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Nobel Son (2007)

R  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Drama  |  5 December 2008 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 4,932 users   Metascore: 28/100
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Barkley Michaelson is in a deep life rut. He's struggling to finish his PhD thesis when his father, the learned Eli Michaelson, wins the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Barkley and his mother, ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Max Mariner
Beth Chapman
Bill Canepa
Tully's Guy
Book Store Manager
Kirk Baily ...
Joyce Guy ...


Barkley Michaelson is in a deep life rut. He's struggling to finish his PhD thesis when his father, the learned Eli Michaelson, wins the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Barkley and his mother, Sarah, a renowned forensic psychiatrist, now have the ill-fortune of living with a man-eating monster whose philandering ways have gotten less and less discrete. As if Barkley's world is not bad enough, on the eve of his father receiving the Nobel, Barkley is kidnapped and the requested ransom is the $2,000,000 in Nobel prize money. Needless to say, Eli refuses to pay it and so starts a venomous tale of familial dysfunction, lust, betrayal and ultimately revenge. In the words of Michel De Montaigne, the 16th century philosopher: "There is more barbarity in eating a man alive than in eating him dead." Written by Randall Miller & Jody Savin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Lust, betrayal, kidnapping... and you thought your family had problems! See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violent gruesome images, language and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

5 December 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le prix de la rançon  »

Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$333,912 (USA) (5 December 2008)


$333,912 (USA) (5 December 2008)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the scene where Eli and Sarah are back in their house with the reporters on their lawn, the scene pans between the characters and the mantel. On the mantel is a black and white picture of a man with a mustache which actually happens to be younger Alan Rickman from a previous movie, probably around the time of his movie, Truly Madly Deeply. The picture can be seen multiple times in this scene. See more »


During Barkley and City's love scene, a patch covering her right nipple is briefly visible. See more »


[first lines]
Barkley Michaelson: The French essayist, Michel de Montaigne, once said, "I think there is more barbarity in eating a man alive than in eating him dead." The wisdom of it. When you were a kid with an open soul, they told the world consists of good guys and bad guys. I always liked the bad guys. Scar Face over Superman.
See more »


References Scarface (1932) See more »


Shpongle Falls
Written & Produced by Shpongle
Courtesy of Twisted Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

An Entertaining Dark Comedy
8 August 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I love Alan Rickman in anything especially here where he plays a vain, selfish Nobel Laureate chemistry professor, Eli Michaelson. He plays it beautifully. If Alan would reconsider, he should be awarded and accept British knighthood but he has declined in the past. Mary Steenburgen is wonderful as the long suffering wife and mother. Eli's son, Barkley, learns some surprising facts and truths about his beloved father. Eli isn't so keen on giving up his money. There are plenty of memorable moments in the film like the car chase in the mall. Danny DeVito has a features role as their tenant. The cast is marvelous and the story is entertaining as well. It's nice to see Mary Steenburgen in a role worthy of her talent.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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