User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 349 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 14 out of 349

Review this movie

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. Sep 12, 2014
    4
    I often find that Coen Brothers movies can be rather hit and miss, sadly The Big Lebowski was a miss for me. It was one of those films where I really wished I could get the hours back that I had lost watching a film that I feel just doesn't measure up to some of the other Coen entries.

    The film had moments that made me chuckle but never really had me in stitches with laughter, perhaps
    I often find that Coen Brothers movies can be rather hit and miss, sadly The Big Lebowski was a miss for me. It was one of those films where I really wished I could get the hours back that I had lost watching a film that I feel just doesn't measure up to some of the other Coen entries.

    The film had moments that made me chuckle but never really had me in stitches with laughter, perhaps it just wasn't my humour (which is fairly broad I might add). I'll give it credit that there were some good performances during the film from the likes of Bridges and Buscemi but on the whole I wasn't hugely impressed. I must be missing why this film has such a cult status... then again some of the most terrible movies have cult status for some reason or another.
    Expand
  2. chw
    Jul 18, 2014
    8
    The Big Lebowski was pretty good. It is a little out there because it is a film from Joel and Ethan Coen, but besides that, The Big Lebowski was still pretty good.
  3. Jun 3, 2014
    8
    Great crime comedy from The Coen Brothers, a smart story with very weird and colorful characters, Jeff Bridges puts on a great comedic performance, great work from the supporting cast that includes John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi, the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman and many others
  4. Apr 29, 2014
    10
    One of my all time favorites. Pure comedy genuis. It's original, uniqu and hilarious. It deserves it's cult following and fan base. And if you don't like it, Well that's just like your opinion man.
  5. Apr 26, 2014
    2
    I love the Coens' films but this is the one I've enjoyed the least. I found it uninspired, lazy and monotonous. Almost like they lost focus after the success of Fargo. Massively overrated in my opinion.
  6. Mar 18, 2014
    10
    A masterpiece. The Coen's brothers at their finest. A film unlike any other even to this day. It's film bliss. Beautifully well acted, cleverly written and overall just pleasant.
  7. Mar 6, 2014
    10
    One of the Coen brothers finest work, it entices me more than "Fargo' of 'No Country", but added more hilarity without destroying quality. Jeff Bridges and John Goodman lead the film's chaotic and black humor that the Coen brothers always embed into their scripts without adding any corny aspects, beside the dialogue. One of the funniest, and surprisingly smartest comedies I've seen in aOne of the Coen brothers finest work, it entices me more than "Fargo' of 'No Country", but added more hilarity without destroying quality. Jeff Bridges and John Goodman lead the film's chaotic and black humor that the Coen brothers always embed into their scripts without adding any corny aspects, beside the dialogue. One of the funniest, and surprisingly smartest comedies I've seen in a long while. To inspire a festival! Expand
  8. Jan 12, 2014
    10
    The problem with The Big Lebowski is that it isn't very likely to reward you on the first go. I find it nearly impossible to watch a movie more than once within a period of several years, but I can almost always sit down with this film and get something out of it. The story is really secondary here, with its lazy and seemingly directionless progression hiding an impressive meticulousness.The problem with The Big Lebowski is that it isn't very likely to reward you on the first go. I find it nearly impossible to watch a movie more than once within a period of several years, but I can almost always sit down with this film and get something out of it. The story is really secondary here, with its lazy and seemingly directionless progression hiding an impressive meticulousness. Not a single second is without purpose. By the end, the film becomes a brilliant philosophical inside joke about itself that gets funnier every time. Or not. Either way's a pleasure. Expand
  9. Jan 2, 2014
    10
    The Big Lebowski is about a man who has lived life on his own terms, failed at it, but still has no regrets. Every scene with the protagonist, the Dude, is ripe with little quirks of his character. He is a perpetual chiller. Some of the supporting cast also made for good comedy, chief among them Walter, who is a Vietnam veteran angry with the world for no good reason. The humour mainlyThe Big Lebowski is about a man who has lived life on his own terms, failed at it, but still has no regrets. Every scene with the protagonist, the Dude, is ripe with little quirks of his character. He is a perpetual chiller. Some of the supporting cast also made for good comedy, chief among them Walter, who is a Vietnam veteran angry with the world for no good reason. The humour mainly came from the characters of the Dude and Walter, whose inept skills of detecting mess up everything that could make things easier for the world, themselves included.

