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Defending Your Life

Defending Your Life

1991
Romance, Comedy
1h 52m
In an afterlife resembling the present-day US, people must prove their worth by showing in court how they have demonstrated courage. (imdb)
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Defending Your Life

1991
Romance, Comedy
1h 52m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 58.49% from 571 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(571)
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Rated 15 Jul 2016
85
63rd
It has a very interesting premise, the cast is great, and there's a lot of decent humor, but the romance makes zero sense. Still enjoyable, though.
Rated 01 Jan 2011
7
68th
This movie is all over the place. Sometimes it's really deep and funny and interesting and other times the jokes and ideas completely miss the mark. The ending isn't great and the romance was unbelievable. Rip Torn is excellent and I love all the flashback stuff. Could've been something really special but it's just a good, forgettable movie.
Rated 20 Jan 2007
75
54th
It's got some funny stuff, but I'm not so into it now. The romance is really hard to swallow. Actually, it's a bit narcissistic of Brooks, even if in a self-deprecating way. He's a shallow, nervous loser at life and she's confident, giving, nearly a saint... but she falls head over heels for him immediately because he tells a couple of good jokes?
Rated 17 Mar 2009
67
61st
Imperfect, like all of Brooks's movies, but full of funny ideas and hard to dislike.
Rated 23 Mar 2011
80
66th
Interesting take on the afterlife. Very funny, as you'd expect from Brooks. But I will echo what others have said about the romance not being entirely believable.
Rated 16 Apr 2012
79
87th
The premise is one of my favorites in any movie I've ever seen, particularly impressive given that it is a romantic comedy. It has some great jokes, as well. What prevents this from reaching its full potential is that the romance isn't nearly as well done as one would like.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
70
55th
Gentle is the word. If you like that sort of thing. I do here.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
82
67th
I am not a big Meryl Streep fan, never have been, but I've always liked Albert Brooks. Together here, in a story about second chances, they work well together. This is an underrated gem.
Rated 20 Sep 2010
69
73rd
Interesting concept and for the most part this movie pulls it off. Rip Torn is great.
Rated 19 Jun 2011
75
83rd
Brooks is at his best here: charming, witty without falling too much into self-deprecation, acutely observant of the universe, and armed with an awesome concept.
Rated 25 Jul 2012
58
12th
Some typical Brooks self-deprecating laughs to be had, but this felt pretty clunky to me. The satire felt too watered down and the romance was unconvincin, even Rip Torn is not allowed to let rip.
Rated 04 Mar 2016
53
41st
In the afterlife, Albert Brooks (long may he live) will probably be forced to answer for this foray into the cheesy afterlife-judgment comedy trope. In his version, the trial revolves around an association of intelligence with fearlessness which couldn't be more wrong, but was obviously construed to prop up the romantic finale. Not much of it works as intended, and it pales in comparison to his brilliant 80s stuff, but for a misstep, it's still an enjoyable movie.
Rated 20 Sep 2018
70
41st
The nicely spoofy tone at the outset left me looking forward to more of the same. Unfortunately though, we end up getting caught up in a goofy love story that seemed pretty much grafted on to the rest of the proceedings. Meryl takes her assignment in graceful stride, but Brooks appears to be trying awful hard to play up his big chance to make Christmas Movie history or something. At any rate, Streep is wonderfully attractive...and you can watch this one over and over without gaining an ounce. :)
Rated 12 May 2021
50
12th
Despite the plot not exactly being cliche, the film still felt cookie cutter. Sterile. About as plain as white bread. Meryl Streep is Meryl Streep and I'm sure there is a 'greater life lesson' about it all but I just couldn't get too much into this one. Shout out Rip Torn tho.
Rated 07 Jan 2007
80
81st
Cute
Rated 14 Aug 2007
73
45th
Such a strange movie. Lots of fascinating parts, but ultimately is it really on our fears that we will be judged?
Rated 14 Aug 2007
43
20th
Pretty lame.
Rated 17 Sep 2007
70
63rd
amusing
Rated 05 Apr 2008
