6.6/10
47,829
134 user 278 critic

Irrational Man (2015)

Trailer
2:03 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

A tormented philosophy professor finds a will to live when he commits an existential act.

Director:

Woody Allen

Writer:

Woody Allen
Reviews
Popularity
4,033 ( 715)
2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A romantic comedy about an Englishman brought in to help unmask a possible swindle. Personal and professional complications ensue.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Colin Firth, Emma Stone, Marcia Gay Harden
Café Society (2016)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In the 1930s, a Bronx native moves to Hollywood and falls in love with a young woman who is seeing a married man.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Steve Carell
Comedy | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The lives of some visitors and residents of Rome and the romances, adventures and predicaments they get into.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Woody Allen, Penélope Cruz, Jesse Eisenberg
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A middle-aged, misanthropic divorcée from New York City surprisingly enters a fulfilling, Pygmalion-type relationship with a much younger, unsophisticated Southern girl.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Evan Rachel Wood, Larry David, Henry Cavill
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Sally's parents' marriage breaks up when her father undergoes a mid-life crisis and impulsively weds a prostitute. Meanwhile, Sally's own marriage also begins to disintegrate.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Naomi Watts, Josh Brolin
Blue Jasmine (2013)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A New York socialite, deeply troubled and in denial, arrives in San Francisco to impose upon her sister. She looks a million, but isn't bringing money, peace, or love...

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, Peter Sarsgaard
Scoop (2006)
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An American journalism student in London scoops a big story, and begins an affair with an aristocrat as the incident unfurls.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Hugh Jackman, Jim Dunk
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Two girlfriends on a summer holiday in Spain become enamored with the same painter, unaware that his ex-wife, with whom he has a tempestuous relationship, is about to re-enter the picture.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Rebecca Hall, Scarlett Johansson, Javier Bardem
Match Point (2005)
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

At a turning point in his life, a former tennis pro falls for an actress who happens to be dating his friend and soon-to-be brother-in-law.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Emily Mortimer
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

While on a trip to Paris with his fiancée's family, a nostalgic screenwriter finds himself mysteriously going back to the 1920s everyday at midnight.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Kathy Bates
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The tale of two brothers with serious financial woes. When a third party proposes they turn to crime, things go badly and the two become enemies.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Colin Farrell, Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell
Manhattan (1979)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The life of a divorced television writer dating a teenage girl is further complicated when he falls in love with his best friend's mistress.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Mariel Hemingway
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joaquin Phoenix ... Abe Lucas
Emma Stone ... Jill Pollard
Joe Stapleton ... Professor
Nancy Carroll Nancy Carroll ... Professor
Allison Gallerani Allison Gallerani ... Braylin Student
Brigette Lundy-Paine ... Braylin Student
Katelyn Semer Katelyn Semer ... Braylin Student
Betsy Aidem ... Jill's Mother
Ethan Phillips ... Jill's Father
Jamie Blackley ... Roy
Leah Anderson Leah Anderson ... Student Giving Directions
Paula Plum ... College President
Nancy Giles Nancy Giles ... President's Assistant
Henry Stram Henry Stram ... Cocktail Party Guest
Geoff Schuppert ... Cocktail Party Guest
Edit

Storyline

A new philosophy professor arrives on a small town campus near Newport, Rhode Island. His name, Abe Lucas. His reputation : bad. Abe is said to be a womanizer and an alcoholic. But what people do not know is that he is a disillusioned idealist. Since he has become aware of his inability to change the world, he has indeed been living in a state of deep nihilism and arrogant desperation. In class, he only goes through the motions and outside he drinks too much. But as far as sex is concerned, he is just a shadow of himself now: depression is not synonymous with Viagra! For all that, he can't help being attracted to one of his students, pretty and bright Jill Pollard. He enters into a relationship with her which remains platonic, even if Jill would not say no to more. The situation remains unchanged for a while until, one day, in a diner, Abe and Jill surprise a conversation that will change the course of their lives dramatically... Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language and sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 August 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Untitled Woody Allen Project See more »

Filming Locations:

Rhode Island, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$175,312, 19 July 2015, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,027,764, 30 October 2015
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Artworks featured include "Figure and Landscape No. 2" by Willem de Kooning; "Printed Sheet with Pictures" by Paul Klee; "Poster for Spoleto Festival" by Saul Steinberg; "Still life with Candlestick" by Nicolas de Stael; "Cooperstown Summer Music Festival Poster" by Milton Glaser; "Fushia II" by Cary Guck; "Words", "Sighs from Hell" and "Anne on Drancy Station" by R.B. Kitaj; and "Backyard No. 58.EB" by Edward Bawden. See more »