    Some hoodlums mistake the Dude, whose real name is Lebowski, for a millionaire and extort him. They decide to piss on his favourite rug, which makes him want to seek compensation from the rich man. Needless to say, things escalate unexpectedly when this man's wife is seemingly kidnapped and he asks the Dude to take the ransom money to the rendezvous and potentially identify the kidnappers. His involvement in the affair seems to be to the detriment of all the concerned parties. Things go wrong from the beginning as the pair, the Dude and Walter, lack a reasonable voice and go along without planning anything. There's a plot that moves the movie forward but the focus is on the lifestyle of the Dude. Everything else works to portray his life as fully as it could be.

    What the movie does extremely well is insert quick-witted quips throughout the length of the movie, often when you won't be expecting them, which certainly had me cracking up every other moment. There was a lot of serious talk going on in the guise of dialogue. A comedy it was but to be able to discern these little moments of enlightenment every other while made me respect the script a lot more than I would have if the intention had been just to make me laugh at goofy lines. That was a work of genius and deserves recognition.

    There were a lot of secondary characters which lighted up the moments. There was this rival of the main duo at the bowling alley who seeks to incite confrontation with every word of his. Walter always seems to want to stand up to bullies and makes big statements and bold moves, the majority of which end up creating trouble for the Dude. Thrown into the mix is the rich Lebowski's daughter (Julianne Moore) who believes that her father's trophy wife is faking her abduction and wants the money for her own. So she sets the Dude on her own personal agenda to help her prove that she's right.

    The Dude is pushed around by everyone who comes into contact with him, from the rich Lebowski to his daughter, the kidnappers, a porn producer and even the police; and much of the comedy originates from this. They all just barge into his private space whenever they feel like it and bully him. But nothing ever shakes his exterior and his values of pacifism never leave his side. Even for a man as passive as him, trouble seems to find ways to bring itself to him.

    There are some scenes of such hilarity that I literally had to double over and hold my stomach. There was also a fair amount of profanity and nudity, and the Dude is a compulsive smoker of weed.

    The narrative during the first half was strong and carried the movie very well. The second half seemed to lose a bit of steam, as the plot became somewhat convoluted. But what you have to understand is the bigger picture_ which is not to get the plot which is by no means difficult to follow, but witness a chapter in the life of Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski while he tries to enjoy his life. I feel like Jeff Bridges deserved to be lauded for his portrayal for the character much more than he did for his other roles.

