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Nobel Son

35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

On the eve of Barkley Michaelson's father receiving the Nobel Prize, Barkley is kidnapped and the requested ransom is the $2,000,000 in Nobel Prize money. When his father refuses to pay it starts a venomous tale of familial dysfunction, lust, betrayal and ultimately revenge. Featuring an ensemble cast starring Alan Rickman, Bryan Greenberg, Mary Steenburgen, Shawn Hatosy, Bill Pullman, Ted Danson, Danny Devito and Eliza Dushku.


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Alan Rickman, Bryan Greenberg, Shawn Hatosy, Mary Steenburgen, Bill Pullman
  • Directors: Randall Miller
  • Writers: Randall Miller, Jody Savin
  • Producers: Art Klein, Bridget Fonger, Henry Suarez, J.P. O'Neill, Jane Baum
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Surround), French (Dolby Surround), Spanish (Dolby Surround)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: June 9, 2009
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0024F08Q0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,695 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Nobel Son" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Steve Kuehl VINE VOICE on March 23, 2009
Format: DVD
When I first watched this, the difficulty rested in how to categorize this legitimately. We have action, a little gore, lots of plot twists, suspense, thriller, dark comedy and a little bit of sex. So I say it gets it all, and with a nice cast to boot.

Alan Rickman is great once again and plays one of the more despicable characters I have seen him fulfill. He is cast as the adulterous professor/Nobel Prize winner that finds his son kidnapped/ransomed for the money he will be receiving. His adulterous wife (sublime yet believable in Steenburgen) tags along all whilst the detective (Pullman) tracks the strange truths and twists of the case. Eliza Dushku plays an R role, and the rest of the cast gives some fun performances, especially from Hatosy and even a little part for Devito.

The quality of the DVD and the 5.1 are adequate, with plenty of featurettes/deleted scenes that help show the production's back story and missing parts. A worthwhile film that has gotten little press, and even less distribution. Hope you enjoy a fun, plot twisting film that can be appreciated up to the last scene.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Chris Pandolfi on December 16, 2008
Have you ever randomly picked a vacation destination by spinning a globe with your eyes closed? The plot of "Nobel Son" works in much the same way; it spins and spins its tangled web and can end up here or there or anywhere. It's all at once a brutal dark comedy and an engrossing mystery, and it teases both the characters and the audience along with a series of deceptions and revelations and twists. This is no small task considering the demented nature of the main character's PhD thesis, which somehow forms a connection between cannibalism and a Game Boy system; it acts as a sort of thematic umbrella, under which lies a twisted story of human nature, specifically in matters of making sure certain people get what they deserve. Yes, I'm describing a very broad concept, and I admit that it doesn't do an adequate job explaining what this movie is about. But to be perfectly honest, I don't think I can give you an in-depth plot synopsis, partly because the details are difficult to sort out, but mostly because a description might spoil a number of pivotal moments.

I can, however, give you a vague idea. Let's begin with Eli Michaelson (Alan Rickman), who may in fact be one of the meanest, most unlikable characters of any film this decade. He's a Chemistry teacher with an ego that sprawls out even farther than the Periodic Table of Elements. He thinks he's better than his colleagues. He isn't kind to his wife, a forensic psychologist named Sarah (Mary Steenburgen); truth be told, he cheats on her at every possible opportunity. He certainly can't cut his son a break, an eager doctorate student named Barkley (Bryan Greenberg).

One day, Eli learns that he's won the Nobel Prize. Unfortunately, Barkley is kidnapped on the day of his father's flight to Sweden.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By S. Reed on May 3, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This movie is a very fast moving plot with lots of twists and turns that sometimes leaves you unsure of what just happened. In the end though it all comes together and is really quite entertaining. Alan Rickman is convincing as a self centered, egotistical and boorish nobel prize winner who is soon embroiled in a kidnapping plot. Family loyalties are tested and priorities examined. Mary Steenburgen is perfect as Rickman's wife who has to endure his personality flaws while dealing with the brutal kidnapping of their son. Things aren't as they seem though and the ending is a surprise. Definitely worth a watch.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Grimmy VINE VOICE on March 21, 2009
Format: DVD
First, the summary on the back of the case is inaccurate. Second, there are a couple of squeamish bits. One is quite graphic - involving the uh, taking of a thumb; the other, also involving body parts, is quite shocking, but is later ... er ... mitigated.

Rickman is wonderful as a self-important, philandering professor. The plot is wonderfully puzzling, and, for all its twistedness, not lacking in humanity or heart.

And that's all I can say about that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By gob runner on April 2, 2009
Format: DVD
It twists and turns and requires some attention (not for the slow of mind) to more than the obvious! Got lots of the Pulp Fiction speed and intensity with a little sex and gore which manages not to overpower the plot - it's bound for cult classic following.

For his legions of fans - Rickman never disappoints and this is no exception, smart, smarmy and sarcasm to spare! He has an excellent supporting cast of characters that unveil this deliciously twisted thriller in patchwork vignettes which are ultimately assembled for the final reveal! Made me want to immediately see it again to "catch" the details I missed the first time around.

Definitely worth the watch...and I will watch it again!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dawnelle on February 17, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This was a very dark humored film. It is definitely for adults only. There were violent and graphic scenes also sexual scenes. This film was a little too dark (in parts) for me but I'm sure others would enjoy it thoroughly. Alan Rickman must have had fun doing this role. The ending was worth waiting it.
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Format: DVD
What a premise for a witty, malicious black comedy: Chemistry professor wins the Nobel and within days his son is kidnapped. The ransom is exactly the amount of the dollar amount of the award. The professor is a genius, a philanderer with his female graduate students, condescending, arrogant and so insensitive to others he makes us smile. Alan Rickman, of course, plays Dr. Eli Michaelson. Dr. Michaelson's first instinct is to keep the money.

Then a thumb arrives.

Nobel Son, sad to say, works against itself. From a setup dominated by Rickman's inflated and amusingly self-absorbed character, we're quickly enmeshed in a dysfunctional family that is plotted to be snarkily venomous but catches a case of directorial auteurism.

The kidnapping turns out to have stories within stories, all of which relate to Eli, and which in turn lead to another kidnapping. There are more malicious stories within stories, some of which might even be true (everyone is a good liar), plus a revelation or two. Do we wind up with ironic and extra-legal justice or just too much lime juice on the mango?

Unfortunately, the director, Randall Miller, isn't up to controlling a convoluted story of some wit and brittleness but which demands style and clarity. He repeatedly uses flash cuts and speed-ups, along with a loud, hip music score. What malicious wit there is, is lost. Particularly in a long scene in a mall involving a car as a prize, Miller's editing, with all his pyrotechnic flash, loses track of the cleverness of the switch.

Miller also has to deal with a cast that, except for Rickman and Mary Steenburgen, is only competent enough. Many seem to have cut their acting teeth in television productions with all those interchangeable roles and actors.
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