Join Listal here 
Existing members 
Login here 
Join Listal to create lists, share images, get recommendations and much more
Avatar
Added by johanlefourbe

on 7 Aug 2012 10:16

 
22
977 Views   4 Comments

A Complete review of the Coen Brothers' work

Sort by: Showing 17 items
People who added this item 347  Average listal rating (140 ratings) 7.6  IMDB Rating 7.6 
1. Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)


Cast : Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund

What was it about?
A week in the life of a young singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961.

My two cents:
The main issue I always had with the Coen brothers is that it all depends on my mood. Depending on when I would watch one of their movies, I would either love it or it would make me indifferent. Apparently, this time, I was in a great mood since I really loved this flick. Indeed, I thought it was quite hilarious, one of their best sardonic comedies. Llewin Davis was a great character, some guy who decided at some point to become a folk singer but was never able to breakthrough, partly because of his lack of luck and partly because of his obnoxious behavior. It was such a flawed individual, indeed quite talented with his guitar and songs but so socially awkward and stubbornly making the wrong decisions.

My rating: 08/10

Check the full review
johanlefourbe's rating:

People who added this item 1663  Average listal rating (1079 ratings) 7.5  IMDB Rating 7.7 
2. True Grit (2010)


Cast : Jeff Bridges, Hailee Steinfeld, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, Barry Pepper

What was it about?
A tough U.S. Marshal helps a stubborn young woman track down her father's murderer.

My two cents:
From the start, I was rather skeptical about this flick. Another remake for the Coen brothers ? The last one they made, 'The Ladykillers', was pretty disappointing. On the other hand, Jeff Briges was totally awesome the last time he worked with them. Eventually, it was a well made and decent Western but no much more than that, I'm afraid.

My rating: 07/10

Check the full review
johanlefourbe's rating:

People who added this item 1212  Average listal rating (736 ratings) 6.9  IMDB Rating
3. A Serious Man (2009)


Cast : Michael Stuhlbarg, Richard Kind, Fred Melamed, Sari Lennick, Aaron Wolff, Jessica McManus

What was it about?
A black comedy drama centered on Larry Gopnik, a Midwestern professor who watches his life unravel through multiple sudden incidents. Though seeking for meaning and answers he seems to stay stalled.

My two cents:
After hearing here and there that it was really awesome, I had some rather huge expectations on this one. Eventually, I thought it was pretty good but nothing mind-blowing though. It was well made and all but I didn't care much about the story, I'm afraid. Still worth a look though.

My rating: 07/10

Check the full review
johanlefourbe's rating:

People who added this item 2327  Average listal rating (1524 ratings) 6.7  IMDB Rating
4. Burn After Reading (2008)


Cast : George Clooney, Frances McDormand, Brad Pitt, John Malkovich, Tilda Swinton, Richard Jenkins, J.K. Simmons

What was it about?
A disk containing the memoirs of a CIA agent ends up in the hands of two unscrupulous gym employees who attempt to sell it.

My two cents:
It is obviously a minor effort for the Coen brothers but it is probably why I actually enjoyed it. The story is pretty stupid but there are some hilarious moments (My favorite are the scenes involving J.K. Simmons in his office). There is a great cast and they all delivered some solid performances.

My rating: 07/10

Check the full review
johanlefourbe's rating:

People who added this item 3441  Average listal rating (2239 ratings) 7.9  IMDB Rating 8.2 
5. No Country for Old Men (2007)


Cast : Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson, Kelly Macdonald

What was it about?
Violence and mayhem ensue after a hunter stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong and more than two million dollars in cash near the Rio Grande.

My two cents:
Like many other movies on this list, I had some rather mixed feelings about this one. I mean, I liked it a lot but I can't say I was blown away and I don't think it was such a masterpiece like many think. Still, the story was really entertaining, the directing and acting were pretty awesome, no doubt.

My rating: 08/10

Check the full review
johanlefourbe's rating:

People who added this item 1298  Average listal rating (670 ratings) 7.3  IMDB Rating 7.4 
6. Paris, je t'aime (2006)


Cast : Steve Buscemi

What was it about?
An American tourist is assaulted after looking to a girl while waiting for the metro in Paris.

