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Favorite Coen Brothers movies

  • Jul 21, 2010
Irreverant and offbeat, all of them different in their own way and almost always enganging, the Coen Brothers, Joel and Ethan have made some great movies. Heres a list of some of my favorite movies of theirs. IN ORDER
Fargo (1996)
The first movie of theirs I saw, and it hooked me from the opening moment. A bankrupt car salesman needs quick cash to get out of debt and hires two goons to kidnap his wife and have his father in law pay up a ransom that he'll split with the kidnappers. Needless to say NOTHING goes right and the police get involved. Dark comedy and drama and even all it's minor points and scenes that you don't think are important but are. Awesome. My favorite movie.
See the full review, "FARGO: Come see our stupid criminals, bloody woodchippers and Babe the Blue Ox, Oh JA!".
No Country for Old Men
It took many years but the Coens finally picked up a best picture for this movie adapted from Cormac McCarthy's crapsack tale of a West Texas welder who finds 2 million in drug money but quickly finds it's owners and a psychopathisc bounty hunter on his tale for the money and his life. Suspenseful and chilling made even better by NO MUSIC. Javier Bardem deservedly walked away with best supporting actor as Anton Chigurgh who now has made a new classic screen villain for all time.
See the full review, "The times they are a chang'in".
Serious Man
The most down to Earth and SERIOUS of the Coen's movies with it's protagonist, a nice guy college professor having the proverbial book of Job thrown at him as his life comes apart. For a movie where you watch our hero suffer, it's very entertaining and you really pull for him to succeed. Proof that the Coen's can make a "real" movie.
See the full review, "When Charlie Brown met Job".
Miller's Crossing
The Coen's take on gangster movies with this sometimes pretentious but wonderful movie about a clear thinking gangster named Tom who ends up on one side and then the other of a turf war between Irish and Italian mobs in the thirties. A little talky, can be hard to follow but has some great scenes and a great cast. What you retain in the complex plot will stick with you and make you want to watch it again.
See the full review, ""Oh Danny boy, the tommy guns are calling!"".
Blood Simple (1985)
The Coen's first film and it's minimalist effort is seen by some as they're best. A seedy bar owner hires a dirtbag PI to watch over his wife and suspected lover. What follows is some double crosses and threads that can't stay buttoned down no matter how hard people try. Years later the Coens returned to Texas for No Country For Old Men with better results.
See the full review, ""Watch your step. This place can be a little rough."".
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Maybe not the Coens best but it's one of they're most entertaining movies in this modern telling of "The Odyssey" with George Clooney as Homer and how he and his friends find sirens, battle a cyclops, become musical stars and more. The landscapes, the "old tymey" music, the characters. All very memorable.
See the full review, "Out on the Big Rock Candy Mountain, George Clooney met Homer.".
The Big Lebowski
In some eyes, the most popular of the Coens movies about a stoner slacker, his weird friends, a strange landscape and a plot that ultimately is only for show. Lots of great one liners and jokes but even though it's a comedy, it's better as light entertainment due to a lack of laugh out loud jokes.
See the full review, "We're going on a safari, through the murky smog and urban jungle of LA to view the strange specimens".
Burn After Reading (2008)
Without a doubt the Coens most divided movie other then Barton Fink where all sorts of nonsense is going on between two married couples, and a pair of gym employees over an object of questionable value. Keeps on going and like many Coen movies, a lot of the interest is on the characters which this movie is in no short supply of.
See the full review, "Exterminate all Irrational Goings on.".

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July 22, 2010
somehow I knew this was coming....nice fabulous list!
July 21, 2010
I haven't had a chance to see "A Serious Man" yet.  Actually I haven't heard much about it.  I suppose I'll have to check it out. In terms of drama, I think No Country For Old Men tops my list.  For comedies?  I actually lean more toward Raising Arizona, although The Big Lebowski comes close too.
July 21, 2010
A Serious Man is GREAT and I BARELY heard anything about it when it came out last fall. I havent' watched some of the Coen's movies in a while and there are some I still need to see. Another list will come in the future. Thank you for reading.
About the list creator
John Nelson ()
Ranked #5
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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