Nearly everything in The Big Lebowski is a put-on, and all that leaves you with is the Coens' bizarrely over-deliberate, almost Teutonic form of rib nudging.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
This plot need not be taken too seriously. Watching it amble along is enough of a treat, since the Coens populate this story with oddballs and bowling balls of such comic variety.
Janet Maslin - New York Times
Dean Essner - USA Today
It's weirdly engaging, like its hero.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
The Dude and Sobchak begin as caricatures too, but they're allowed to grow into something deeper, if only because the humanist economy of the Coens' surrealist vaudeville allows for a couple of human beings within the tapestry of freaks.
Jonathan Rosenbaum - Chicago Reader
Susan Stark - Detroit News
The result is a lot of laughs and a feeling of awe toward the craftsmanship involved. I doubt that there'll be anything else like it the rest of this year.
Andrew Sarris - New York Observer
Adds up to considerably less than the sum of its often scintillating parts.
Todd McCarthy - Variety
A typical Coen brothers film is like no film you've ever seen.
Rick Groen - Globe and Mail
A genial spoof about life on the unhinged margins of L.A. that's a lot more carefully constructed than it pretends to be.
Andrew O'Hehir - Salon.com
The Big Lebowski is a mess. But what a glorious, wonderfully-entertaining mess it is.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
As tempting as it is to completely dismiss The Big Lebowski, it's hard to do because the Coens are able to create wickedly funny eccentrics and possess the ability to energize certain actors to inhabit them completely.
Kenneth Turan - Los Angeles Times
Betty Jo Tucker - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
...yet another in a long line of promising yet disappointing comedies from Joel and Ethan Coen...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
One of the funniest, coolest, most absurd cult films ever made, and one of the best from the dynamic duo - Joel and Ethan Coen.
R. L. Shaffer - IGN DVD
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
It's the whole proud, embarrassing sociopolitical, cultural heap of American history-and the American Century in particular-in two fleet, funny hours. [Blu-ray]
Peter Canavese - Groucho Reviews
The Coens concoct an absurdist Chandler-esque mystery, drop in a couple hilarious dream fantasies, and even bring in a drawling Sam Elliot to narrate this tall tale like a western myth.
Sean Axmaker - MSN.com
[VIDEO] You'd never guess that the movie is loosely based on Raymond Chandler's detective novel "The Big Sleep."
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
I'm not a fan of the Coen Brothers, but this is an entertaining enough diversion.
Wesley Lovell - Cinema Sight
A wild ride for adults only.
Heather Boerner - Common Sense Media
To what do we owe the pleasure of the Coen Brothers' new joie de vivre and love for their fellow man?
Rob Nelson - City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul
Stylish and wickedly funny black comedy illuminated by a great performance from Jeff Bridges, and loaded with all the Coen brothers' trademark wit and flair.
Dean Essner - Film4
As with Raising Arizona, The Big Lebowski gives us a protagonist whose dopey innocence seems to be his only protection from the real world.
Beth Accomando - KPBS.org
If it's all supposed to be in fun, why does it feel so much like an insult?
Ken Fox - TV Guide's Movie Guide
Bridges does more with his deflated body language than many comedians can manage by chewing the furniture.
Rob Gonsalves - eFilmCritic.com
If nothing else, the Dude speaks for me when appraises the music of the Eagles.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Far from being shallow pastiche, it's actually about something: what it means to be a man, to be a friend, and to be a 'hero' for a particular time and place.
Geoff Andrew - Time Out
This deliberately messay comedy stars Jeff Bridges as a slack-brained pothead, but the funniest turn is given by John Turturro as a gay Latino bowler who urges his ball with sexy thrusts of his pelvis.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
It's pretty much impossible not to love The Dude.
Chuck O'Leary - FulvueDrive-in.com
It's the actors that make this film: without the perfect casting ... and without their perfect comic timing, it wouldn't work. But it does work, every minute.
Michael W. Phillips, Jr. - Goatdog's Movies
Joel and Ethan Cohen are in the midst of just such a golden streak right now.
Merle Bertrand - Film Threat
After seeing and enjoying Lebowksi at least four times over the years, I can plainly see why the movie freaks have embraced this off-kilter comedy so enthusiastically.
Scott Weinberg - DVD Clinic
In many ways, The Big Lebowski has surpassed Fargo as the Coens' high-water mark.
Phil Villarreal - Arizona Daily Star
The Big Lebowski may have a reputation for being the late night movie of choice for some burnouts, but it's much more than your average stoner film.
Jason Zingale - Bullz-Eye.com
Jeff Bridges as The Dude is stroke of casting genius.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Garth Franklin - Dark Horizons
No, it's no Fargo. It's the most flamboyant, erratic, spontaneous movie the Coens have ever made.
Jeffrey Overstreet - Looking Closer
... a loving study of Los Angeles loserdom.
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Like meeting the Three Stooges after they've blasted their brains with mind-altering drugs, time-traveled into the 1990s and landed in a vintage bowling alley.
Judith Egerton - Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
The Big Lebowski tiene el efecto deseado: creer en los personaje, aun sin creer necesariamente en la historia.
Alex Ramirez - Cinenganos
An indulgent spoof, Big Lebowski isn't a straight gutter ball, but it's no strike, either.
Thomas Delapa - Boulder Weekly
This is a terrific movie.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
The Coen Brothers try really hard to be outrageously funny, and they succeed more often than they fail.
