Fargo

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MGM Released 1996

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8.3
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Movie Summary

Director:
Joel Coen
Released:
1996
Rating:
R
Fargo is the 1996 Academy Award winning quirky drama showcasing the Minnesota Nice phenomenon at its most revealing and wackiest, from writers-directors The Coen Brothers (No Country For Old Men, True Grit). Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy, Jurassic Park III) is a ne'er do well car salesman for this acerbic father in law Wade Gustafson (Harve Presnell, Saving Private Ryan) who can never get a break in life from his wealthy in law. Desperately needing money for some unrevealed purpose, he sets up a scenario wherein he will have his wife kidnapped by professional thugs and then split up the ransom money between them. He contracts dynamic duo Carl Showalter (Steve Buscemi, Desperado) and Gaer Grimsrud (Peter Stormare, The Lost World: Jurassic Park) to do the deed and once they do, one tragically comic incident after another befalls the whole enterprise, threatening to spiral out of the tenuous bonds of control that Jerry has over the situation.

Metacritic Score

  • 90

    The New York Times Elvis Mitchell

    For all its exaggerated ordinariness, this film seems to start where others leave off.

  • 90

    Variety

    In the darkly humorous Fargo, iconoclastic filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen manage the precarious balancing act of respecting genre conventions and simultaneously pushing them to an ...

  • 80

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    With the perfect assist from their actors, all of whom are well in on the joke, this affectionate look at the frozen North brings the Coens back in from the cold.

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    Themes

    Crime