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A Serious Man (2009)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  6 November 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 95,479 users   Metascore: 79/100
Reviews: 317 user | 337 critic | 35 from Metacritic.com

Larry Gopnik, a Midwestern physics teacher, watches his life unravel over multiple sudden incidents. Though seeking meaning and answers amidst his turmoils, he seems to keep sinking.




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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 60 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jessica McManus ...
Brent Braunschweig ...
David Kang ...
Benjamin Portnoe ...
Jack Swiler ...
Andrew S. Lentz ...
Jon Kaminski Jr. ...
Alan Mandell ...


Bloomington, Minnesota, 1967: Jewish physics lecturer Larry Gopnik is a serious and a very put-upon man. His daughter is stealing from him to save up for a nose job, his pot-head son, who gets stoned at his own bar-mitzvah, only wants him round to fix the TV aerial and his useless brother Arthur is an unwelcome house guest. But both Arthur and Larry get turfed out into a motel when Larry's wife Judy, who wants a divorce, moves her lover, Sy, into the house and even after Sy's death in a car crash they are still there. With lawyers' bills mounting for his divorce, Arthur's criminal court appearances and a land feud with a neighbour Larry is tempted to take the bribe offered by a student to give him an illegal exam pass mark. And the rabbis he visits for advice only dole out platitudes. Still God moves in mysterious - and not always pleasant - ways, as Larry and his family will find out. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some sexuality/nudity and brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

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Release Date:

6 November 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Un hombre serio  »

Box Office


$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$251,337 (USA) (2 October 2009)


$9,190,525 (USA) (1 January 2010)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Comedian Marc Maron tested for the lead role. See more »


Mr. Brandt and his son hunt and bag a deer. Deer season in Minnesota for firearms users starts in November. The calendars on the wall, and the weather clearly show the movie is set in May - June. See more »


[first lines]
Shtetl Husband: What a marvel... what a marvel.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the credits is a line advising that "No Jews were harmed in the making of this motion picture." See more »


Features F Troop (1965) See more »


Good Times
Written by Paul Applebaum (as P. Applebaum)
Performed by Art of Lovin'
Courtesy of Mainstream/Hunnypot Unlimited
By arrangement with Evergreen/ICG
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Blacker than black
14 September 2009 | by See all my reviews

I saw this movie at TIFF on Saturday. The Coens quietly (and I mean quietly - no-one could hear even their amplified voices) introduced the movie with reference to the actors present but not the movie, letting it speak for itself. And it did. In its own way. It is an off-beat (what else?) and serious work that radiates bleak despair while searching for a funny bone. In the process, the movie makes other black comedies look positively light and airy. The movie evokes laughs from a different place than most – from a profound discomfort watching people twist themselves this way and that to fit in and be regarded seriously, whether situationally, socially or religiously. A great piece of work that will have you thinking long afterwards, especially considering the odd and difficult-to-contextualize prologue and, um different, ending which bookend a remarkable work.

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