The joy of Fargo is that everything that goes wrong does so in a perfectly realized universe of icebound Minnesotan understatement, a landscape so muffled by snow and Scandinavian-bred, low-affect courtesy that even murderous passion comes out goofy.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
The Coens are at their clever best with this snowbound film noir.
Janet Maslin - New York Times
A nifty bit of nastiness from two of our most dependably provocative filmmakers.
Mike Clark - USA Today
Gunderson (Frances McDormand) [is] the most endearing, hilarious and wholly feminine heroine since Thelma or Louise.
Rita Kempley - Washington Post
Works like a charm. A really weird charm, that is.
Desson Thomson - Washington Post
Kidnapping, larceny and murder have seldom been funnier than in Fargo.
Louis B. Parks - Houston Chronicle
To watch it is to experience steadily mounting delight, as you realize the filmmakers have taken enormous risks, gotten away with them and made a movie that is completely original, and as familiar as an old shoe.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
Whether these characters are lovable or detestable, they're lovable or detestable in a TV way -- defined by a minimal set of traits that are endlessly reiterated and incapable of expansion or alteration, a fixed loop.
Jonathan Rosenbaum - Chicago Reader
With Fargo, Joel and Ethan Coen return to the glory days of 1987 and Raising Arizona.
Susan Stark - Detroit News
Fargo is a strikingly mature, uniqueentertainment that plays on many levels ... all satisfying.
Leonard Klady - Variety
Keith Simanton - Film.com
Has a murder mystery, a heist gone wrong, tragedy, comedy, and well flushed out characters that are both simple and complex at the same time.
Shannon Gee - Film.com
Like every other critic I'm aware of, I loved this movie.
Bruce Reid - Film.com
This mordant, macabre look at the American obsession with fast food, television and murder is icily funny.
Paula Nechak - Film.com
The danger in portraying characters you consider significantly less interesting than yourself is that too much superiority and not enough affection can lead to a fatal snottiness.
Laura Miller - Salon.com
It's easy to admire what the Coens are trying to do in Fargo, but more difficult to actually like the film.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
All attitude and low aptitude. Its function is to italicize the Coens' giddy contempt toward people who talk and think Minnesotan.
Richard Corliss - TIME Magazine
Chief Gunderson was created by the Coens specifically for Frances McDormand ... and they've been rewarded by a brilliant and unblinking comic performance.
Kenneth Turan - Los Angeles Times
Dark, gritty, and brilliant. Not for kids.
Heather Boerner - Common Sense Media
"Fargo" is the kind of black comedy you can rediscover over and over again. The laughs and shocks never fade.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
Quite simply, Fargo is the best movie the Coen Brothers have ever made. And that's saying a lot.
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
The most complete film the Coens have ever made, it's nothing short of a movie for the ages.
Robert Levin - Film School Rejects
The Coen Brothers have always loved to go far, a tactic they don't forgo in Fargo. [Blu-ray]
Peter Canavese - Groucho Reviews
Do you have to be a Minnesotan to really get Fargo?
Eric Henderson - Slant Magazine
The best movie heroine in years.
Rob Gonsalves - eFilmCritic.com
This may be the warmest movie the Coen brothers have ever made.
Dean Essner - TV Guide's Movie Guide
[Marge is] a good cop because everything abnormal stands out like a stain against her white-on-white sanity.... [H]er incomprehension [of criminality] is not only her strength as a detective, it justifies the deadpan style of the movie.
Alan Dale - Blogcritics.org
Much less vain, flamboyant, and showy than their other pictures, Fargo bears the thematic influence of Samuel Beckett and the stylish coolness of Finland's Aki Kaurismaki, but the violence is all Coens.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
One of the more entertaining films of the 1990s.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
The Coens remain effortlessly ahead of the American field.
Geoff Andrew - Time Out
This is a near brilliant/near masterpiece (if not an outright masterpiece).
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
It's good storytelling ... hilarious, disturbing, tragic, and hopeful. But it's not for the squeamish.
Jeffrey Overstreet - Looking Closer
An odd, intriguing, and entertaining film.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
The brothers have returned to their roots, both visually and literally. Their new film is reminiscent of their debut movie, Blood Simple, and its wry look at murder.
Judith Egerton - Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
For all its blood, the movie contains large doses of humor and not a little sweetness and hope.
