cranky home
Reviews since 1993:   A-E     F-N      O-Z    Posters       Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do         Search the Site

Your Donations support the Site

Top Selling DVD     Books

50 Shades of Grey
Exodus Gods and Kings
Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game, The
Into the Woods

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Theory of Everything
Ride Along
We're the Millers
The Great Gatsby
The Avengers
Amazing Spider-Man
Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo
Dark Knight Trilogy
World War Z
Happy Feet 2
Iton Man 3 combo
Batman Begins
Dark Knight
Fifth Element
The Hangover
Hunger Games
James Bond 11 disc coll.
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Mission Impossible GP
Sherlock Holmes AGOS
Singing in the Rain
Snow White Huntsman
Star Trek Into Darkness combo
Star Wars Saga
21 Jump Street
Ultimate Matrix coll
X-Men First Class
X-Men Trilogy
X-Men Wolverine

 BLU-Ray for Family DVDs 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
A Bug's Life
Chronicles of Narnia set
Harry Potter 1-8 collection
Iron Man 2 combo
Kung Fu Panda
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pinocchio
Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
Pixar short films
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
Snow White & 7 Dwarfs
Star Trek motion pictures set
Star Trek TNG Season One
Star Wars Saga (1-6)
Toy Story combo
Toy Story 2 combo
Toy Story 3 combo
Wall-E SE


Search engine by FreeFind
Click to add search to YOUR web site!
click to search site

Alice in Wonderland
Beauty and the Beast
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Princess Mononoke
Shrek the Whole Story
Simpsons Movie
Spider-Man Trilogy
Spirited Away
Star Trek movies set
Star Trek TOS (TV)
ST:TNG complete tv set
Star Wars Trilogy (1-3)
Star Wars Trilogy (4-6)
Toy Story DVD combo
Toy Story 2 DVD combo
Toy Story 3 DVD combo
Wallace and Gromit
Wall-E SE

Buy Movie collectibles
TV/Movie Collectibles

movie review query engine

NY film critics online

Privacy Policy

Click for full sized poster

Intolerable Cruelty

Starring George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones
Screenplay by Robert Ramsey & Matthew Stone and Ethan Coen & Joel Coen
Story by Robert Ramsey & Matthew Stone and John Romano
Directed by Joel Coen

IN SHORT: A brilliant, break all the rules comedy. [Rated PG-13 for Sexual Content, Language and Brief Violence. 93 minutes]

The rule being that we, the viewer, find something sympathetic and/or likeable in the main characters, even the ones we're not supposed to like. So here comes Intolerable Cruelty featuring a femme lead whose raison d'etre is to find the richest single man in her local environs (Beverly Hills), marry and then divorce the lug, stripping him of as many millions as an electronic bank transfer can handle. Her male counterpart is the best divorce lawyer in town --she's come up against the man in court and knows full well the length and breadth of his talents -- who is as slick as they come and whose methods, depending on how you feel about lawyers, are either underhanded or brilliant. He wins for his clients, no matter what depth he has to sink to do so.

Enough innuendo. Marilyn Hamilton Rexroth (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is the lady, so to speak. Miles Massey (George Clooney) is the lawyer. They meet when her hubby Rex Rexroth (Edward Herrmann) is caught in the sack by a hired PI (Cedric the Entertainer) and Massey is hired to protect the assets of the lout. By the time court lets out, a flaming burning hatred that cannot be anything but flaming burning passion has sparked. Nothing will happen -- Marilyn needs to find another zillionaire to keep her happy. Money is her "passport to wealth independence and freedom" and she doesn't have nearly as much as her best divorcee friend, Sarah Sorkin (Julia Duffy). All Sarah's got beside's her mansion and money is a nagging peptic ulcer but Marilyn takes no notice as she quickly nabs a Texas oilman, Howard D. Doyle (Billy Bob Thornton), to fill that bill as husband number two. The avowedly single Massey will be tormented by that gnawing sensation in his emotional gut that is venomous attraction, even as he makes his pitch for the (perceived) eventual divorce and the business it can bring.

In the meantime, though, he'll probably get his teeth cleaned. Massey's got a thing about teeth, one of those particularly quirky details that seem to be the hallmark of anything Joel Coen and his brother Ethan Coen put their hands on, even if only to put the finishing touches on a script that had been eight years in the making. That mark also includes very strange characters in smaller parts -- here including a hit man with asthma (Irwin Keyes), a concierge of noble heritage (Jonathan Hadary), lawyer Freddy Bender (Richard Jenkins) and a television producer (Geoffrey Rush) whose involvement is key to a script which tosses twists and turns as fast as it does sophisticated lines of dialog.

What it all comes down to is chemistry. Zeta-Jones and Clooney have it in spades. You can almost feel the crackle when they share the screen and we hope to see more on-screen pairings like it. The supporting cast is equally as good and whatever stereotypes form the basis of some of the characters -- as if you haven't seen golddiggers before... -- are dispensed with quickly by the funny and intelligent script.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Intolerable Cruelty, he would have paid . . .


Anyone with any kind of relationship experience will rock with laughter. Intolerable Cruelty is nearly perfect (the only negative isn't -- we didn't feel the need to see it again, which would have gotten the perfect ten). It is highly recommended.

amazon com link Click to buy films by Joel Coen
Click to buy films starring George Clooney
Click to buy films starring Catherine Zeta-Jones

The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.