Carlo Cavagna - AboutFilm.com
Much of 'Lebowski' is amusing, some of it is downright hilarious and all of it is stylish, with plenty of the Coens' usual inventive shot composition and tricky camerawork.
James Sanford - Kalamazoo Gazette
The Coen Brothers throw this film into the gutter, never developing what could have been a Strictly Ballroom-like spoof of the bowling world.
Susan Tavernetti - Palo Alto Weekly
When you're having a down day, pop in THE BIG LEBOWSKI for a little pick-me-up, and always remember: The Dude Abides.
Brian Mckay - eFilmCritic.com
This broad farce about mistaken identities would have worked much better if the filmmakers hadn't mistaken their own.
Nick Davis - Nick's Flick Picks
Nimble, crackerjack entertainment with the crazed, anything-goes humor and the visual splendor we have come to expect in the best of the Coen Brothers' offerings.
Brandon Judell - Critics Inc./America Online
Loopy, unfathomable, profane and very funny.
Margaret A. McGurk - Cincinnati Enquirer
Definitively the coolest comedy in a long time.
Kevin N. Laforest - Montreal Film Journal
O 'Dude' e um personagem absolutamente fascinante.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
One of the best comedies of the nineties, and the best film thus far from the Coen Brothers.
Jeremy Heilman - MovieMartyr.com
By taking it easy, the Dude abides and becomes a spiritual teacher of crazy wisdom.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
I'd probably hate all of this stuff if I didn't think the movie was so damn hilarious.
Shay Casey - Film Written Magazine
It's the wealth of great characters and their insane dialogue that make this a memorable film.
Dean Essner - BBC
Like a good Caucasian, Joel and Ethan Coen's L.A.-based crime-caper-comedy is an acquired taste, but potentially addictive once you take to its perfectly offbeat blend of seemingly disparate elements.
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
There is no satisfactory beginning, middle or end to it, but it does have its moments.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
This is a film that has great visuals and has genuine laugh-out- loud humor.
Mark R. Leeper - rec.arts.movies.reviews
Some viewers have criticized the movie for being too much of a shaggy dog story, lacking a cohesive point or purpose. Yet to look for the point is to miss it entirely. Coen-heads hop aboard for the ride.
Marjorie Baumgarten - Austin Chronicle
This uneven screwball comedy -- a disjointed and half-hearted attempt by the Coen brothers to return to the Raising Arizona style -- is bound to underwhelm even their most fervent admirers.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
It's best just to accept The Big Lebowski on its own anything-goes terms.
Gary Susman - Boston Phoenix
Not that The Big Lebowski is without its charms, but, like its central character, it is occasionally aimless and incoherent.
Dan Jardine - Apollo Guide
This movie seems to me almost a mishmash of the worst bits that were left out of previous Coen Brothers outings.
Widgett Walls - Needcoffee.com
There are more ideas here, more wacko side characters and plot curlicues than the film can support, and inevitably it deflates from having to shoulder so much.
Edward Guthmann - San Francisco Chronicle
Since The Big Lebowski doesn't have an idea in its head, it has to fill the empty space with 'witty' conceits
Maitland McDonagh - Film Journal International
Ted Prigge - rec.arts.movies.reviews
The movie is more fascinating than funny, one you're more likely to discuss afterwards that laugh at while it is playing.
Steve Rhodes - Internet Reviews
There are bits of brilliance here as in all Coen Brothers movies. Just not enough of them.
Barbara Shulgasser - San Francisco Examiner
It may not be Fargo, but you'll be swept away by the sheer nonsensical, farcical wonder of it all.
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
This time, they have all the parts together, but someone forgot the glue.
Madeleine Williams - Cinematter
Viewers with a taste for bizarre, even surreal, humor will have a ball.
David Sterritt - Christian Science Monitor
The Big Lebowski doesn't always bowl strikes. But in this wacky comedy, even the gutter balls are funny.
Jack Garner - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Although there are plenty of laughs to be had, what ultimately makes this film feel like a minor effort is the lack of the tightly coiled (albeit noticeably bent) internal logic that governed the duo's previous efforts.
Andrew Wright - rec.arts.movies.reviews
It never really bored me at any point, but at the same time, it never really excited me either.
JoBlo - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
Outstanding acting, writing, direction and photography all combine to make this a great comic success.
Marty Mapes - Movie Habit
Inside the minds of Joel and Ethan Coen is a wonderfully weird place.
Rob Blackwelder - SPLICEDWire
Bad news for those in search of accessible comedy; good news, as always, for those who work at finding oddball flourishes and well-disguised social commentary.
Scott Renshaw - rec.arts.movies.reviews
The comedy here is sometimes so sharp that you could roll in the aisle with laughter and not seem any odder than the characters you see onscreen.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Leave it to the Coen brothers to use a man urinating on a rug as the catalyst for an entire film's events.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
A film that may be instantly forgettable but should keep you grinning for a couple of hours.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
In a perfect world all movies would be made by the Coen brothers.
Ian Nathan - Empire Magazine
I wish the Coens the best, but they're going to have to do better than this. I know they can.
Christopher Null - Filmcritic.com
It sounds like another precious Coen brothers gimmick, but in Bridges' hands it becomes a hysterical running joke.
Bryant Frazer - Bryant Frazer's Deep Focus