Critics are awarding Nobel Son -- in which Alan Rickman plays an unlikable winner of a Nobel Prize in chemistry -- faint praise. Manohla Dargis writes in the New York Times that the movie is "an aggressively noisy exercise in style over substance about nasty people doing nasty things to one another in (sigh) Southern California." Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune says the plot amounts to a "ripe premise left out in the sun too long." Ruthe Stein in the San Francisco Chronicle calls it "a dreary little thriller that irritates more than it thrills." And Liam Lacey concludes his review in the Toronto Globe and Mail this way "With every new torture scene, grotesque death, improbable plot switch or musical action sequence, I found myself silently cursing all the fan-boy directors like Quentin Tarantino, Guy Ritchie and Darren Aronofsky for what they have inspired. Weak movies used to be just dull; now they're frenetically so. Even if you can summon some admiration for Nobel Son 's editing or snippets of clever dialogue, the movie is so relentlessly self-congratulatory, you can't help becoming thoroughly sick of it."