Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 24 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 259 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: An unsuccessful car salesman (Macy) plans to wipe out his personal debts by hiring a pair of small-time, out-of-town crooks to kidnap his wife (McDormand), then collect the ransom from her dad (Presnell), a wealthy tightwad.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Reviewed by: Gabriel J.P. Goldberg
    100
    As gruesome as Fargo is, the Coens keep us laughing with a Hollywood-centric view of middle America.
  2. 100
    It's a miracle: A tough, honest, bloody film set so far from the bright lights it feels as if it's on a different planet, yet knowable and absolutely compelling from start to finish.
  3. 100
    Rotates its story through satire, comedy, suspense and violence, until it emerges as one of the best films I've ever seen.
  4. 89
    An immersion into the characters' world in toto, from the "Oh geezes" and the "Oh, yaahs" to the dark and flinty core beneath.
  5. With the perfect assist from their actors, all of whom are well in on the joke, this affectionate look at the frozen North brings the Coens back in from the cold.
  6. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    75
    Lean, mean and mordant black comedy.
  7. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    40
    All attitude and low aptitude.

See all 24 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 51 out of 61
  2. Negative: 5 out of 61
  1. Aug 30, 2010
    10
    Sometimes the humour is so dark, we wonder if we're supposed to be laughing but I gotta say, it's without doubt in my top 25 of all time. Very, very re-watchable and with magnificent performances from Steve buschemi, William Macy and Frances Mcdormand. It set the standard high for Joel and Ethan and except for one disappointing 2004 slip up they have succeeded in meeting it everytime. Be warned however the film is incredibly bloody but if not squeamish (there's one particularly visceral moment) this is a hilarious, smart, perfect comedy that taught me how depraved my humour really was! Seriously everything about this movie is brilliant! Expand
  2. Jan 7, 2011
    10
    Since Minnesota is the star of this film, an undiscovered cinematic landscape, expectations as an audience will be understated as a new frontier is established. The premise is noir-ish, a slick crime caper with twists, and the Coen's batter you with their isolated sense of belonging where character is not representative of action. Kind hearted men make mistakes, arrogant patriarchs are heroic and women are almost childlike. These examples build a topsy-turvy world where the stability of the wintry environment is redemptive and though not able to offer peace, it incubates life. Behind an implicit sense of humour that is never exploited is the warm tale of a cold world where beauty is detached from humanity. Possibly one of the greatest achievements in cinema to date. 100/100 Expand
  3. Aug 5, 2013
    10
    Something which can apply to pretty much every Coen brothers film, there is nothing else quite like them out there, they have the wits of any clever drama, the dark humour of any black comedy and the gore and suspense of any thriller or horror flick, but the difference here is they are rolled into one, and Fargo is no different, the latest and one of the greatest from the two imaginative brothers. Also, with these two comes a cast brimming with talent and versatile performances, especially from Frances McDormand, who puts in an Oscar-winning performance as cheerful yet inquisitive police chief Marge Gunderson, who is on the trail of two cons who have been hired by an in over his head salesman trying to rid himself of debts by collecting ransom money for his wife, but a series of mishaps and deaths put a whole different spin on a straightforward tale of fraud.
    William H. Macy plays the clever salesman who gets it all wrong, and the film perfectly captures him as a sort of anti-hero, simply trying to rid himself of worries but in typical fashion, good guys finish last. McDormand plays a woman who never truly seems up to the challenge, but surprises us at every turn, all the while being heavily pregnant. She lights up the screen with a budding and peculiar accent which only fits this type of film, she is sure to enjoy her day, but also do her job properly. The film manages to create a sense of wicked behaviour, but treat it as another day at the office for these gentle snow folk. The Coens create scenes that simply shouldn't be funny,, but the combination of a strong 'nice' accent and the comic timing from the actors, which is pivotal in many of the brothers films, make these scenes truly memorable to watch, they have ordinary and daily grind conversations, all while investigating a murder inquiry. Its the perfect blend of drama and thrill, but with a light-hearted stroke for those who simply love the art going on in front of them.
    It's truly a triumph not only for its time, but as time goes on, it never ceases to be a clever, simple and unique film, perfectly showcasing the Coen brothers for what they are known for, taking a simple premise and creating the most unpredictable and most engaging films imaginable, doing this through character interaction and environmental cues, combined with excellent scripts and pure talent in acting, easily one of the best films of the nineties for sure.
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  4. Apr 5, 2012
    8
    A classic. A very interesting, yet simplistic story, some very interesting characters and brilliant acting. Also has a fantastic atmosphere. I recommend this great movie. Expand
  5. Aug 6, 2014
    8
    I absolutely loved this movie. The Coen brothers at there finest. This dark comedy is packed with gritty action scenes, funny dialogue, and the Coen brothers quirky humor. Hands down to Francis Mcdormand and Steve Buicemi (may be misspelled, sorry) for their great and funny performances too. Expand
  6. Jun 17, 2012
    7
    I really enjoyed this film, it is a twisted comedy which really works because of the innocents of Midwest America. It is easy to see why Frances McDormand won a Oscar for her role as the pregnant police chief, she was believable and warm while trying to track down murderers while their list of victims keeps growing. I don't think this film could of worked in many other locations then North Dakota/Minnesota, just the subtle charm and innocents of the people is what makes this film in my mind. I give it a 7.4 out of 10, definitely will be watching the one again. Expand
  7. Jul 26, 2014
    0
    Ok this movie is a kick in my ass. Kick in my ass. Kick ass. That's a good movie. Why? Because it's not extra-long, not boring and not for pure retards. At least Daniel Day Lewis is not in the movie. Because, please, he's idiot. Expand

See all 61 User Reviews

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