Critic Reviews



Based on 35 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
See this film immediately.
Working with affectionate mockery, the Coens take the cinder-block-synagogue banality of American Jewish life in 1967 and make it look as archly exotic as the loopy Scandinavian-American winterscape of "Fargo."
WQholly a Coen brothers movie, in that it’s full of exaggerated characters and comic cruelty, anchored to a way of looking at the world that seems to posit a fundamental absence of meaning. And yet there’s something sweet and even a little heartening about the movie, too.
A Serious Man is not only hauntingly original, it’s the final piece of the puzzle that is the Coens. Combine suburban alienation, philosophical inquiry, moral seriousness, a mixture of respect for and utter indifference to Torah, and, finally, a ton of dope, and you get one of the most remarkable oeuvres in modern film.
The presence of so many low-key performers gives A Serious Man a very different, distinctly non-Hollywood vibe. The absence of familiar faces allows the Coens to fully immerse their audience in the time (1967) and place (the U.S. Midwest) of the story.
The always surprising Coen brothers have finally made a very serious movie with A Serious Man. It's about God, man's place in the world and the meaning of life, so naturally it's one of their funnier movies.
I found this beautifully crafted movie to be frequently hilarious, consistently surprising and rigged with spring-loaded narrative bombs, from its opening scene to its devastating final shot.
One doesn't know how (auto)biographical any or all of this is, but there's a tartness to the telling of what amounts to a well-shaped series of anecdotes that bespeaks distant pain or, at least, wincing memory twisted into mordant comedy by time and sensibility.
A Serious Man, like “Burn After Reading,” is in their bleak, black, belittling mode, and it’s hell to sit through.
Village Voice
As usual, though, the Coens have more venal satisfactions in mind. "The fun of the story for us," they crow in the notes for this loathsome movie, "was inventing new ways to torture Larry."

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