MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 108 this week

A Serious Man (2009)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  20 November 2009 (UK)
7.0
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.0/10 from 82,761 users   Metascore: 79/100
Reviews: 305 user | 326 critic | 35 from Metacritic.com

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

Directors:

,

Writers:

,
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb: What to Watch - Guardians of the Galaxy

In the latest episode of IMDb: What to Watch, Keith Simanton talks with director James Gunn and actors Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Vin Diesel about their movie Guardians of the Galaxy.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 22 titles
created 07 Dec 2010
 
a list of 28 titles
created 03 Jun 2011
 
a list of 47 titles
created 05 Oct 2011
 
a list of 40 titles
created 14 Nov 2011
 
a list of 43 titles
created 6 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "A Serious Man" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: A Serious Man (2009)

A Serious Man (2009) on IMDb 7/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of A Serious Man.

User Polls

Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 26 wins & 46 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A week in the life of a young singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Stars: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman
A Single Man (2009)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An English professor, one year after the sudden death of his boyfriend, is unable to cope with his typical days in 1960s Los Angeles.

Director: Tom Ford
Stars: Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Matthew Goode
Biutiful (2010)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

This is the story of Uxbal, a man living in this world, but able to see his death, which guides his every move.

Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Stars: Javier Bardem, Maricel Álvarez, Hanaa Bouchaib
Magnolia (1999)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An epic mosaic of interrelated characters in search of love, forgiveness, and meaning in the San Fernando Valley.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Stars: Tom Cruise, Jason Robards, Julianne Moore
Nebraska (2013)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An aging, booze-addled father makes the trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son in order to claim a million-dollar Mega Sweepstakes Marketing prize.

Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb
Half Nelson (2006)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An inner-city junior high school teacher with a drug habit forms an unlikely friendship with one of his students after she discovers his secret.

Director: Ryan Fleck
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Anthony Mackie, Shareeka Epps
Amour (2012)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.

Director: Michael Haneke
Stars: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva, Isabelle Huppert
Boogie Nights (1997)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The story of a young man's adventures in the Californian pornography industry of the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, Burt Reynolds
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A pair of young lovers flee their New England town, which causes a local search party to fan out and find them.

Director: Wes Anderson
Stars: Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Bruce Willis
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous Hungarian hotel between the first and second World Wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend.

Director: Wes Anderson
Stars: Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

Upon admittance to a mental institution, a brash rebel rallies the patients to take on the oppressive head nurse.

Director: Milos Forman
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Michael Berryman
Fish Tank (2009)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Everything changes for 15-year-old Mia when her mum brings home a new boyfriend.

Director: Andrea Arnold
Stars: Katie Jarvis, Michael Fassbender, Kierston Wareing
Edit

Cast

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

Storyline

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

Plot Keywords:

house | divorce | nose job | lawyer | teacher | See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

| |

Language:

| |

Release Date:

20 November 2009 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Un hombre serio  »

Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£321,114 (UK) (20 November 2009)

Gross:

$9,190,525 (USA) (1 January 2010)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The song heard on the record played repeatedly in the Gopniks' house is Dem Milners Trern ("The Miller's Tears") by Sidor Belarsky, a Yiddish folk song of a sad miller's fears of growing old and alone, echoing the film's theme. See more »

Goofs

Larry Gopnik is writing an equation on the board in class. At one point he writes delta p equals the square root of ^2 - ^2 which would be zero, but the correct equation has the squared inside the bracket in the first term under the square root: ^2-^2. This is an equation for the root mean square deviation of momentum in Heisenberg's uncertainty principle of quantum mechanics. Later in the scene, after the students leave and Sy Ableman appears, the equation is in the correct form. See more »

Quotes

[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 »


Soundtracks

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

 
Magnificent. The Coen Brothers take a detour.
8 January 2011 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Let me say up front that most fans of the Coen brothers' early films might be disappointed if they're expecting "Fargo", "The Big Lebowski" or even "O Brother". Unlike those movies, here we don't have a lot of plot, comedy or action. The message of the film is very challenging, and it requires a lot of thought to figure out what they're saying.

I'd say this movie is for fans of the recent American films "Synecdoche NY", "Doubt", and the recent Japanese films "Departures", "Yureru" and of course the classics by Kurosawa like "Rashomon". What I'm saying is that this is a film that tackles philosophical questions of perception, faith, and in particular, uncertainty.

If you've had some physics, you're in for a real treat because much of the theme centers around Schrödinger's "Uncertainty Principle", briefly touched upon in the Coens' excellent 2001 film "The Man Who Wasn't There". Here they give us a more powerful dose. If you've never heard of this principle, don't worry, you can look it up on Wikipedia or you can accept my synopsis of it, which I'll warn you might be flawed because I ain't no physicist:

The Uncertainty Principle (or "Schrödinger's Cat") proves mathematically that certain events are unknowable. It proposes the idea of a cat that might be alive or dead, but we cannot know without looking inside the cage. At the same time, the minute we look inside the cage, the cat will be killed by a toxic gas. The bottom line: we can't know the answer. Ever.

From there, the movie explores how different people react when confronted with the unknown. Some form prejudices. Some fall back on faith. Some become faithLESS. And some just don't care.

This is a beautifully crafted film that shows us the nature of human beings in that respect. No, there's not really a story. But it does even better than that: it challenges our minds to see elements of our own lives within the life of this ordinary schmuck. I am truly amazed at the Coens' accomplishment, and I hope they continue in this direction in the future, though I'm sure it may hurt their mainstream appeal.

If you see this film & like it, I think you'll really enjoy the other films I've listed as well as the Hungarian masterpiece "Werckmeister Harmonies", anything by Wim Wenders ("The End of Violence" touches on the same Uncertainty Principle) and Orson Welles' "The Trial".


26 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
I turned this off after the first scene. tomsriv2001
The Coen's most underrated MovieDude1893
just terrible painter_timescapes
You have to be a Jew to get it... bobb328
Help me, save me: I didn't get it! grizzly228
Someone explain the opening scene please? leobourne
Discuss A Serious Man (2009) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page