Burn After Reading (2008)

I’m always going to enjoy Clooney working under the Coens, and John Malvocich and Brad Pitt also deliver hilarious comic performances here. Around halfway through, it becomes clear the film isn’t just aiming to be a comedy, and I think it does succeed at transcending the genre in making some broader points on the triviality…

No Country for Old Men (2007)

The novel by Cormac McCarthy is a masterwork, a fantastic story told with such style. The film is also a masterwork, not superior to the novel, but an extremely well-crafted work of art in its own right. Thousands and thousands of words have already been spent by people who can articulate the strengths of this…

The Ladykillers (2004)

An utterly bizarre remake of a 1950s comedy. Honestly, I’m not quite sure of my reaction to this one. Tom Hanks plays against type as a slimy, unlikable conman, surrounded by other comic actors delivering similarly over-the-top performances. I got some laughs out of Irma P. Hall’s performance, or at least how it contrasted with…

Intolerable Cruelty (2003)

If nothing else, the Coen brothers are supremely unpreidctrable. I’ve certainly come to recognising that through watching all their films in a row. After the brilliant comedy The Big Lebowski, the charming musical O Brother Where Art Thou, and the cloudy noir The Man Who Wasn’t There, I wasn’t expecting a goofy, low-stakes romantic comedy.…

The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001)

There was a lot I liked about this film – the performances (particularly Billy Bob Thornton’s), the cinematography, the colour scheme, the really fascinating use of supernatural elements – but ultimately, it didn’t come together right and work for me. The classic noir elements just somehow didn’t land for me. I enjoyed just soaking up…

O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

One of my favourite Coens films. I have a lot of very fond nostalgic memories tied up with this film, so I was a tad worried in rewatching it that some of the magic would be lost, and it wouldn’t be as charming as I remembered. Fortunately, it was every bit as fantastic as I’d…