Box art for O Brother, Where Art Thou?

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

  • Rated PG13


Disenchanted with the daily drudge of crushing rocks on a prison farm in Mississippi, the dapper, silver-tongued Ulysses Everett McGill (George Clooney, THE PERFECT STORM) busts loose.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 14
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
2 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
3 out of 5
Positive role models
0 out of 5
1 out of 5
3 out of 5

Teens might enjoy this offbeat Odyssey adaptation.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this comedy with its outlandish characters, infectious musical score, and slapstick action sequences has multiple levels of appeal. As for issues of concern for teens -- there are lots of swear words ("son-of-a-bitch," "hell's bells," "whore, and "Goddamnit"), many racial slurs ("nigras," "crackers," "darkies"), and a mind-bending Ku Klux Klan musical sequence. Characters (and a few animals) are frequently in jeopardy: trapped in a burning barn, beaten with a tree branch, threatened with hanging, shot at, chased, and more. The racial satire may provoke questions about the United States' history of racism that parents should be prepared to discuss.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the story of the Odyssey. How does this movie transform the original story?
  • Talk about the symbolism of fire and water throughout the movie. What do you think it means?
  • What is the United States' history of racism and how have things changed (or not) over time?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: Praiseworthy.

- Bruce Newman, San Jose Mercury News, Friday, January 12, 2001

Fresh: Joyously unhinged and outrageously inventive.

- Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle, Friday, December 29, 2000

Fresh: This is the funniest Coen brothers movie since 1996's Fargo.

- Eric Harrison, Houston Chronicle, Friday, January 12, 2001

Audience Reviews

4 stars

I've read constant positive reviews about this film, but I never got around to watching it. I bought it recently, and I watched it, and was plenty surprised. I love the Coen Brothers, every film that I have seen of theres has been well executed with rich characters, and plot. This is no different than O Brother Where Art Thou? Based on Homer's Odyssey, the film follows three prisoners, Everett Ulysses McGill, Delmar and Pete. These three escape from prison and go on quite an adventure as they only seek to go home and start fresh. Like every Coen Brothers film, this film has a colorful bunch of characters. Many have said that this is laugh out loud funny, and it is funny and comical, but it's far from hilarious. This is funny in Coen Brothers fashion. George Clooney is well suited for the part he plays and I find it amusing how he obsesses about his pomade. This is another great film for The Coen Brothers, and they again deliver something new. Thats what I love about the Coen Brothers, they are like two cameleons, they always diversify their films, not specify to a specific genre. They can handle every film genre with ease and make something watchable with it. They're truly two talented minds. O Brother Where Art Thou? is a truly unique film for the Coens, and is a very well done film. Like everyone of their films, O Brother has an incredible cast of talented actors, eccentric characters, and weird storyline. By watching the featurette, The Coens said they we're trying to do a film with the three stooges and blend it with Homer's Odyssey. Well you have three dimwitted escaped convicts and you the overall story. O Brother Where Art Thou? is another great film from Joel & Ethan Coen. Everything you'd expect from them is here, great, richly developed characters, a funny, interesting story and superb acting and directing. This is another terrific film from the Coens, and if you loved Fargo, Raising Arizona and The Big Lebowski, you're guaranteed a good time watching O Brother Where Art Thou? Another memorable comical Coen Brothers film.

- TheDudeLebowski65, Wednesday, October 6, 2010

4 stars

This is one of those films that grows on you over time. My opinion has progressed from 'mildly amused' to 'outwardly impressed' in the decade or so since it's release. All hail the genius that is Ethan and Joel.

- flixsterman, Saturday, August 28, 2010

3 stars


- bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb1, Wednesday, July 21, 2010