7.0/10
117,237
354 user 311 critic

A Serious Man (2009)

Trailer
1:41 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
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.

Directors:

Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Writers:

Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Reviews
Popularity
2,718 ( 79)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 72 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

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
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A disk containing mysterious information from a CIA agent ends up in the hands of two unscrupulous and daft gym employees who attempt to sell it.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Stars: Brad Pitt, Frances McDormand, George Clooney
Barton Fink (1991)
Comedy | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A renowned New York playwright is enticed to California to write for the movies and discovers the hellish truth of Hollywood.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Stars: John Turturro, John Goodman, Judy Davis
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A laconic, chain-smoking barber blackmails his wife's boss and lover for money to invest in dry cleaning, but his plan goes terribly wrong.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Frances McDormand, Michael Badalucco
Adventure | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In the deep south during the 1930s, three escaped convicts search for hidden treasure while a relentless lawman pursues them.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Stars: George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

When a childless couple of an ex-con and an ex-cop decide to help themselves to one of another family's quintuplets, their lives become more complicated than they anticipated.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter, Trey Wilson
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A naive business graduate is installed as president of a manufacturing company as part of a stock scam.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Stars: Tim Robbins, Paul Newman, Jennifer Jason Leigh
Comedy | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An eccentric, if not charming Southern professor and his crew pose as a classical ensemble in order to rob a casino, all under the nose of his unsuspecting but sharp old landlady.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Stars: Tom Hanks, Marlon Wayans, Irma P. Hall
Blood Simple. (1984)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A rich but jealous man hires a private investigator to kill his cheating wife and her new man. But, when blood is involved, nothing is simple.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Stars: John Getz, Frances McDormand, Dan Hedaya
True Grit (2010)
Adventure | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A stubborn teenager enlists the help of a tough U.S. Marshal to track down her father's murderer.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Hailee Steinfeld
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Tom Regan, an advisor to a Prohibition-era crime boss, tries to keep the peace between warring mobs but gets caught in divided loyalties.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Stars: Gabriel Byrne, Albert Finney, John Turturro
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A beautiful gold digger matches wits with a shrewd Beverly Hills divorce lawyer who is increasingly attracted to her.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Stars: George Clooney, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Billy Bob Thornton
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Stuhlbarg ... Larry Gopnik
Richard Kind ... Uncle Arthur
Fred Melamed ... Sy Ableman
Sari Lennick ... Judith Gopnik
Aaron Wolff ... Danny Gopnik
Jessica McManus Jessica McManus ... Sarah Gopnik
Peter Breitmayer ... Mr. Brandt
Brent Braunschweig Brent Braunschweig ... Mitch Brandt
David Kang David Kang ... Clive Park
Benjamin Portnoe Benjamin Portnoe ... Danny's Reefer Buddy
Jack Swiler Jack Swiler ... Boy on Bus
Andrew S. Lentz Andrew S. Lentz ... Cursing Boy on Bus
Jon Kaminski Jr. Jon Kaminski Jr. ... Mike Fagle
Ari Hoptman ... Arlen Finkle
Alan Mandell Alan Mandell ... Rabbi Marshak
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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA | UK | France

Language:

English | Yiddish | Hebrew

Release Date:

6 November 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Un hombre serio See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$251,337, 4 October 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$9,190,525, 1 January 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Shot in 44 days. See more »

Goofs

On the bookshelf in the background in two separate scenes appears a set of the blue volumes of the Encyclopedia Judaica. The EJ was first published in 1971. See more »

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

[pre-credits title] "Receive with simplicity everything that happens to you." - Rashi See more »

Connections

Referenced in Fargo: Who Rules the Land of Denial? (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Today
Written by Marty Balin & Paul Kantner
Performed by Jefferson Airplane
Courtesy of The RCA Records Label
By arrangement with Sony BMG Music Entertainment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
The Coen brothers hate humankind
30 January 2010 | by dierregiSee all my reviews

In a nutshell, the movie takes place in the 60's, in a very American/Jewish neighborhood. If I was Jewish I probably would take offense, because almost all the characters in the movie are unbearable for one reason or another. However, the Coen brothers are equal opportunities offenders and even if this movie concentrates on a Jewish environment, their other movies are generously filled with deepest contempt for all humankind, regardless of race, sex, nationality or religion.

The main character is a physician named Larry who is passive, meek and spineless beyond credibility. Or maybe that was supposed to be funny…. Anyway, lots of bad things happen to Larry, but I found it difficult to sympathize with him. Besides being unaware of his surroundings and the people around him to the point of autism, Larry is also seeking answers to the wrong questions in places where he cannot find any.

Bad things happen to good people for no reason whatsoever. We should all be acquainted with this disagreeable truth. However, humankind struggles hard to find a meaning in life. Unfortunately, searching for meaning to understand tragic events usually leads to absurd explanations and an even heavier burden of frustration.

This is what happens to Larry, but who cares? Certainly not me. As mentioned, he is almost completely detached from reality, so obviously he does not have a clue. But not only we have to follow Larry stumbling around like a blind man. To increase the indignity of the show, we are presented with a gallery of supporting characters, one more grotesque, ugly and disgusting than the other.

Actually, I can't think of a single character in this movie without an emotional or physical problem (or both). The full range of indignities includes an obese woman mercilessly shown shuffling her feet and struggling to move her heavy body; a string of the senior citizens chewing on their teeth less mouths and loosing track of what they are saying; a bunch of foul-mouthed teenagers, selfishly self-absorbed and focused only in bullying each other; a couple of sluttish housewives; a stupid red-neck neighbor; a bald, fat guy suffering from some sort of embarrassing skin disease; etc…. I am sure Diane Arbus would have been impressed with this gallery of monsters. Me, not so much.

And here is where I find the deal breaker with the Coen brother's filmography. There is not a single one of their movies that does not present a gallery of every-day freaks. People with grotesque physical and mental imperfections do exist, but they seem to inhabit the Coen universe in an exceeding large number, and I find the display of so much freakishness rather disturbing. Besides, I might agree about the fact that there is no meaning in life, but when I go to the cinema I want to see a good movie, I do not want to be patronized or to follow a philosophy lesson.


49 of 96 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 354 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed