How has the latest film from MN's Coen Brothers gone down with critics?


The latest effort from Minnesota's own Coen Brothers hits movie theaters this weekend – and the reviews are good.

"Hail, Caesar!" features an all-star cast including George Clooney, Channing Tatum, Scarlett Johansson, Josh Brolin and Ralph Fiennes, and is set in 1951 Hollywood, towards the end of the film industry's "golden age."

It sees Brolin play "Eddie Mannix," described by the BBC as a "roving problem solver" for the Hollywood studio system, ensuring the capricious stars are kept happy and in line.

It's the first feature from St. Louis Park natives Joel and Ethan Coen since 2013's critically-acclaimed Inside Llewyn Davis, and their new offering has been received well among critics.

The Wall Street Journal has rounded up some of the reviews, with the overriding theme of the reviews being it's not one of the Coens' weightiest movies, but it's among their more fun.

Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly called it "Coen lite," but it's still filled with their "best signatures: cracked humor, indelible characters, and cinematography so rich and saturated you want to dunk a cookie in it."

The Washington Post has it in 8th position on its ranking of the Coens' 17 feature films, saying it's a "funny, often ravishingly beautiful, zany Hollywood satire," though it courted some controversy by placing cult favorite "The Big Lebowski" down in 13th.

Acclaim isn't universal though. The film has a 78 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the Star Tribune's Colin Covert among those not impressed, describing it as a "dud."

He writes that the movie is "overcooked," with several scenes overseeing their welcome. He adds: "Rather than adding up to an interwoven story line, it’s a long, rambling shaggy-dog story. I know there is a dog in it, anyway. What they intended this confusing tale to be overall, I have no idea."

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