Mark Robison - Reno Gazette-Journal
[The Coen brothers'] very best film, crammed with memorable characters and quotable dialogue.
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
Thank you, brothers Coen. You have renewed my faith in the serious talent who cannot be lured into the pecuniary heavens of Hollywood.
Jeanne Aufmuth - Palo Alto Weekly
Fargo shows Coens' film-making ability at its best.
Dragan Antulov - rec.arts.movies.reviews
This is truly a brilliant film, the kind you don't see often. Intelligent, raw, funny, daring and unique, pure cinematic delight from start to end.
Kevin N. Laforest - Montreal Film Journal
Um dos grandes trunfos de Fargo reside em seus dialogos. O problema e que estes duelos verbais travados entre os personagens perdem muito durante a traducao para o portugues.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
Michael Atkinson - Movieline
Fargo (1996) is a self-proclaimed "homespun murder story" set in the white-washed, winter wilderness of the frozen and bleak Upper Midwest.
Tim Dirks - Tim Dirks' The Greatest Films
The beauty of the film is in the subtle detail of the dialogue and performances which continue to enchant on repeat viewings.
George Perry - BBC
Any movie that can do that and get away with it as efficiently as Fargo does is something to treasure.
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
She's a sharp cookie.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
I could have done without the blood (including a scene with a person being fed into a wood chipper), but the comedy is hilarious.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
The filmmaking duo of Joel and Ethan Coen turn in yet another of their mini-classics with this dark-humored drama of debt, ransom and murder.
Kim Williamson - Boxoffice Magazine
The Coens haven't been this sharp, focused and fluid since their first film.
Barbara Shulgasser - San Francisco Examiner
This is the film's genius, its emulation of true crime's obsession with prosaic or spectacular minutiae, coupled with a refusal to make such details cohere into master plans and meanings.
Cynthia Fuchs - Philadelphia City Paper
One of those rare pictures about which I have nothing negative to say.
Christopher Null - Filmcritic.com
A quirky violent comedy that's worth watching.
Madeleine Williams - Cinematter
If Fargo could make up its mind what kind of movie it wanted to be, it might find meaning in its tangle of surface caricatures and impeccable technical stylistics.
Bryant Frazer - Bryant Frazer's Deep Focus
Finally, [the Coens] have given us characters we can care for, a story that keeps us wondering, hoping and guessing, as well as the distinctive visual style that marks all Coen productions.
Dan Jardine - Apollo Guide
It brilliantly moves from comedy to poignancy to tragedy and back constantly.
Steve Rhodes - Internet Reviews
(The Coen's) assured steps from darkness into light is a cinematic balancing act
Shane Burridge - rec.arts.movies.reviews
A crime gem that is darkly funny even when it's chilling -- and certain to become a classic.
Peter Stack - San Francisco Chronicle
Even a lunch pulled from a buffet adds texture to the film.
Mark R. Leeper - rec.arts.movies.reviews
Overall, the movie's plot-line is so-so, the acting is above par, the soundtrack is original, and some memorable scenes reside.
JoBlo - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
Rockets along without a dull moment.
Marc Savlov - Austin Chronicle
Funny, frightening and pointed in its explorations of human behavior.
Chris Hicks - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
With the subtle, homespun and ironic performances of Macy and Frances McDormand ... the film becomes a darkly laughable tale of small town normality going awry.
Rob Blackwelder - SPLICEDWire
The hot news about Joel and Ethan Coen is that they have made a tolerable film.
Stanley Kauffmann - New Republic
...one of the most hilariously twisted murder mysteries to come along since, well, since never.
John J. Puccio - Movie Metropolis
Stanley Kauffmann - The New Republic
Written and directed with the verve, painstaking nuance and outrageously black humour that have become the mainstay of a Coen movie.
Ian Nathan - Empire Magazine
Funny without really trying to be, and it proves conclusively that fact is stranger than fiction.
Joe Baltake - Sacramento Bee
It combines a sheer energy of satire, comedy and thriller that it seems at first glance an impossible movie to make.
David Keyes - Cinemaphile.org
It is stylish, lacerating as a social insight and extremely well-acted by the entire no-superstar ensemble led by Frances McDormand.
Bruce Kirkland - Jam! Movies