Nobel Son

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20th Century Fox Released 2008

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Movie Summary

Director:
Randall Miller
Released:
2008
Rating:
R
Nobel Son is the story of a family whose patriarch, Eli Michaelson (Alan Rickman), has just won the Nobel prize for his work in chemistry. Barkley Michaelson (Bryan Greenberg), Eli's son, gets mixed up with Thaddeus James (Shawn Hatosy), who convinces Barkley that he is his half-brother from a torrid affair that Eli carried on with his mother years ago. The two concoct a scheme to pretend that Barkley is kidnapped so they can get Eli's prize money. Eli, who is extremely self-absorbed, doesn't believe that his son is a kidnap victim and tells Barkley to get to Stockholm immediately to see his special Nobel ceremony. It isn't until his wife (Mary Steinbergen) receives a mysterious package containing a thumb that the kidnapping gets the attention it deserves. On their return from Stockholm, they pay the ransom. Barkley is found beaten and tired, but alive with his thumb intact. An investigator, Max Mariner (Bill Pullman), begins to suspect that Barkley is involved in his own kidnapping while he shows affection for Eli's wife. Find out what happens next in this dark and funny film.moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 60

    Variety Ronnie Scheib

    Uneven but enjoyably titillating black comedy should elate Rickman fans while pleasing aficionados of extra-flakey caper flicks.

  • 40

    Los Angeles Times

    Shows strains of stylistic overkill with egregious flash-edit tricks and sped-up camera moves, while the signal-flare plotting indicates that perhaps a bit more time could have bee...

  • 20

    The New York Times Manohla Dargis

    An aggressively noisy exercise in style over substance about nasty people doing nasty things to one another in (sigh) Southern California.

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