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Poster for the movie 'The Big Lebowski,' 1998.
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Starting Friday, Louisville, Ky., will be host to the 14th annual Lebowski Fest, a super relaxed celebration of The Big Lebowski, the 1998 Coen Brothers classic.

The fest’s longevity is evidence that the movie inspires devotion both extreme and enduring. But, when it was first released, the reaction was somewhat more subdued.

TIME’s critic Richard Schickel found that while The Big Lebowski had its high points, it was far from the filmmakers’ best work:

Read the full review, here in the TIME Vault: A Bit Off Their Game

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Write to Lily Rothman at

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