Best Movies by Farr
Fargo Poster
Released Runtime Category
1996 108 Mystery/Thrillers
Director Language
Joel Coen English
Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, William H. Macy, Peter Stormare


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What's it About

Hapless car salesman Jerry Lundegaard (Macy) has financial problems, which can only be fixed if wealthy father-in-law Wade Gustafson (Presnell) opens his wallet. Unfortunately, Wade treats Jerry with thinly disguised contempt, so Jerry impulsively hires two hardened criminals (Buscemi and Stormare) to fake a kidnapping of his wife, promising to share the ransom when Wade inevitably pays up. Everything goes wrong from there, but folksy investigator Marge Gunderson (McDormand) is soon on-hand to sort things out.

Why we love it

The Coen Brothers' crowning achievement, this twisted black comedy convulses us one minute, horrifies us the next. The movie pokes fun at the distinctive accents and conventions of North Dakotans, while simultaneously, its gruesome crime gone awry places us squarely in the lower depths of depravity. Only the Coens could take us there and bring us back so entertainingly. Macy is superb as the pathetic, cornered Jerry, and Buscemi never better as a low-life kidnapper. But it's McDormand who steals the picture as unflappable trooper Marge. It's no surprise that she (and the picture) took home Oscars. You betcha!

BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"