Top Ten Coen Bros. Films
With the upcoming release of A Serious Man, the brand new film from the Coen brothers, I decided to put together my personal top ten list of their films. A task that proved much harder than I would have originally imagined.
I agonized over this list. Why? Because love isn’t a strong enough word for how I feel about the Coen films. No, something more akin to reverence mixed with a healthy bit of obsessive adoration would be much closer to my relationship with their work. They are the kind are filmmakers who make us think, as we sit in the theater, they are unspooling the yarn just for us. Sure, the Coens weave tales of great violence and isolation, but somewhere in there a quiet grace is achieved too.
PLACES 11, 12 & 13
There are three segments to the thirteen Coen movies I considered. First off is the “Lesser Coen” Canon, which we’ll call our honorable mention. To me that includes the films ranked 11, 12 and 13. I speak of Ladykillers, Intolerable Cruelty and Burn After Reading. Tom Hanks stars in Ladykillers, and that’s about all you can say about the work. It’s buried under a layer of cuteness, and it feels a lot like The Coens fell into the trap of building a script around a big-name star instead of their specialty — crafting original work with their normal cast of excellent character actors.
The rumor around Intolerable Cruelty was that it was a product of a 9/11 mentality, Joel and Ethan just wanted to do something frivolous and unimportant. Zeta-Jones and Clooney are winning, but it’s not a piece that “matters” in any real sense. Which brings us to Burn After Reading, a film I’m told I should give another chance. I saw it once in the theater and to me it seemed somewhat aimless.
If you’re interested, overflowing with cash or completely disagree, you can buy Intolerable Cruelty, The Ladykillers or Burn After Reading by clicking here.
So those are my “Lesser Coen” films, but here are the biggies. The ones that matter. My Top Ten Coen films, equipped with quick commentary and quirky clips. You gotta love it…