Not quite in the same top drawer as Fargo (the Coen Brothers' 1996 Oscar-winner), The Big Lebowski still has much to recommend it.
With shades of Raymond Chandler and film noir, there are eccentric characters a go-go as the scatter-gun plot twists and turns. Jeff Bridges (pictured, left) plays Jeff "The Dude" Leboswki who's mistaken for Jeffrey Lebowski (David Huddleston) a millionaire with dubious connections, who is also know as "The Big Lebowski". The millionaire's porn-actress wife Maude (Julianne Moore) owes a lot of money, which goes some way to explaining why "The Dude" Lebowski has landed in a heap of trouble, including being roughed up and having two thugs break into his house, and having his precious rug urinated on.
In search of financial compensation for his soiled rug, "The Dude" tracks down "The Big Lebowski", who offers him a job. His wife has been kidnapped and he needs a reliable go-between. Aided and hindered by his friends Walter Sobchak (a Vietnam vet, played by John Goodman, pictured, right) and the exceedingly stupid Donny (Steve Buscemi, pictured, centre), "The Dude" finds himself embroiled in violence, mayhem and bowling rivalry with Jesus Quintana (John Turturro).
All in all, definitely a movie to watch. Just make sure any rugs in your living room are well out of harm's way...