Rated R · 105 minutes · 2009

Comedy drama
The Coen brothers run Jewish folklore through 1960s middle America by way of Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle and Henry James’ Figure in the Carpet in this precisely executed comedy. Michael Stuhlbarg gives a seamless performance as a professor of subatomic physics whose wife is leaving him for a groovier, hairier, fatter man. Then he finds that his brother is seeing patterns in the abyss, his neighbor to the left is a deer-killing goy, his neighbor to the right is a naked partaker of “the new freedoms,” and a student who cannot grasp math has left hundreds of dollars in an unmarked envelope on his desk. He goes on a quest to find out what it all means, but the wise men he consults keep derailing him with pointless tales of parking lots and teeth. In the end, a distant mass of swirling air threatens to make everything OK, in violation of all that he and his devout community hold dear. A minor masterpiece, A Serious Man takes a small, quiet place among the best of the Coen brothers movies.

See our full review: Mental Case

Mental Case

The Coen brothers follow one man's effort to know more than he can »

Director: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Producer: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Robert Graf
Cast: Michael Stuhlbarg, Richard Kind, Fred Melamed, Sari Lennick, Aaron Wolff, Jessica McManus, Amy Landecker, Peter Breitmayer, Brent Braunschweig, David Kang, Benjamin Portnoe, Alan Mandell, George Wyner, Simon Helberg, Adam Arkin and Fyvush Finkel


A Serious Man

A Serious Man


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What others are saying (6)

Indy Week The Coens' latest in comic misanthropy, A Serious Man If you're a character in a movie by the Coens, you can't even win by getting on their side. by Nathan Gelgud 11/04/2009
Colorado Springs Independent God damn it The story of a schlemiel who hopes to be a mensch, but only suffers for his efforts. Is the suffering his fault? His family's? His neighbors'? Hashem's? No, it's the Coen brothers'. by Jonathan Kiefer 10/29/2009
Memphis Flyer The New Freedoms The Coen brothers continue to grow with the personal, eccentric A Serious Man. by Addison Engelking 10/29/2009
3 more reviews...
Colorado Springs Independent Opening this week Michael Jackson's This Is It, A Serious Man, Across the Hall and more. 10/29/2009
The Coast Halifax Coen Brothers' A Serious Man mundane The Coens' bleak movie about cosmic disappointments is, uh, a bit of a letdown. by Mark Palermo 10/22/2009
Portland Mercury Ghost Story A Serious Man: Life is shitty, and we're all going to die! by Erik Henriksen 10/08/2009

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