Owen Gleiberman
December 03, 2008 AT 05:00 AM EST

Nobel Son

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
110 minutes
Wide Release Date
12/05/08
performer
Alan Rickman, Bryan Greenberg, Shawn Hatosy, Bill Pullman, Mary Steenburgen
director
Randall Miller
distributor
Freestyle Releasing
author
Randall Miller, Jody Savin
genre
Mystery and Thriller, Comedy

We gave it a D

In Nobel Son, Eli Michaelson (Alan Rickman) is a noted chemistry professsor who has just received the Nobel Prize; he’s also a lecherous, ill-tempered misanthropic jerk. When the son (Bryan Greenberg) he treats like dirt gets kidnapped by a psychopath (Shawn Hatosy) who is not what he seems, the director, Randall Miller (Bottle Shock), appears to be trying to cross a bad Elmore Leonard thriller with a bad indie-festival family-angst ? comedy. He gives us the worst of both worlds, parading each superficially clever motif — ?severed thumbs, cannibalism, the magic of Pat Benatar’s lyrics — with an amateur’s show-off glee. D

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