Coen Brothers: Ranking Their Films From Worst To Best

16. The Ladykillers (2004)

Again, even a poor effort from the Brothers Coen results in a better film than 90% of what your local cinema is churning out in a given year. The Ladykillers remakes the 1955 Alec Guinness film of the same name, putting Tom Hanks in the lead role and setting the tale in the Deep South. The plot moves along, filled with typical Coen zaniness and snappy dialogue, but the casting of Hanks just seems at odds with everything. A good example is in the directing duo's frequent use of repetition in their scripts; like "We're not a bank, Jerry" from Fargo, and "Not counting the mezzanine" from The Hudsucker Proxy; phrases that don't accrue any humour unless they're repeated with comedic timing that only the Coens could manage. In The Ladykillers, Hanks attempts to deliver "This is most irregular" several times throughout the course of a conversation, but it never feels like he's saying it at the right moment.

Matt is a writer and musician living in Boston. Read his film reviews at