20
1st
tedious
Rated 18 May 2008
90
86th
Never would have thought Albert Brooks would do a fantasy film, but this really works
Rated 18 Feb 2009
79
53rd
This is an odd kind of set up for a movie. In the end it's a bit of a feel-good movie.
Rated 15 May 2009
3
31st
90s Albert Brooks is a good indicator to why nobody cares about this guy anymore.
Rated 24 Nov 2009
68
58th
Rip Torn: "Wrap it up"
Rated 06 Mar 2010
32
42nd
Very interesting but in my mind I expected the ending for the most part. It was a great movie though.
Rated 08 Mar 2010
81
48th
A gentle, likable Albert Brooks comedy about the afterlife. Meryl Streep has the unenviable task--which she executes well--of playing an unqualifiedly good person.
Rated 22 Aug 2010
40
54th
Didn't know what to make of it at first. In the end, it was just a very good film that one needs to see in order to understand why it's a very good film.
Rated 06 Mar 2011
60
41st
Uneven but charming enough and Rip Torn was funny.
Rated 27 Sep 2011
68
69th
Ya olumden sonra hayat degil de baska bir sey karsimiza cikarsa?
Rated 05 Mar 2012
60
52nd
This is a light entertaining movie about afterlife; it is shown in in a somehow interesting scenario. The story and acting is not really something special, but I watched it when I was a child and some of its subjects have stuck like if you let fright command your life you will never advance
Rated 02 Apr 2012
80
47th
Often funny, but just as often I wondered what they were doing that was entertaining here.
Rated 27 Jun 2012
99
96th
Albert Brooks' best!
Rated 08 Sep 2012
85
59th
Great, unique romantic comedy with a strong cast and a great concept. Albert Brooks is seriously a genius and if you still haven't given his films the time of day, you should be ashamed of yourself as a fanatic of film.
Rated 13 Feb 2015
20
13th
I didn't really find much in this movie worth watching.
Rated 22 Feb 2016
85
87th
How are you supposed to show improvement in your life if you don't remember anything from your past lives? At least he got to score some good afterlife sex with Meryl Streep, who would never sleep with a guy that looked like Albert Brooks in real life.
Rated 24 Jun 2017
80
81st
watched: 2017, 2021
Rated 01 Feb 2018
80
62nd
I like movies like where I can't exactly explain why I liked it so much. The 2 hours just flew by.
Rated 22 Nov 2018
74
46th
A fascinating, beautifully constructed satiric view of 'heaven' and the Afterlife starts out so intelligently, and provocatively, that it's a shame that it shifts focus to the less interesting romance between Brooks and Streep, who are never quite convincing as a couple; the reduction of 'life's worth' to abstractedly "conquering your fears" feels like the worst sort of glib leftover from the 80s self help craze. Still, performances are uniformly fine and enjoyable, especially Torn and Grant.
Rated 26 Mar 2020
78
66th
Defending Your Life is two movies: A reflection of decisions made over a lifetime and a romance. The latter of these is brief and certainly not very compelling. While Meryl Streep is charming she just kind of happens. Albert Brooks is less smarmy than previous roles and is quite endearing as a confused, recently deceased, average guy. His "non-trial" is compelling and quite funny. I really liked this.
Rated 10 Jan 2021
70
57th
I'll pretend that ending has never happened.
Rated 23 Mar 2021
74
52nd
Um Visto para o Céu estreava há 30 anos nos EUA. Esse filme sempre passava na Sessão da Tarde nos anos 90, mas nunca tive interesse suficiente para assistir, embora seja um filme menos insuportável do Brook, muito devido à presença de La Streep. WEBRip RARBG.
Rated 05 Jul 2022
76
57th
While the movie and it's execution do make for a pretty decent time, I found the principle trait that the afterlife judges a life by to be puzzling. Is the most important thing in life really to live without fear? What about morality? Seems like a bygone product of the me-first decade.
Rated 10 Feb 2023
85
50th
Not as perfect as I thought it was when I was a kid, but I still damn well cried at the end (like every time).
Rated 15 Apr 2023
70
68th
Pretty cool concept, I just wish the main character learned his lesson sooner. It got quite frustrating, honestly.
Rated 07 Dec 2023
50
49th
Sanitized look at what could have been a very interesting concept. A lot of pandering to what the audience wants. Some funny moments and good acting.
Rated 15 Feb 2024
40
38th
Fortune favours the bold! But so does bankruptcy and ruin.

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