Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 22
  2. Negative: 1 out of 22
  1. It put a smile on my face that never left for 117 minutes.
  2. It's paved with delightfully irregular and unanticipated bits of business that stimulate the viewer to stay fully alert, while renewing our faith in the sheer joy of watching movies.
  3. With their inspired, absurdist taste for weird, peculiar Americana-but a sort of neo-Americana that is entirely invented-the Coens have defined and mastered their own bizarre subgenre.
  4. 80
    Brilliantly scripted and full of a virtual Who's Who of familiar faces, The Big Lebowski is yet another golden hunk of totally unique celluloid from the versatile Brothers Cohen.
  5. Watching it amble along is enough of a treat, since the Coens populate this story with oddballs and bowling balls of such comic variety.
  6. 80
    The movie is as visually inventive and wildly eccentric as the Coens' earlier movies, but it lacks the emotional maturity and moral clarity of 1996's "Fargo."
  7. 75
    Some may complain The Big Lebowski rushes in all directions and never ends up anywhere. That isn't the film's flaw, but its style.
  8. Viewers with a taste for bizarre, even surreal, humor will have a ball.
  9. 75
    This is a comic amusement park ride – a wildly uneven movie that offers tremendous pleasure for the moment, even if it doesn't stand up well to post-screening analysis and scrutiny.
  10. It's a pinball arcade of a flick -- the Coens invent a bunch of wonderfully flaky characters, stick them into a Plexiglas narrative, and let them bounce off each other.
  11. Reviewed by: Michael Sragow
    It's neither the clean strike Coen-heads expected after Fargo nor the gutter ball anticipated by Coen-phobes like myself.
  12. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Spiked with wonderfully funny sequences and some brilliantly original notions, The Big Lebowski, a pseudo-mystery thriller with a keen eye and ear for societal mores and modern figures of speech, nonetheless adds up to considerably less than the sum of its often scintillating parts.
  13. The Big Lebowski is packed with show-offy filmmaking and as a result is pretty entertaining.
  14. Nearly everything in The Big Lebowski is a put-on, but all that leaves you with is the Coens' bizarrely over-deliberate, almost Teutonic form of rib nudging.
  15. Reviewed by: David Denby
    An off-kilter thriller with a sad-sack hero.
  16. This film feels completely haphazard, thrown together without much concern for organizing intelligence.
  17. Reviewed by: Jack Kroll
    Frothing from two mouths, they parody film noir, megaviolent thrillers, sports allegories, ravaged-war-veteran movies, existentialist Westerns, even Busby Berkeley musicals.
  18. Reviewed by: Alex Ross
    The great flaw in most of the Coens' work is, surprisingly, an inability to sustain a plot over a two-hour span.
  19. Although some of its parts are brilliantly executed and played by a terrific cast, the result is scattered, overamplified and unsatisfying.
  20. Reviewed by: Barbara Shulgasser
    It is a visual tour de force, but as a whole the movie slowly deflates into a cross between "Arizona" and "The Hudsucker Proxy".
  21. Reviewed by: Daphne Merkin
    The clever dialogue, seductive camera work, and beautiful production design (the lavish dream sequences look like Busby Berkeley on Ecstasy) almost make you forget the vacancy at the movie's core, but in the end there's no escaping the feeling that the Coens are speaking a secret language.
  22. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    If it's all supposed to be in fun, why does it feel so much like an insult?
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 307 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 86 out of 95
  2. Negative: 4 out of 95
  1. Apr 26, 2011
    entertaining film the whole way threw, 10 years ago funny but still a good watch. acting was good, story was decent. not a movie you take seriously at any point. Full Review »
  2. Oct 26, 2010
    First and foremost I am a Coen brothers fan, HOWEVER I hate FARGO and BURN AFTER READING and a few more. When I first watched LEBOWSKI I was not a huge fan. For some reason (I am most certainly NOT a prude) I didn't like the use of the word f**k throughout the film. After the fourth or fifth time I watched it (it was on commercial TV) the bleeped every F**K. Oh my God that totally wrecked the humor and continuity of the film. This film has great actors ( Steve Buscemi is a Coen brothers fav and mine too). The plot is funny, and most of all the cinematography is the best ( only second to Hudsucker Proxy).
    After the fifth time this became one of my top 5 Coen brothers films. THE DUDE ABIDES!!!
    Full Review »
  3. Sep 2, 2010
    the one thing you can almost always say about the coen brothers is they are inovative with there films . this is a very funny film with a entertaining plot . great acting especially by goodman and bridges . its a great film that if you wana see some thing funny and differnt then you should deffinitly check this out. Full Review »