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Ranked: The Films of the Coen Brothers

Total silence, two can play at that game, pal. Remember to always put one in the brain. What’s the most you ever lost on a coin toss? Being shown the life of the mind. Plonking the fish on the lighter will be a giveaway. You’re obviously not a golfer. It’s not his cat. Working your way up to the top from the mail room, to fall back down again. Wowsers what a filmography from Joel and Ethan. Here are the films, 17 features, ranked from, can we say worst, to the very best. Thanks all for voting, but some of you have some Coen brothers catching up to do.


17. The Ladykillers (2004)

Tom Hanks does not do his best Alec Guiness in the least successful remake, and least popular film outright, of the Coen brothers’ otherwise terrific filmography.


16. The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)

The eccentric story of the Hula Hoop craze, you know, for kids, with Tim Robbins going from no-man to kind of show-man in big business, and Jennifer Rosalind Jason Russell Leigh MVP.


15. Intolerable Cruelty (2003)

Commercial semi-success kind of comes when Joel and Ethan are not the only writers, though there is marriage, divorce, infidelity, potential murder, prenups, and that chemistry between Catherine and George.


14. The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001)

Embezzlement, murder, smoking, hair-cutting, dry-cleaning, with Billy Bob Thornton doing a sombre Fred McMurray as the siblings go black and white.


13. Burn After Reading (2008)

There’s lots to learn here amidst the scheming and the dancing, like don’t leave your important shit in the gym, and you’ve seen enough movies to know that hiding in the closet won’t end well.


12. Hail, Caesar! (2016)

The Coen brothers jump to the 1950s, returning to Capitol Pictures, accompanied by the Thacker twins, an actor kidnapped, an actress synchronised swimming, musical sailors, a whole host of eccentrics, for ancient Rome was not built in a day – would that it were so simple.


11. A Serious Man (2009)

In a world… where your wife wants to leave you for that guy, who rubs your face in it, or rather bangs your head on it, and you just want to see the rabi before you lose your religion.


10. Blood Simple (1984)

The Coen brothers’ debut sees husband hire private detective to spy on his wife and her lover, and in return breaks fingers, is kicked in the bollocks, then shot, and buried alive.


9. Miller’s Crossing (1990)

Look in your heart at the slick, black comic gangster flick, where Gabriel Byrne is socked a few too many times for his own good, and Albert Finney conquers home invasion in style.


8. Barton Fink (1991)

Playwright is lured by Hollywood, but as well as writer’s block to wrestle with, Mr Fink finds a dead woman in his bed, a madman as a friend, and the wallpaper keeps peeling off.


7. Raising Arizona (1987)

Police officer Holly Hunter wants a baby right now, luckily she has married the craziest crook around, that’s right, Nic Cage, who let the dogs out.


6. True Grit (2010)

Ah, the fairer remake, Joel and Ethan have the Dude get on his horse and drink his milk, perhaps the role he should have won the Oscar for, and that kid is fantastic – shame about the leg.


5. Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

Folk singer Oscar is fed up and hanging around, while Carey treats him like shit and runs off to marry Mumford, he is left with the neighbour’s cat to see where it takes him.


4. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

The Coens may well be men of constant sorrow in their compelling tales, here they team up with T Bone Burnett to run across the bluegrass and get those cons out of a tight spot.


3. The Big Lebowski (1998)

Mistaken identity down the bowling alley, near spillage of the White Russian, a world of pain, and wondering if Donny will ever shut the fuck up – can’t a dude just have a bath in peace, maan.


2. No Country for Old Men (2007)

Llewelyn tells Carla Jean he shall return, but wearing white socks every day is not going to stop the trouble that’s coming, probably it won’t, but they’ll do until the mess that Anton carries gets here.


1. Fargo (1996)

So, the car salesman in financial strife, hires two mismatched bandits to steal his wife, so that her grumpy pops can pay the ransom, surely nothing can go wrong – you betcha, yah.


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