In honor of the 10th anniversary of “No Country for Old Men” being yesterday, this week I’ll be counting down my favorite directing duo the Coen Brothers.
- Millers Crossing (1990) [Pic Above]
- The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001)
- Hail, Caesar! (2016)
10. Blood Simple (1984)
At number 10 is the debut film for the Coens. This low budget thriller, proved how much of a threat these brothers were. The film features multiple hitchcockian moments that built such tension & push you to the edge of your seat. This film also starts the great relationship between the Coens & Frances McDormand, McDormand would marry Joel Coen in 1984 and they are still together to this day.
9. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
Coming in at number 9 is the Coens adaption of Homer’s “Odyssey”. This film features a Golden Globe winning performance by George Clooney, which shocked some at the time, but is now highly praised. But the film is truly known for its great screenplay, but most of all its AMAZING cinematography by Roger Deakins. This film changed how movies are color graded forever and is very influential that way.
8. True Grit (2010)
One of the greatest remakes of all time “True Grit”, unleashes Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn. This film took a ballsy move in remaking a film that was already solid, but pulls through with a remake that surpasses the original. The film has better performances with great ones from Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Hailee Steinfeld & Josh Brolin. Something you can’t go without saying in most Coen Brothers films is the stunning Roger Deakins cinematography, which this film delivers in wholeheartedly.
7. A Serious Man (2009)
One of the best screenplays of the Coen’s career, “A Serious Man” is a very personal story for the Coens. The Oscar nominated screenplay takes you through the crumbling life of family man Larry Gopnik, played brilliantly by Michael Stuhlbarg. The story gets personal for the Coens through it taking place in a Jewish community in Minnesota. The film as well earned a best picture nomination, which was much deserved.
6. Raising Arizona (1987)
The film that introduced the quirkiness of the Coens, and introduced people to Nicholas Cage. This film is also up there very high in the best work of Cage’s career. The film also features some of the most interesting characters in all of the Coen’s career, with the likes of H.I. & Ed McDunnough.
5. Barton Fink (1991)
The first film for the Coens that got Oscar contention, with 3 nominations. The film once again features a brilliant screenplay as well as fantastic direction. The film features the best performances of both Michael Lerner & John Turturro careers. You can’t go without also mentioning the great performance by John Goodman, who is introduced as a warm & cuddly guy, who might have some hidden problems.
4. Fargo (1996)
The film that brought that finally gave the Coens Oscar gold. Once again the Coens deliver a fantastic screenplay, which gave them their first Oscar. The film creates some of there most dark, yet still comedic at points performances from Steve Buscemi & William H. Macy. You also can’t forget the Best Actress winning performance by Frances McDormand as Marge Gunderson.
3. The Big Lewbowski (1998)
The film the gave us “The Dude”, one of the most iconic characters in film history. This film is up there as one of the greatest comedies of all time. It features some of the most memorable characters of all time such as The Dude, played by Jeff Bridges, Walter, played by John Goodman or Brandt, played by Philp Seymour Hoffman. The film also gives us the great chemistry between John Goodman & Jeff Bridges, that produces some greatest back and forth banter ever seen.
2. Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
One of the most under looked Coen Brother films, “Inside Llewyn Davis” tells the story of an aspiring folk singer, Llewyn Davis. This film features one of my all time favorite performances in Oscar Isaac as Llewyn Davis. Llewyn is constantly under his luck and seems to never catch a break, Isaac plays that brilliantly making you believe him as Llewyn. You also can’t go without applauding Oscar Isaac for doing all the singing and pushing himself even deeper into the character.
1. No Country for Old Men (2007)
The film that gave the Coens both the Best Director Oscar as well as the Best Picture Oscar. This riveting film tells the story of a man who walks upon a drug deal gone wrong takes some money and is now being hunted for that money back. This film gives us one the greatest movie villains of all time in Anton Chigurh, played by Javier Bardem. Bardem steals every scene he’s in as well as giving one of the best scenes I’ve ever seen in the “Coin flip scene”, where he’s at his most menacing. Once again the film features stunning cinematography by the great Roger Deakins. The screenplay also showed the Coens are truly legendary writers that can give you an all time great comedy or an all time great crime-thriller.