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5,578 Ratings

Raising Arizona

Directed by Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
United States, 1987
Comedy, Crime


A bumbling petty thief and the lady cop who keeps arresting him fall in love and decide to start a family. When they discover they can’t have babies, they steal one. The joys of parenthood are soon marred, however, by the difficulties of raising an infant on the run.

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Raising Arizona Directed by Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Critics reviews

While The Big Lebowski is the Coen comedy that has spawned a cult following and seems to be endlessly quoted, Raising Arizona is, at the very least, that film’s equal in terms of memorable characters and comic moments. The big difference is that The Big Lebowski ambles along at a pace as chilled out as its spaced-out titular character, while Raising Arizona is a film with constant forward momentum and seemingly boundless energy, a Merrie Melodies/Looney Tunes cartoon come to feature-length life.
March 17, 2017
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Still the Coens’ masterpiece — their funniest movie, and quite possibly their most poignant as well… Amid all the stylization and the breakneck pacing and the rapid-fire dialogue, this is a heartbreaking story about two desperate people trying start a family and become part of something bigger, more noble. We can’t resist the delightful chaos of Raising Arizona, but once the ride is over, what resonates most is the characters’ deep yearning for love.
February 05, 2016
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This emphasis on the absence of meaning in language is an earnest critique of aspects of America’s culture; of the views and values, prejudices and hegemonies in these societies. The dialogue in the films of the Coen brothers offers insight into dominant ideologies, endeavoring to examine how language works to maintain certain standards and beliefs.
May 22, 2005
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What are people saying?

  • dionysus67's rating of the film Raising Arizona

    While it has lost some of its freshness since it came out and making the Coen brothers widely known, its venture into what is a sympathetic caricature of American "no-man's-land" social types (accent, body language, values and morals, petty deviance) and its demonic alter ego remains sharp, wry and for the most part very funny. Cage, Hunter and Goodman orchestrate the cacophonous trio with a healthy dose of excess.

  • Lights in the Dusk's rating of the film Raising Arizona

    Hugely inventive but not without flaws. The editing & character motivations are clumsy, while some of the jokes feel sneering & unnecessarily cruel. However the level of ambition is astonishing. Capturing the tone of a Tex Avery cartoon brought to life, the film blurs genre elements with an encyclopedic dexterity; bounding from scenes of screwball comedy to post-apocalyptic nightmare & ending on a vision of heaven.

  • J. O.'s rating of the film Raising Arizona

    Dark, deadpan comedy crossed with gritty crime caper makes an early Coen entry of the highest calibre. Cage's performance is easily a highlight of his (fluctuating) career, while the supporting cast are equally as fun. The post-apocalyptic "road warrior" setup of the motorcycle driving bounty hunter was quite the stroke of genius. Worth every viewing.

  • msmichel's rating of the film Raising Arizona

    Part comedy, part cartoon; this entry from the Coens is a delight from start to finish. Cage and Hunter were perfect together but the total casting really was delightful. Has anyone ever had a better hangdog expression then Hi in this film? Wildly quotable dialogue, inventive cinematography and exploding bunnies just three of the reasons this stands as an achievement in comedy. ' son , you got a panty on your head'

  • Ethan's rating of the film Raising Arizona

    This is Nicholas Cage at his funniest and just one of many crazy ass hairdos from this strange actor.

  • EdieMaas's rating of the film Raising Arizona

    The Coens exemplify that school of thought that advocates mastering the rules before breaking them. Precision filmmakers, w/ an undeniable grasp on formulas/devices/tropes & how to play w/ them. Sometimes it's delightful. Others, e.g. here, feel manipulative; like I'm being tricked into laughing at stuff I don't find funny, via well constructed set-ups. Still, beautifully executed. Even if I do resent the baby jokes.

  • Erik Villasenor's rating of the film Raising Arizona

    Raising Arizona is one of the most creative and corky comedy films of the 80's. The dialogue in the film is of a superb level. 'Arizona is one of the coen brothers most over the top films: The halarious acsents;the colorful environments, and costumes; Nicholas Cages wild hair. Cages character is a product of his time, cause it wasn't easy living with "That son of a bitch Reagan in the White house."

  • Roscoe's rating of the film Raising Arizona

    Still, after all these years, the Coens' finest film. Fast and funny and genuinely involving, with a warmth that is missing from their later Bleak Chic nonsense.

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