Goofs

Rita enters Abe's apartment from a driving rain, yet her clothing and hair are dry. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Abe: [narrating] Kant said human reason is troubled by questions that it cannot dismiss, but also cannot answer. Okay, so, what are we talking about here? Morality? Choice? The randomness of life? Aesthetics? Murder?
Jill: I think Abe was crazy from the beginning. Was it from stress? Was it anger? Was he disgusted by what he saw as life's never-ending suffering? Or was he simply bored by the meaninglessness of day-to-day existence? He was so damn interesting. And different. And a good talker. ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Flat Earth & Revelation 10: Reach the Oxygen (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Over the Waves
Composed by Juventino Rosas
Performed by Paul Eakins
Courtesy of Carlisle Music Co. LLC
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Overload of philosophical clichés. Plot with potential but execution fails. Could have been thought provoking and a thriller, but is actually neither
8 September 2015 | by JvH48See all my reviews

I state upfront that I see perfect ideas behind the plot, but it is a pity that it took almost a full hour to establish that there was indeed a real choice to be made, a stretch during which we witnessed philosophical and existential reasoning about the meaning of life and death in all its intricacies. This 1 hour delay would have been fine with me were it not that the dilemma miserably failed to manifest itself in full, not even in the last half hour when the story really took off. Of course, the first hour provided for ample background information about the protagonists, meanwhile showing why a judge suddenly became Abe's target and how the actual murder was to be carried out (this is not a spoiler, as it is clear after 15 minutes that this planned murder is the piece of resistance).

All this would have been better to digest when there was some humor intertwined within the proceedings. I don't think that the laughable ending was meant to work as a humoristic relief (it isn't). It is true that it solved all problems at once, though no one will live happily ever after. Still another possibility to improve my movie experience might have been using believable actors, convincing in what they say rather than merely throwing quotes and other pseudo wisdom around without demonstrating any conviction in the clichés we see passing. The wise words did not fall on fruitful grounds for me, so again an opportunity dearly missed. If you ever need a deterrent to keep people from studying philosophy, this is the movie of choice to show them.

Below paragraphs leave all the above for what it is, and focus on the contents of the story as it develops. It is the only part of the movie that had potential and could have been interesting, hence deserves some extra lines of explanation why it failed in my opinion.

The first hour mostly intends to portray a semi-scientific setting by means of random classroom snippets, amplified with private discussions between our main characters outside university walls. Nearly all of them are pro's or near-pro's in philosophy, hence an uncountable number of quotes from world renowned thinkers is passing by. In spite of its good intentions, it merely fills the time, and nothing more than that. We even may construe it as dressing-up a scientific basis that was desperately needed, in order to hide a shallow story and similarly poor development of the material at hand. Yet, I must admit that the latter was promising in many respects, but regrettably got no chance to rise to its full potential.

Overall problematic for me is that the story development is burdened with at least four practical issues. FIRSTLY, I question whether the judge in question really was as bad as he seemed to be considering this single case, wherein he allegedly was prejudiced. But how can we be sure, having heard only one side of the story, especially in a divorce case like this where the custody of children was at stake, mostly involving a lot of mud throwing. SECONDLY, though presented to us as the perfect murder of the century, the amateurish preparations and the many ways he could have been exposed even before the final action, stretched our belief unnecessarily. THIRDLY, main characters Abe and Jill see each other frequently, in and out of the classroom. Everyone is talking about it. Strangely enough, no faculty administrator seems to take action, yet such close contacts are definitely against university house rules. We know they only meet in the open and that Abe flatly refuses any intimacy, but everyone else is bound to assume otherwise. FOURTHLY and finally, the murder story of the judge seems to dominate the front pages for many weeks, as if nothing more happens in the area. When one woman connects the dots and develops a theory about the real murderer, several weeks after the fact, her word spreads unnaturally and unconvincingly fast. Given the few things she actually had to support her theory, it seems far-fetched that the rumor got that far in the first place, and that it eventually reaches Abe and Jill.

In the final scenes when a false arrest is made for the murder, the story gains real momentum after all. Alas, that part is condensed in a time frame that is too small. This finale and its underlying dilemma deserved much more attention and depth, allowing the rushed choices by the main characters ample time to gradually develop. It would have made this movie so much more interesting. In other words, the first hour could have been shortened by losing most of the random philosophical quotes inside and outside class, in favor of the finale that now has all the looks of a rush job. I regret being unable to elaborate on this part of the story and dwell on a few examples to clarify my comments, as this will give away too much of the surprising plot twists.

All in all, the many positive reviews did put me on the wrong foot and convinced me to finally go and see a Woody Allen movie, in spite of my resolutions many years ago to do that never ever again. It was promising that Woody Allen himself downplayed his product with several jokes about its deepness, but it made me expect more than actually delivered. Could have been thought provoking, but was drowned in life and death clichés. Could have been a thriller, but the story runs its amateurish course and lacks all form of tension. I wonder how viewers had reacted when unaware who the director was. It is very well possible that I do not belong to the ideal fan club of (t)his kind of movies, so I reinforce my previous resolution of not ever going to a Woody Allen movie again.


52 of 96 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 134 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed