Their journey brings them into ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Kinnane
Stars: Jeffrey Azize, Clifford Azize, Michael Campo
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The Emmy Award winning JOURNEY OF THE UNIVERSE tells an epic story of cosmic, Earth and human transformation from The Big Bang to today. Evolutionary philosopher Brian Thomas Swimme and ... See full summary »

Directors: David Kennard, Patsy Northcutt
Stars: Brian Thomas Swimme
Documentary | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A compelling docudrama that explores the science and power of perception and imagination through the most important trial you will ever witness.

Director: Scott Cervine
Stars: Amy Baklini, Tad Jones, Kevin McDonald


Cast overview:
The Detective
The Master
Nora (as Jennifer Siebel)
Howard Fong ...
The Dead Monk


A nameless 'noir' detective, still mourning the loss of his wife, investigates a mysterious death in a Buddhist temple, but his logical, left-brained crime-solving skills are useless in the intuitive, non-linear world of Zen.

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

death | detective | zen | buddhist | sword | See more »


Sometimes the mystery is bigger than you think


Comedy | Drama | Mystery



Official Sites:



Release Date:

21 April 2004 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


See  »

Did You Know?


References The Godfather (1972) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

What is the sound of one film being excellent?
4 June 2010 | by (Leiden, the Netherlands) – See all my reviews

The pre-credits opening scene of Marc Rosenbush's 2004 film "Zen Noir" shows an undershirt-wearing, unshaven, classic film noir detective gazing at himself in the bathroom mirror and saying in voice-over, "The morning fog clung to the city like the scent of desperation on an aging drag queen. Why do I talk this way?" Marc had me at the title of his film, but these first lines clinched the deal.

I stumbled upon the title of this movie in a list of Zen-related films on the IMDb. Never having heard of it before, I looked it up, and immediately set about getting myself a copy of it. "What is not to like," thought I, "about a movie that combines a love of film noir with Zen?" The answer to that koan, as it turns out, is very Zen in itself: Nothing.

Still in voice-over, our nameless detective describes how he got involved in his latest case: "I'd been up all night and had just hit the feathers when the phone went off like Easter Sunday in my skull. A guy with an accent -- Japanese maybe -- said to haul ass to the temple, 'cause someone is about to die. 'What temple,' I said, 'and who the hell are you?' but he'd already hung up. Three synagogues later it occurred to me that there aren't a lot of Chinese Jews, so I wound up here -- barely conscious, half asleep, and with a murder to solve." Cut to a Zen monk banging on a gong to call the monks to practice. The monks arrive, and sit there meditating. The first monk suddenly utters a kind of grunt and falls over, dead. The other monks at first just keep meditating, and then two of them look quizically at each other, like "What now?" Then the detective barges in wearing a trenchcoat and pointing a gun at everybody. "Nobody move," he says. Nobody was moving before. Then he says, "OK, who's in charge here?" and the two monks who looked at each other earlier turn and point to him. "My kinda movie," thought I.

Low-budget without looking it, this guy's first (and so far only) movie is a delight. Not Academy Award material, but a lot of fun, especially for a group of seekers watching it together and passing around the tofu popcorn while chuckling. Funny, and even with a spiritual lesson or two to teach, because it proposes a truly excellent koan.

Spiritual seekers are all detectives, eating an orange and trying to solve the mystery of their own inevitable murder at the hands of life. The koan posed by this film's Zen Master is, "You gonna freak out, or eat orange?" If you can find it, I suspect you'd really like this film. If nothing else, it's full of great one-liners you can chuckle over with friends like yourself who might like this sorta thing. Don't bogart the tofu.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
DVD Release??? defaude
Theme song i_am_cloud_chaser
Music from the Trailer rwins4-1
Content? thejslewis
Discuss Zen Noir (2004) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: