A thug out to collect a debt owed by Bunny Lebowski (Tara Reid), young trophy wife to Jeffrey Lebowski (David Huddleston), wheelchair-bound Pasadena millionaire, turns up at the wrong Jeffrey Lebowski (Jeff Bridges), also known as The Dude. While menacing him, he scornfully urinates on his nice rug. The Dude is a lazy loser who wastes his days drinking and bowling with his buddies Walter Sobchak (John Goodman), a short-tempered Vietnam vet; and Donny (Steve Buscemi), a slow-witted ex-surfer. When The Dude attempts to receive compensation for his soiled rug from "the Big Lebowski," he sets off an outrageous chain of events that involves everything from kidnapping, ransom, double crosses, and pornography to a writer for the vintage TV western Branded, a gang of German nihilists, and their lethal pet marmot.

Likeable, funny and intriguing, with scintillating dialogue.

Jeff Lebowski, Jeff Bridges, is an unemployed ageing hippie who so dislikes his real name he insists everyone calls him The Dude. He hangs around the bowling alley with his buddies Walter Sobchak, John Goodman, a Vietnam vet who won't let anyone forget he fought in the war, and the gormless Donny, Steve Buscemi, who hardly ever gets a chance to say a word. When The Dude's squalid home is invaded by a couple of hoods, who use his carpet as a toilet, he realises they've mistaken him for another guy called Jeff Lebowski, David Huddleston. This other Lebowski is a millionaire whose sexy wife, Bunny, Tara Reid, owes money all over town. The Dude reckons that at the very least Lebowski owes him a new carpet...

In the wake of the wonderful Fargo, Joel and Ethan Coen have made a delightfully quirky comedy comparable to their second feature, Raising Arizona. Jeff Bridges slouches amiably through the film, ensuring that The Dude is an immensely likeable eccentric, and there are some richly enjoyable supporting performances - especially notable is John Goodman's slightly off-kilter Walter, whose sudden rages are frightening to behold. Steve Buscemi is always good to have around, and John Turturro impresses in little more than a cameo as Jesus, a manic denizen of the bowling alley. There's also the talented Julianne Moore as the Big Lebowski's daughter, an artist with a taste for the erotic. Likeable, funny and intriguing, with scintillating dialogue, The Big Lebowski is a delicious film, only slightly marred by ill-advised fantasy sequences.