My two cents:
This anthology was pretty good and this little story was pretty good, even though it was not one of the best of the bunch. The brothers deliver here their usual dark humor and played around with the usual stereotypes about French people who seems a little too agressive but still so romantic. After watching this, you wonder what kind of relationship these guys have with this city since all their movies took place in America.

My rating: 07/10 (for their segment and for the whole movie)

Check the full review
johanlefourbe's rating:

People who added this item 1238  Average listal rating (803 ratings) 5.7  IMDB Rating 6.2 
7. The Ladykillers (2004)


Cast : Tom Hanks, Marlon Wayans, J.K. Simmons

What was it about?
An eccentric, if not charming Southern professor and his crew pose as a band in order to rob a casino, all under the nose of his unsuspecting landlord: a sharp old woman.

My two cents:
It is arguably the only failure in their otherwise prestigious career. Indeed, it is a rather lazy and unnecessary remake. Should we blame Tom Hanks or Damon Wayans? Still, it is not that bad and actually worth a look but don't expect anything great.

My rating: 06/10
johanlefourbe's rating:

People who added this item 1131  Average listal rating (713 ratings) 5.6  IMDB Rating 6.3 
8. Intolerable Cruelty (2003)


Cast : George Clooney, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Geoffrey Rush, Cedric the Entertainer, Richard Jenkins, Billy Bob Thornton

What was it about?
A revenge-seeking gold digger marries a womanizing Beverly Hills lawyer with the intention of making a killing in the divorce.

My two cents:
If you check the ratings concerning this flick (in Listal and Imdb), you will notice that it is one of the least appreciated movies directed by the Coen brothers but I actually liked it a lot. As a matter of fact, the 2nd time around I watched it, I thought it was just awesome. In my opinion, this romantic comedy was quite hilarious with some rather messed up characters. Definitely underrated.

My rating: 08/10

Check the full review
johanlefourbe's rating:

People who added this item 901  Average listal rating (543 ratings) 7.4  IMDB Rating 7.6 
9. The Man Who Wasn't There (2001)


Cast : Billy Bob Thornton, Frances McDormand, James Gandolfini, Scarlett Johansson, Richard Jenkins, Tony Shalhoub

What was it about?
A laconic, chain-smoking barber blackmails his wife's boss and lover for money to invest in dry cleaning, but his plan goes terribly wrong.

My two cents:
Like many other movies on this list (8 in total), I have seen this one when it came out. Like many other Coen flicks, I had to re-watch it again a few years later to make up my mind. First of all, it looks gorgeous (black and white rule!) and there is one of the best performances by Billy Bob Thornton who seems to get stuck in his 'Bad Santa' mode nowadays. It is a terrific black comedy and it's too bad it is a little bit forgotten.

My rating: 08/10
johanlefourbe's rating:

People who added this item 2313  Average listal rating (1499 ratings) 7.4  IMDB Rating 7.8 
10. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)


Cast : George Clooney, John Turturro Tim Blake Nelson, John Goodman, Holly Hunter

What was it about?
Homer's epic poem "The Odyssey", set in the deep south during the 1930's. In it, three escaped convicts search for hidden treasure while a relentless lawman pursues them.

My two cents:
It was the first collaboration between Clooney and the Coen brothers and arguably the best movie they made together. Personally, I enjoyed it more the 2nd time around. Basically, it is a nice story with some solid directing, some awesome music and one of the best performances by Mr Clooney.

My rating: 08/10
johanlefourbe's rating:

People who added this item 3654  Average listal rating (2387 ratings) 7.9  IMDB Rating 8.2 
11. The Big Lebowski (1998)


Cast : Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Tara Reid, Peter Stormare, Flea, John Turturro

What was it about?
"Dude" Lebowski, mistaken for a millionaire Lebowski, seeks restitution for his ruined rug and enlists his bowling buddies to help get it.

My two cents:
According to the Imdb ratings, it is, so far, the best movie made by the Coen brothers which is rather surprising. On the other hand, it does have a huge cult following. Personally, I had to watch it a couple of times before it really grew on me. Anyway, the cast is awesome, especially Jeff Bridges who gives here his best and most legendary performance and it is probably the funniest flick they made so far.

