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Nobel Son

3.8 out of 5 stars 43 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.

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: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0024F08Q0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,040 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Nobel Son" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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.
Read more ›
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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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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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you can get past the opening titles, this is a great twisty, turny movie. Classic Rickman, in his deliciously repugnant role which he does so well, Mary Steenburgen is believable as a forensic psychologist. Danny Devito is wonderful as the OCD neighbor and you really do like him in spite of his quirks, or because of them. Bill Pullman really does need to lose that smirk he carries in every movie, though.

Unbelievable story line made completely believable by the tremendous acting and the twisted logic behind the crime.

There were clues and evidence which we knew but weren't completely explored. However, the ending makes you think that they must have been in order to come to conclusions.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I give 4 stars as for me the plot "twists" seem to come too out of left field for my taste. I prefer a bit more context and the jumps felt like a storyline interruption rather than an interesting connection of inter-weaving plotline. Otherwise it is a pretty good time. And any movie that has Alan Rickman is worth the watch. His character is completely repulsive in this story. The susension of belief in this story is why Mary Steenbergens wife character bothered with him at all. Overall I enjoyed the movie & would recommend it.
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