The Coen Brothers have established themselves as movie-making royalty over the last few decades with some of the most memorable and meticulously put together films of any generation. Writer/Director/Producers Joel and Ethan Coen have built their reputation to near superhuman levels by writing and producing truly original films that carry a distinct Coen style that just can’t be replicated by anyone.
The Coen’s once famously assured Peter Stormare, upon questioning a line in one of their scripts, that there ‘were no typo’s in their scripts’. It is this kind of stead-fast confidence in your work that comes with being an absolute master of your craft- which, if you could say that about anyone, Joel and Ethan Coen would most assuredly be.
Over the years they have effortlessly floated genre to genre, creating critically acclaimed gold wherever they have ventured. With such undeniable talent oozing through each of their films, surely attempting to rank them would be a fools task. Absolutely it is. And here we go...
18. The Ladykillers
A remake of a classic 1950’s black comedy of the same name, The Ladykillers is a sad mis-step in the unbelievably stellar career of Joel and Ethan Coen. Credit must go to the Coens for working their own style into a newly vamped script, but regrettably the sort of jokes and wit with which the Coens built their reputation with just seem absent here.
Tom Hanks does a decent job with his charming southern professor lead and some moments are quite enjoyable, but overall the film just fails to deliver the quality and cleverness the Coen name has become synonymous with. There is little subtlety to the humour throughout, it delves into a sadly slapstick comedy that is beneath writers of Joel and Ethan’s talents.
Admirable attempts were made to try to modernise the classic tale and the film is not without its likeable qualities but, for the most part, it simply does not work. The Coen Brothers’ Ladykillers is quite simply a very mediocre and needless remake of a classic.