Their latest, Hail, Caesar!, is their giddiest comedy to date, but it's also hit-and-miss within itself.
The Coen brothers' new comedy isn't quite an homage to 1950s Hollywood, but it's not a spoof of it either -- it strikes that tone of crisp drollness that's their specialty and that some people misread as aloofness or contempt. But it's not.
J. R. Jones
This is fairly amusing if you can get past the Coens' erasure of the anticommunist witch hunts, which destroyed hundreds of lives.
An unexpectedly sweet and utterly satisfying confection, a loving sendup of the Hollywood of yesteryear.
Not one of the Coens' major works, but it's a very enjoyable lark, especially for fans of old Hollywood.
The more 1950s movies a person has seen and the greater their love for Hollywood of 60+ years ago, the greater their appreciation will be of what Joel and Ethan have brought to the screen.
The film is often​ sharp and amusing, but it's a doodle in the Coen canon.
"Hail, Caesar!" obeys the first commandment of filmmaking, attributed to the old master Billy Wilder: Thou shalt not bore.
Remember movies? The Coen brothers do. Westerns, romances, musicals, dance extravaganzas - the works. (All of which are on gorgeous, indulgent display here.)