The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs Review: 4 Ups & 4 Downs

A surprisingly mixed affair from the Coen brothers.

The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs

The Coen brothers' new western anthology film The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is streaming now on Netflix, and though it's garnered strong critical acclaim from the festival circuit, it's no joy to report that the legendary filmmakers' latest effort is, well, a bit underwhelming.

Though certainly not a bad film by any stretch, this is an extremely mixed effort which squanders many of its strongest elements on a mediocre, airless screenplay.

It's telling that The Ballad of Buster Scruggs was initially intended to be a TV mini-series, but for reasons unknown, the directors decided it worked better as a feature film.

Sadly the end result is almost as much a slog as it is entertaining, and though there's a ton of talent and effort in practically every frame of the movie, it ultimately feels a little too spare for its own good.

Unquestionably a minor entry into the Coens' enviable filmography, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs only half-way meets its potential, despite the obvious novelty of getting to see one of their movies day-and-date from the comfort of your home...


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.