    For such an intelligent comedy, which is a rare brand, I feel like it deserves a perfect ten for the effort and achievement in creating compelling characters that succeeded in making people laugh yet be a bit brooding and make statements about politics and war under the layer, if you care to look for them, without diminishing the entertainment value of the piece in the least.
    Expand
  10. Nov 29, 2013
    9
    This movie is extremely funny with really good acting. I was disappointed by some of the stuff in it, but it did a fantastic job at making a comedy movie.
  11. Oct 30, 2013
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The Big Lebowski is a cult classic that can be watched over and over. It might seem a bit stupid at first, but as it progresses, it becomes a funny and surprisingly good movie about Jeff Lebowski, or The Dude, and his attempt to get his rug back that turns into an awesome movie throughout. And Steve Buscemi dies in it. What more could you want? Expand
  12. Sep 23, 2013
    10
    This is just one of those movies that gets mixed feelings from everyone. Some like it, some hate it. The premise may be a bit dumb, but that's what makes the whole movie so much fun to watch. Again, it's a not a movie for everyone.
  13. Sep 19, 2013
    10
    There is simply no amount of words that can contain The Big Lebowski. Every little detail is thought out and executed with a master's touch by the Coen brothers. The one thing I will mention is that I felt so bad for Donny (Steve Buscemi), who was constantly being tormented by John Goodman, but it added an extra little treat to the film that the Dude never directly talked to him throughoutThere is simply no amount of words that can contain The Big Lebowski. Every little detail is thought out and executed with a master's touch by the Coen brothers. The one thing I will mention is that I felt so bad for Donny (Steve Buscemi), who was constantly being tormented by John Goodman, but it added an extra little treat to the film that the Dude never directly talked to him throughout the 117 minute run time. Expand
  14. Sep 13, 2013
    8
    A hilarious tale about a bum trying to get his rug back. The performances are very strong for a comedy, particularly from John Goodman. Every character is very likable in their own way. The story is a bit scattered but, easy to recognize. The writing is absolutely superb, thus making this one of my personal favorite comedies.
  15. Aug 18, 2013
    3
    I must have missed something, or maybe this is America's sense of humor, I do not know. What I do know is that I didn't find it funny, amusing at times but never enough to be worthwhile. An unfunny comedy is a bad movie. Maybe I couldn't assimilate with the protagonists. I thought it would be good according to the reviews. What a boring experience. If feel like this would only make a childI must have missed something, or maybe this is America's sense of humor, I do not know. What I do know is that I didn't find it funny, amusing at times but never enough to be worthwhile. An unfunny comedy is a bad movie. Maybe I couldn't assimilate with the protagonists. I thought it would be good according to the reviews. What a boring experience. If feel like this would only make a child laugh, is it intended for children? Or am I offending some of you? Either way it spoiled my evening. Expand
  16. Jul 22, 2013
    10
    I had high hopes when I rented this movie. As you can tell from my score, I was not disappointed. I love this film, it's funny, it makes you feel good, and it's just overall a good movie.
    John Goodman and Jeff Bridges deliver outstanding performances in one of the best movies of all time.
  17. Jul 10, 2013
    4
    The main downfall of the movie is that it's just not funny at all. There were certainly some funny scenes, but certainly not enough for a comedy. The plot was interesting and the acting was good, which saved it from being a total trainwreck.
  18. Jun 21, 2013
    10
    Man, this is totally like an awesome experience you know? I mean, hilarious characters and actions, yet with awkward reasons. The story is like; you know, confusing and disjointed. Yet it it, ravels me with performance, so I don't really understand the story, but that's the point man. Our protagonist is the dude (Jeff Bridges) who is minding his own business, but is wrapped into thisMan, this is totally like an awesome experience you know? I mean, hilarious characters and actions, yet with awkward reasons. The story is like; you know, confusing and disjointed. Yet it it, ravels me with performance, so I don't really understand the story, but that's the point man. Our protagonist is the dude (Jeff Bridges) who is minding his own business, but is wrapped into this complex; and might I add pointless, hostage plot, and has to figure out how to get his rug back. What's totally sweet about this picture is Jeff Bridges as the dude, he like is so mystical like in the role as the dude. He is such a likeable person; an enjoyable loser maybe, and is accompanied by his best man Walter (John Goodman). Who is also cool. With a over the top attitude, and can't help but try to relate every event to Vietnam. While the dude's performance is sweet, the story and pacing is not as sweet. While one may feel great for being able to follow what is going on; I sure did man, but like this does get a bit muttled and mind mumbling. That aside, this is totally worth a watching; you'd be really uplifted if you saw it multiple times, and is a art house masterpiece man. Expand
  19. May 13, 2013
    10
    The Big Lebowski" is about an attitude, not a story. It's easy to miss that, because the story is so urgently pursued. It involves kidnapping, ransom money, a porno king, a reclusive millionaire, a runaway girl, the Malibu police, a woman who paints while nude and strapped to an overhead harness, and the last act of the disagreement between Vietnam veterans and Flower Power. It has moreThe Big Lebowski" is about an attitude, not a story. It's easy to miss that, because the story is so urgently pursued. It involves kidnapping, ransom money, a porno king, a reclusive millionaire, a runaway girl, the Malibu police, a woman who paints while nude and strapped to an overhead harness, and the last act of the disagreement between Vietnam veterans and Flower Power. It has more scenes about bowling than anything else.

    This is a plot and dialogue that perhaps only the Coen Brothers could have devised. I'm thinking less of their clarity in "Fargo" and "No Country for Old Men" than of the almost hallucinatory logic of "Raising Arizona" and "The Hudsucker Proxy." Only a steady hand in the midst of madness allows them to hold it all together--that, and the delirious richness of their visual approach.