My rating: 08/10
johanlefourbe's rating:

People who added this item 2841  Average listal rating (1863 ratings) 7.8  IMDB Rating 8.2 
12. Fargo (1996)


Cast : William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare, Frances McDormand

What was it about?
Jerry Lundegaard's inept crime falls apart due to his and his henchmen's bungling and the persistent police work of pregnant Marge Gunderson.

My two cents:
It is above all thanks to this flick that the Coen brothers became pretty huge. I mean, before that they had a solid cult following (my older sister, for example, introduced me to their work even before this movie was released) but it is only after this feature came out that their popularity grew up exponentially. Personally, I have a strange relationship with this movie. The first time I watched it, I thought it was great, the second time, it was just Ok, the third time, it was great again, the fourth time, just ok again.... Weird ain't it ? I guess, it all depends on my mood. Still, there is a great cast, they all delivered some terrific performances and, if you are in the right mood, the whole thing is funny as hell.

My rating: 08/10

Check the full review
johanlefourbe's rating:

People who added this item 644  Average listal rating (396 ratings) 7.1  IMDB Rating 7.4 
13. The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)


Cast : Tim Robbins, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Paul Newman, Charles Durning , Bruce Campbell

What was it about?
A naive business graduate is installed as president of a manufacturing company as part of a stock scam.

My two cents:
Even though it is not one of the most popular flicks directed by the Coen brothers, I still have some fond memories of this one. I remember, back then almost 20 years ago (!), I had never seen anything directed by those guys but my sister was talking all the time about this flick that just came out and I really had to see it according to her. And she was right, I really enjoyed it and I was quite blown away by their directing style (try to remember the first time you watched a movie directed by the Coen brothers...). Eventually, it is a decent comedy and it is definitely worth a look.

My rating: 07/10
johanlefourbe's rating:

People who added this item 1107  Average listal rating (630 ratings) 7.6  IMDB Rating 7.8 
14. Barton Fink (1991)


Cast : John Turturro, John Goodman, Judy Davis, Tony Shalhoub, Steve Buscemi

What was it about?
In 1941, New York intellectual playwright Barton Fink comes to Hollywood to write a Wallace Beery wrestling picture. Staying in the eerie Hotel Earle, Barton develops severe writer's block. His neighbor, jovial insurance salesman Charlie Meadows, tries to help, but Barton continues to struggle as a bizarre sequence of events distracts him even further from his task.

My two cents:
In my opinion, it is the least accessible movie made by the Coen brothers, even more than 'A serious man'. I watched it again not so long ago to make sure I didn't miss anything the first time around but I ended up with the same feeling. I mean, it is definitely a good movie with an interesting mood and some typical Coen characters but I can't say I was blown away by the whole thing. They did manage to win the Golden Palm at the Cannes film festival so maybe I'm still missing the point.

My rating: 07/10
johanlefourbe's rating:

People who added this item 947  Average listal rating (556 ratings) 7.8  IMDB Rating 7.9 
15. Miller's Crossing (1990)


Cast : Gabriel Byrne, Marcia Gay Harden, John Turturro, Albert Finney, Steve Buscemi, Frances McDormand

What was it about?
Tom Regan, an advisor to a Prohibition-era crime boss, tries to keep the peace between warring mobs but gets caught in divided loyalties.

My two cents:
Each time I watch this flick, I enjoy it even more. It is a gangster flick with a rather slow pace but it is a great mix combining the Coen brothers directing style with the gangster-prohibition genre. The cast was also pretty terrific with an all-time best performance by Gabriel Byrne. You can see that with their 3rd picture, the Coen brothers are getting a little bit more confident as the scope is way bigger than what they did before.

My rating: 08/10

Check the full review
johanlefourbe's rating:

People who added this item 1191  Average listal rating (755 ratings) 7  IMDB Rating 7.5 
16. Raising Arizona (1987)


Cast : Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter, John Goodman, Frances McDormand

What was it about?
When a childless couple of an ex-con and an ex-cop decide to help themselves to one of another family's quintupelets, their lives get more complicated than they anticipated.

