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Universal acclaim- based on 344 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 14 out of 344

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  1. Sep 12, 2014
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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 a long while. To inspire a festival! Expand
  8. Jan 12, 2014
    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
    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 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.
  10. Nov 29, 2013
    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
    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
    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
    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 throughout the 117 minute run time. Expand
  14. Sep 13, 2013
    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
    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 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
    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
    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
    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 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
    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 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.
  20. Feb 19, 2013
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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 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
    "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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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 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
  31. Mar 8, 2012
    The greatest creation ever handed down to mankind from God above, and I thank him. And don't mess with that, because after all, you don't **** with the Jesus.
  32. Feb 10, 2012
    Personally this movie was fantastic and I loved every minute of it cause I mean why wouldnt any person like a movie with Jeff Bridges and Bowling! Haha
  33. Feb 7, 2012
    The Big Lebowski is the funniest movie ever created, the Coen Brothers deliver one of their best movies about a slacker caught up in a case of mistaken identity that leads him into a ludicrous situation involving kidnap. The movie stays a comedy great without forcing laughs upon you, it is smart and well thought out with a story and characters that could easily be stupid and pathetically displayed, but the Coen brothers have portrayed a film that is very interesting with characters portrayed very well and entertainingly, Jeff Bridges is fantastic as our lead character Dude with his carefree attitude and relaxed world being thrown into disarray his change of relaxed and calm is changed drastically with him becoming a man who is absolutely confused and who just wants to go bowling. John Goodman and John Turturro displaying two of the most memorable and hilarious characters you'll ever come across. Goodman as Walter, Dude's best friend and war veteran who is going through a bit of a crisis as he attempts to help the Dude whilst also becoming distressed over the memories of the Vietnam war, usually at inappropriate times. Turturro's brief appearance as a rival bowler who has a bit of a rivalry toward Walter and instantly steals the movie with his character Jesus. You will never watch a film quite as entertaining and hilarious as this one. One of the greatest movies ever created. Expand
  34. Dec 10, 2011
    While not as funny as some comedies, The Big Lebowski relies on clever and intellectual humor that pushes it light-years beyond most. Add an ensemble cast, the greatest directing duo in Hollywood, and an interesting twist ending, this film remains a cult classic for good reason.
  35. Dec 8, 2011
    I'll admit it, I'm not the biggest fan of The Big Lebowski. I think the Coen Brothers have done many much more impressive films in their career (Fargo, The Hudsucker Proxy, No Country for Old Men, A Serious Man), but I'm not blind to its appeal. For one thing it's very funny. For another it's got a great soundtrack. It also features some of the finest performances of John Goodman, John Turturro, Steve Buscemi, Julianne Moore and not forgetting The Dude himself, Jeff Bridges. The plot itself is straight out of film noir, and is complex and multi-layered even by the standards of the genre - in fact, I'm convinced that the only way to make complete sense of the film is to be in a similar state of inebriation and/or being stoned as The Dude. That's one of my main problems with the film (though some might argue that it's part of the charm) - compared to most of the Coen's other work, The Big Lebowski completely lacks focus, and I find that a little irritating. After an hour or so you really couldn't care less what's going to happen, and it just becomes a steady stream of bizarre set-pieces. The film is never dull, but it never really has anything to say either. It may just be a weird series of events stemming from some stoned bum trying to get his rug replaced, which is fine, but a profound comment on everything from modern society to philosophy and religion it is not. But I guess as a cult film it's meant to divide you. I do like the Big Lebowski as a piece of entertainment, but just can't fall passionately in love with it as so many others do - it just doesn't speak to me. Expand
  36. Aug 25, 2011
    The Big Lebowski is a wicked sharp genre satire disguised as a stoner comedy. It really isn't that hard to pick-up on it, but The Big Lebowski is a modern day version of a film noir. You've got the reclusive male lead (The Dude), the femme fatales (The trophy wife and the daughter), the mysterious alliance of criminal henchmen (The German nihilists), the decadent businessman (Jackie Treehorn), and the fat, rich, scheming individual who oversees the fates of all those involved (The Big Lebowski). The situation The Big Lebowski gives us is what if you took out the private eye and replaced him with a man so lazy, he is unable to solve any mystery. What the film that shows us is precisely how ridiculous the entire situation is. This is actually even clearer when observing the typical Coen brothers theme, which is finding the humor in the darkest situation (this was proven indefinitely in the brilliant Fargo). Well, film noir literally translates as "dark film" so that means that this is really as dark as you can get outside of the Holocaust (and no, I don't wish the Coens made a comedy about the Holocaust). And boy is it ridiculous when it is shown before us through the eyes of the passive individual. While the satire is brilliant enough, the Coens make it even better with their signature style of idiosyncratic dialogue, and absurdist themes about the nature of life and crime. Inject that with a dose of irony, and The Big Lebowski is the Will Hunting of comedies: He's brilliant, but you sure wouldn't guess it by looking at him. Expand
  37. May 3, 2011
    Personally my favorite Coen Brothers film. Funny to see that it has the lowest critic rating. The Dude is one of those characters that you know in real life. Whether you have a friend like him or there's a little bit of Dude in you, you know this guy. Quotable lines, great actors, great storyline, this is definitely the Coen Brothers movie you don't want to miss.
  38. 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.
  39. Dec 7, 2010
    Smart, funny, ironical, delirious, surreal, sarcastic... and with a very nice soundtrack.
    To me, one of the best movies in the history of cinema! This dvd really ties my collection together ;)
  40. 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!!!
  41. Oct 16, 2010
    The Big Lebowski finds that middle ground between the most realistic depiction of life and the strangest dreams that sometimes we all have. There is plenty of material here that the critics should of loved but as it is,maybe its better that not everyone understands. Let this movie be a cult classic, for that is exactly what it deserves.
  42. Sep 11, 2010
    Ok, this, like any other Coen Brothers' movie, is hilarious as **** and **** is pretty funny nowadays. all the quotes, all the humor, all the characters/ actors, all the stuff you're gonna remember for the rest of your life. In my opinion, this is Joel Coen's best movie that wasn't nominated for any Oscars. In that case, Fargo is the best of Joel Coen's that actually won Oscars. I would recommend this movie to all Coen Brothers' fans. I would also recommend tuning- out all distractions and pay attention to the movie, because there's some **** you just might not understand without a bowl o' popcorn and no one to annoy you while you're trying to pay attention. Expand
  43. 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.
  44. Aug 16, 2010
    A film that should be mandatory for anyone who calls themselves a fan of the cinema. The Coens are at their goofy best here, twisting and turning through multiple plot changes, genres, styles, and berserk characters. "The Big Lebowski" somehow involves us by showing inner America (though it's set in California) at its weirdest and most truthful. It's gloriously goofy and unabashedly silly, one of the best films this duo has made. Expand

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.