    Anyone who cares about movies must surely have heard something about the plot. This is a movie that has inspired an annual convention and the Church of the Latter-Day Dude. Its star, Jeff Bridges, has become so identified with the starring role that when he won the 2010 Oscar for Best Actor, Twitterland mourned that his acceptance speech didn't begin with, "The Dude Abides." These words are so emblematic that they inspired a book title, The Dude Abides: The Gospel According to the Coen Brothers, by Cathleen Falsani. This is a serious book, though far from a dreary theological work.

    The Dude is Jeff Lebowski, an unemployed layabout whose days are spent sipping White Russians and nights are spent at the bowling alley. There is always a little pot available. He has a leonine mane of chestnut hair, a shaggy goatee, and a wardrobe of Bermuda shorts, rummage sale shirts, bathrobes and flip-flops,. He went to Woodstock and never left. He lives in what may be the last crummy run-down low-rent structure in Malibu. Trust the Dude to find it.

    It is widely known that the Dude was inspired by a real man named Jeff Dowd, a freelance publicist who was instrumental in launching "Blood Simple" (1984), the first film in the Coen canon. I have long known Jeff Dowd. I can easily see how he might have inspired the Dude. He is as tall, as shaggy and sometimes as mood-altered as Jeff Lebowski, although much more motivated. He remembers names better than a politician, is crafty in his strategies, and burns with a fiery zeal on behalf of those films he consents to represent.

    In the film, Jeff Lebowski tells the millionaire's daughter (Julianne Moore) that in his youth he helped draft the Port Huron Statement that founded Students for a Democratic Society, and was a member of the Seattle Seven. In real life Jeff Dowd was indeed one of the Seattle Seven, and remains so militant that at Sundance 2009 he took a punch the jaw for insisting too fervently that a critic see "Dirt," an ecological documentary Dowd believed was essential to the survival of the planet. True to his credo of nonviolence, the Dude did not punch back.

    In "The Big Lebowski," our hero has left politics far behind, and exists primarily to keep a buzz on, and bowl. He is never actually drunk in the movie, and always far from sober. His bowling partners are Walter Sobchak (John Goodman) and Donny Kerabatsos (Steve Buscemi). Walter, even taller than the Dude, is a proud Vietnam veteran and the strategist of the three. He and the Dude never mention politics. Donny is their meek sidekick, always a step behind the big guys. He says perhaps three complete sentences in the film, all brief, and is often interrupted by Walter telling him to shut the f--- up. He is happy to exist on the fringes of their glory.

    Details of the plot need not concern us. It involves a mean-tempered millionaire in a wheelchair who is the Big Lebowski (the Dude becomes, by logic, the Little Lebowski). He broods before the fire in a vast paneled library, reminding me of no one so much as Major Amberson in "The Magnificent Ambersons." His trophy wife Bunny (Tara Reid) appears to have been kidnapped. This leads indirectly to the Dude being savagely beaten by hit men who mistake him for the Big Lebowski. Well, how many Jeff Lebowskis can there be in Malibu? One of them urinates on The Dude's rug, which he valued highly ("it pulled the room together"), and the whole movie can be loosely described as being about the Dude's attempts to get payback for his rug.

    The inspiration for the supporting characters can perhaps be found in the novels of Raymond Chandler. The Southern California setting, the millionaire, the kidnapped wife, the bohemian daughter, the enforcers, the cops who know the hero by name, can all be found in Chandler. The Dude is in a sense Philip Marlowe not in his energy or focus, but in the code he lives by. Down these mean streets walks a man who won't allow his rug to be pissed on. "That will not stand," he says, perhaps unconsciously quoting George H.W. Bush about Saddam's invasion of Kuwait. The Dude does not lie, steal or cheat. He does swear.
    Expand
  20. Feb 19, 2013
    8
    One of the best movies given to an audience by the Coen Brothers. A bizarre, funny, and clever case of mistaken identity. John Goodman and Jeff Bridge work so well off of each other, and the rest of the cast ties it together.

