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The Big Lebowski

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating


The Big Lebowski DVD Cover

The Bottom Line

Not a blatant bowling movie, but commonly thought of as one, The Big Lebowski is a cinematic gem regardless.

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  • Top-of-the-line acting by everyone
  • Complicated yet intriguing story line as you'd expect from the Coens
  • Realistic, even if sparse, bowling
  • "Over the line!"


  • Filthy language is overdone at times


  • Year: 1998
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Writers: Ethan Coen & Joel Coen
  • Director: Joel Coen
  • Principal Cast: Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi, John Turturro

Guide Review - The Big Lebowski

The Big Lebowski is typically never thought of as a decent movie. People either love it or they hate it. Consider me one of the former.

The movie contains the typical chaos of a Coen brothers plot, and due to The Dude's (Jeff Bridges) affinity for bowling, many people consider The Big Lebowski to be a bowling movie.

It's not really a bowling movie, but being a bowling website, I'll focus on the bowling.

In reality, bowling's purpose in this movie is mainly to give an insight into the characters and to show them interacting. Plus, if you've ever bowled in a league, you're impressed by how realistic the bowling in this movie is. Granted, there is very little actual bowling, but the huge disparity in characters is not an outrageous exaggeration for the sake of humor.

Take The Dude's team for example: The Dude, a laid-back guy who's just bowling because it's available to him. Walter, the boisterous buffoon who knows everything and cares way too much about the results of a recreational-bowling league. And Donnie, the guy who doesn't fit in and you wonder why he's there. That's league bowling.

As I said, this isn't really a bowling movie, but the bowling that is included is very well done. Overall, the movie pulls together a complicated plot involving owing money, kidnapping, theft, ransom demands, a kid's homework, and John Goodman in his best performance ever very nicely, which fully justifies this movie as a cult hit and beyond.

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