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Carter Burwell

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs Review

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) The latest film from Joel and Ethan Coen was originally meant to be an anthology series for Netflix, but somewhere between its conception and the Venice Film Festival this year, it became a two-hour, six-part anthology film. On the surface, this treatment will turn some viewers off, and “disjointed” and “uneven” will […]

Carol Review

Carol Review

RATING: (4 STARS) You think you know what it is to want until you sit in stunned silence following two hours of Todd Haynes’ Carol. It’s a film about so many things, probably the least of which is the sexual orientation of its two lead (yes, lead) characters, star-crossed lovers played expertly by Cate Blanchett […]

Seven Psychopaths Review

Seven Psychopaths Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) In what’s turning out to be a banner year for uber-clever, original scripts, Martin McDonagh’s Seven Psychopaths has one of the very best. McDonagh’s In Bruges was merely a warm-up act for the violent zaniness that is his sophomore directorial effort. If you were a fan of that film, you’ll love this […]

The Man Who Wasn’t There Review

The Man Who Wasn’t There Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) The Man Who Wasn’t There is a deliciously offbeat, darkly comic noir that could only come from the minds of Joel and Ethan Coen. The story’s twists are painfully clever, and its performances are nearly perfect. It’s a little long-winded, which prevents it from being among Fargo and No Country for Old […]

Burn After Reading Review

Burn After Reading Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) There are two types of Coen Brothers films—ones that examine human nature and consequence and others that are just utterly absurd. Burn After Reading, like The Big Lebowski and Raising Arizona, falls squarely into the latter category. It’s a film about incomprehensibly dumb people doing incomprehensibly dumb things. None of it makes […]

The Big Lebowski Review

The Big Lebowski Review

RATING: (4 STARS) The Big Lebowski has to be one of the most absurd movies I’ve ever seen. It’s practically plotless. Its comedy is gleefully absurd. And it doesn’t once try to be something it’s not. As always, I admire the Coens for going so out there and not caring if they lose a majority […]

No Country for Old Men Review

No Country for Old Men Review

RATING: (4 STARS) Has there ever been a more unlikely Best Picture winner than No Country for Old Men? It’s a dark, somewhat cold picture that will confound your expectations at every turn. I’ve probably seen it about a dozen times, and I find something different to love about it each time—from the brilliant performances […]

The Hudsucker Proxy Review

The Hudsucker Proxy Review

RATING: (3 STARS) While The Hudsucker Proxy doesn’t quite reach the same level of insanity as the Coen Brothers’ earlier effort Raising Arizona, it certainly falls on the comedic side of their spectrum. What’s interesting about the film is that it’s relatively successful in two very different types of comedy—satire and screwball. The former is […]

Fargo Review

Fargo Review

RATING: (4 STARS) It really doesn’t get much better than Fargo. The Coen Brothers’ films are all special in their own way (even if they aren’t entirely successful, like in the case of Barton Fink), but this one is just magical. It’s relatively simple and straightforward for a Coen film, but it touches on the […]

Barton Fink Review

Barton Fink Review

RATING: (2 STARS) Until watching Barton Fink, I honestly thought the Coens could do no wrong. I had never seen a film of theirs that I didn’t at least like or admire on some level. This one I just didn’t get, to be honest. The film spins its wheels for nearly two hours and in […]

True Grit (2010) Review

True Grit (2010) Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) If the Coen Brothers’ trademark is unpredictable and unexpected, True Grit is another solidly Coen-esque film. Why? Because it’s such a straight-forward well-told Western that we keep waiting around for some standard Coen twists and turns. But they don’t arrive. I didn’t have a problem with that per se, but it did […]

Raising Arizona Review

Raising Arizona Review

RATING: (3 STARS) If Blood Simple was our introduction to Joel and Ethan Coen as smart, talented filmmakers, Raising Arizona is our introduction to them as crazy geniuses. At times, the comedy is laid on a little thick, but for the most part, this is a fantastically fun and breezy ride and a total departure […]

Blood Simple Review

Blood Simple Review

RATING: (3 STARS) The Coen Brothers’ Blood Simple is about as assured a directorial debut as I’ve ever seen. It’s a film noir very reminiscent of classics like Double Indemnity, but it has a tone that’s all its own. It’s a quiet film—one that relies a lot on atmosphere to build suspense. But I have […]