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A Serious Man (2009)

A Serious Man




Release Date

October 02, 2009 (Limited)

MPAA Rating


Production Budget

$7 millions


Focus Features

REVIEWS RATE:  Critics  Go! Watch this movie. You'll regret if not seeing it.    Readers  4 of 5 [Rate It]

Cast and Crew


Joel Coen, Ethan Coen


Joel Coen, Ethan Coen


Joel Coen, Ethan Coen


  • Michael Stuhlbarg as Larry Gopnik
  • Adam Arkin
  • Sari Lennick
  • Richard Kind
  • Fred Melamed
  • Aaron Wolff
  • Jessica McManus


"A Serious Man" is the story of an ordinary man's search for clarity in a universe where Jefferson Airplane is on the radio and F-Troop is on TV. It is 1967, and Larry Gopnik (Michael Stuhlbarg), a physics professor at a quiet Midwestern university, has just been informed by his wife Judith (Sari Lennick) that she is leaving him. She has fallen in love with one of his more pompous colleagues, Sy Ableman (Fred Melamed), who seems to her a more substantial person than the feckless Larry. Larry's unemployable brother Arthur (Richard Kind) is sleeping on the couch, his son Danny (Aaron Wolf) is a discipline problem and a shirker at Hebrew school, and his daughter Sarah (Jessica McManus) is filching money from his wallet in order to save up for a nose job.

While his wife and Sy Ableman blithely make new domestic arrangements, and his brother becomes more and more of a burden, an anonymous hostile letter-writer is trying to sabotage Larry's chances for tenure at the university. Also, a graduate student seems to be trying to bribe him for a passing grade while at the same time threatening to sue him for defamation. Plus, the beautiful woman next door torments him by sunbathing nude. Struggling for equilibrium, Larry seeks advice from three different rabbis. Can anyone help him cope with his afflictions and become a righteous person - a mensch - a serious man?

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Pictures (16 photos)

Michael Stuhlbarg stars as Larry Gopnik in Focus Features' A Serious Man (2009). Photo credit by Wilson Webb.
Michael Stuhlbarg stars as Larry Gopnik and Adam Arkin stars as Don Milgram in Focus Features' A Serious Man (2009). Photo credit by Wilson Webb.

Reader's Reviews

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“..as funny as last year's Burn After Reading..”
by James Berardinelli [ReelViews]
“..will be a modest success commercially..”
by Barbara Goslawski [Boxoffice Magazine]
“..isn't an easy film to enjoy..”
by Rob Vaux [Filmcritic.com]