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Fargo Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 5.0

    out of 100

    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Dizzily rich, witty, and satisfying.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Rotates its story through satire, comedy, suspense and violence, until it emerges as one of the best films I've ever seen.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Gene Siskel

    The fans of their best work -- "Blood Simple, "Raising Arizona," "Barton Fink" -- now can add Fargo to the list, pushing the Coens to the first rank of contemporary American filmmakers. [8 March 1996, Friday, p.B]

  • 75

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    It's easy to admire what the Coens are trying to do in Fargo, but more difficult to actually like the film.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    Lean, mean and mordant black comedy.

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  • See all Fargo reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 15 & under

Dark, gritty, and brilliant. Not for kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie, while brilliant, is absolutely not appropriate for kids. Characters are shot and killed graphically, and one person is fed into a wood chipper. Characters also engage in sex with prostitutes and the sex is shown on screen, though not graphically. Jerry, the main character around whom the whole plot unravels, is a despicable example of a human being. He's a desperate, bumbling father who lies to everyone about money, is engaged in various frauds to cover debts, hires hit men to kidnap his wife for the ransom money, and lies to his son.

  • Families can talk about what to do when you get in trouble. When you tell lies, how do you make up for it? Have you ever had to tell a lie to cover up a lie you've already told? Do you ever feel, like Jerry, that you could get away with anything? How did that work out for Jerry? How important is money for you? What would you do for it?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Jerry lies to his family about money problems, commits fraud, and hires some crooks to kidnap his wife for ransom money.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Carl is shot in the face, a man is fed to a wood chipper, three others are shot at point-blank range.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Two characters are seen having sex with hookers.

  • language false5

    Language: The f-word is said within six minutes of the opening, and even kids use it.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Carl and Gaear talk about getting shots of liquor and are seen drinking at bars often. Gaear chain-smokes through the movie.