My two cents:
Even though some people consider Nicolas Cage one of the worst actors in the world, he actually worked with some of the greatest directors ever and many consider this flick a comedic gem. Personally, I have seen it only once and it was a very very long time ago. Back then, I did like it but I can't say I was really blown away. Like the rest of the Coen brothers movies, I guess I would have to watch it again to make up my mind for good ...

My rating: 07/10
johanlefourbe's rating:

People who added this item 671  Average listal rating (393 ratings) 7.4  IMDB Rating 7.7 
17. Blood Simple (1984)


Cast : Frances McDormand, Dan Hedaya, M. Emmet Walsh

What was it about?
A rich but jealous man hires a private investigator to kill his cheating wife and her new man. But, when blood is involved, nothing is simple.

My two cents:
Like 'Raising Arizona', I have seen this flick only once and it was ages ago so it definitely needs a re-watch. Still, I do remember that it was a pretty solid film noir. It was pretty impressive to see the Coen brothers had their own style right from the very beginning. A very good directing debut.

My rating: 07/10
johanlefourbe's rating:



The 4th list in this serie wil focus on the Coen Brothers. Honestly, I do think that they tend to go get overhyped but their work remains damned interesting. Enjoy!

Added to

34 votes
A Complete review of various directors' work (33 lists)
list by johanlefourbe
Published 1 year, 8 months ago 15 comments
5 votes
A Complete review of various directors' work (8 lists)
list by chandu
Published 1 year, 7 months ago



Related lists

Ranking the Coen Brothers Films
15 item list by chris evangelista
1 votes 1 comment
A Complete review of various directors' work
33 item list by johanlefourbe
34 votes 15 comments
A Complete review of various directors' work
8 item list by chandu
5 votes
A Complete review of Terry Gilliam's work
16 item list by johanlefourbe
25 votes 4 comments
A Complete review of Christopher Nolan's work
9 item list by johanlefourbe
27 votes 8 comments
A Complete review of Danny Boyle's work
10 item list by johanlefourbe
17 votes 5 comments
A complete review of Guillermo del Toro's work
8 item list by johanlefourbe
4 votes
A Complete review of Steven Spielberg's work
28 item list by johanlefourbe
43 votes 8 comments

View more top voted lists
Join listal and create your own lists and much more

People who voted for this also voted for

Dear Cinema Diary - Vol 3 E9 - Sept 2012
Blockbuster's Scary Movie Covers
The A.V. Club's Top 50 Films Of The '00s
Revo's Best to Worst-lists
Phillydude's Movie Log - December, 2011
My favorite finnish movies
Toast - Favorite Romantic Films
Empire Magazine
Movie Diary 2012: August & September
Dear Cinema Diary - Vol 3 E6 - June 2012
Alfred Hitchcock's Best Movie?You Deside!
Werewolf movies I love

More lists from johanlefourbe

A Complete review of Martin Scorsese's work
A Complete review of Terry Gilliam's work
A Complete review of Stanley Kubrick's work
The most memorable bad guys
A Complete review of Tony Scott's work
A Complete review of Steven Spielberg's work


Comments

Posted: 1 year, 8 months ago at Aug 17 11:02
Nicely done again, man. The Coens' films generally get better with repeat viewings as there's a lot going on in each to pick up on. Raising Arizona was my first film of theirs to watch, then Fargo which I didn't like the first time I watched it, then O Brother, Where Art Thou? really got me into their films.

Still need to watch 3 of these.
Posted: 1 year, 8 months ago at Aug 17 12:20
Impressive, as before... I agree with most of the things you've said, especially on Big Lebowski and Miller's Crossing
Posted: 1 year, 7 months ago at Aug 30 1:42
Fargo is my hands-down favorite of the bunch. From there it kind of rotates depending upon what I've seen most recently. Miller's Crossing is the one that I definitely need to revisit the most. Still need to watch Hudsucker. And eventually Ladykillers.

Nice job!
Posted: 1 year ago at Apr 14 18:16
Ya! Fargo is their best piece. I've only seen six, however. Not including Miller's Crossing and Raising Arizona which remain unfinished, because I didn't really like them. The three films that they made that I think to be masterpieces are Fargo, The Big Lebowski, and No Country For Old Men.

Login or Signup to post a comment