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Joel Coen

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 […]

Bridge of Spies Review

Bridge of Spies Review

RATING: (3 STARS) In Steven Spielberg’s Cold War drama Bridge of Spies, Mark Rylance plays a man named Rudolf Abel. Accused of spying on the United States for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Abel is potentially looking at the electric chair if convicted. Legal representation is offered by James Donovan (Tom Hanks), who’s utterly […]

Unbroken Review

Unbroken Review

RATING: (2.5 STARS) With Unbroken, Angelina Jolie mistakes heroic misery for rousing inspiration. What should be—and is, in book form—a fully formed and moving story about unparalleled hardship and the triumph of the human spirit falls oddly flat on the screen. It’s a decent enough movie with moments of emotional and plainly visual beauty, but […]

Inside Llewyn Davis Review

Inside Llewyn Davis Review

RATING: (4 STARS) I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say Inside Llewyn Davis is the Coen Brothers‘s most emotional movie. After a half-decade turning out great film after great film every 12 months or so, Joel and Ethan take a couple years and come back with something that’s as enigmatic as Barton Fink, as […]

10 Things We Learned from Cannes 2013

10 Things We Learned from Cannes 2013

10.) The Coens can do no wrong. Of course you knew that already, right? Wait, you didn’t?!? Well Inside Llewyn Davis was one of the best received films of the festival, and it took home the Competition’s Grand Prix award. So let me reiterate: The Coens can do no wrong. They are the best filmmakers […]

And the 2013 Palme d’Or Goes To…

And the 2013 Palme d’Or Goes To…

Everyone in Cannes will be wearing blue tonight. Abdellatif Kechiche (and in an unprecedented move, his two lead actresses, Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux) took home the coveted Palme d’Or at this evening’s Cannes Film Festival closing ceremony for his newest film, Blue Is the Warmest Color. It was arguably the best received film of […]

2013 Cannes Awards Predictions

2013 Cannes Awards Predictions

Now that every Competition film has screened, we have but 24 hours to wait for the Palme d’Or and Cannes’ other big awards to be handed out. Here’s where I’m thinking the Spielberg jury might land: Palme d’Or (Best Film): The Past This is arguably the most wide-open Palme race in a number of years. […]

The 2013 Cannes Lineup

The 2013 Cannes Lineup

Looking over the 2013 Cannes lineup, which was announced this morning, it’s hard to identify the “big story.” The Competition lineup contains a good mix of the expected and some pleasant surprises (Roman Polanski’s Venus in Furs being the most high-profile of those surprises). No stunning omissions or head-scratching inclusions. Just a rock-solid-sounding group of […]

Ranking the Coen Brothers’ Movies

Ranking the Coen Brothers’ Movies

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my two months dissecting the entire Coen Brothers filmography, it’s that even when you know to expect the unexpected, you can never quite prepare yourself for what these two minds will throw at you. From the daring unfussiness of Blood Simple, to the epic absurdity of The Big […]

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 […]

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