    Very quotable and fun to re-watch. Bowling, carpet, cars, money, and weird stuff.. It can be understandable that it's either a love/hate film for people but
    One of the best movies given to an audience by the Coen Brothers. A bizarre, funny, and clever case of mistaken identity. John Goodman and Jeff Bridge work so well off of each other, and the rest of the cast ties it together.

    Very quotable and fun to re-watch. Bowling, carpet, cars, money, and weird stuff.. It can be understandable that it's either a love/hate film for people but what's not to love. Listen to user reviews.
    Expand
  21. Feb 8, 2013
    10
    I love The Big Lebowski. It is so damn funny all throughout and the characters are so interesting to watch. It gets better with every viewing and I good quote this movie all day.
  22. Jan 17, 2013
    0
    The Big lebowski is absolutely horrible. I have never seen a movie with such language. Language isn;t a problem unless every word been spoken is the F word. Never want to see it again.
  23. Dec 23, 2012
    10
    Simply put this is a comedic masterpiece. It is one of the Coen Bros. best films and features some superb writing and comedy. This is my all-time favorite comedy and is either #1 or #2 for best movie period.
  24. Dec 8, 2012
    10
    My favorite comedy film of all time (Hot Fuzz is A VERY CLOSE 2nd), it is just genius and very subtle. The story is highly underrated, Walter Sobchak really makes this movie better, and The Dude being the main character is a genius choice (especially considering The Dude would seem like he would be a comic relief character in 95% of other movies if he were to be a character). This is aMy favorite comedy film of all time (Hot Fuzz is A VERY CLOSE 2nd), it is just genius and very subtle. The story is highly underrated, Walter Sobchak really makes this movie better, and The Dude being the main character is a genius choice (especially considering The Dude would seem like he would be a comic relief character in 95% of other movies if he were to be a character). This is a movie you should just see at least once just to get why this movie is a big deal. I am not one of the biggest fans of it (there's a religion based around this movie), but you should still see it because of how it shows a representation of the period (the 1990's) and I could go on more, but just see this important film. Expand
  25. Nov 28, 2012
    10
    "The Big Lebowski is strange, off-putting, and unrefined. . .but that is exactly why it's the perfect comedy. It tickles you in nearly every spot you can be tickled in and it never, ever, ever stops.
  26. Sep 26, 2012
    7
    This movie has got one of the best actor cast of all time. All the tiny supporting actors, that we only see for about 1 minute in the whole movie are just great! The screenplay is nice, as it always is, when the Coen Bros. write it. But they overdo it here. The ending is too absurd, e.g. Also it's not that exciting all the time. But the awesome cast is predominant.
  27. Sep 9, 2012
    2
    Some funny quotable lines smothered by to many too-long dream sequences, inane dialogue choking out clever bits, and overblown, monotonous banter. A rather bland combination. The only highpoint is the artfully crafted scenes and photography. In a nutshell:
    Dumb people think its boring
    Clever people think its smart
    Intelligent people find it trite
  28. Sep 5, 2012
    8
    Classic, void all the special effects and digitiazation these days. Although "the dude" is the center of the movie Buchemi and Goodman carry the flick. Like a good carpet, they tie the movie together.
  29. Aug 28, 2012
    10
    The Big Lebowski is the greatest comedy ever made. It's relentlessly funny no matter how many times you see it. The amount of quotes from this movie that have sneaked into my daily life is frankly absurd!
  30. Aug 17, 2012
    8
    I had never seen this movie until yesterday, and totally enjoyed it. Pure, intelligent, exciting entertainment. It's very well written, with a tight plot that will keep you engaged from the get go. Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore and all others in the cast create such wondreful characters. Especially "The Dude" You just love The Dude, man. John Goodman's character hisI had never seen this movie until yesterday, and totally enjoyed it. Pure, intelligent, exciting entertainment. It's very well written, with a tight plot that will keep you engaged from the get go. Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore and all others in the cast create such wondreful characters. Especially "The Dude" You just love The Dude, man. John Goodman's character his hilarious, and he's calmer than you are. I see why this film is such the cult classic that it is. Be sure and check it out if you havent. Expand
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 22
  2. Negative: 1 out of 22
  1. 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."
  2. 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.
  3. Although some of its parts are brilliantly executed and played by a terrific cast, the result is scattered, overamplified and unsatisfying.