The Guardian tells me Hail, Caesar! is the Coen brothers’ “biggest bomb since Intolerable Cruelty” 13 years ago. CinemaScore, which polls opening night moviegoers and translates their reactions into letter grades, gave Hail, Caesar! a C-. Dirty Grandpa
Kung Fu Panda 3 once again led the box office this weekend, but like its lower-than-expected opening weekend, it’s not as impressive as anyone was hoping or expecting. DreamWorks Animation’s sequel managed to fend off a trio of newcomers, but each of those films disappointed in their own ways, leading to a shrug-worthy top 10 that feels like Hollywood just accepting that everyone is going to be watching the Super Bowl instead of going to the movies.
In Hail, Caesar!, the new comedy from Joel and Ethan Coen, Alden Ehrenreich accomplishes a seemingly impossible task: He steals a movie from a cast that includes Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Ralph Fiennes, Frances McDormand, Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, and two Tilda Swintons. (She plays twins.) Amidst that incredible array of talent, it’s Ehrenreich who emerges as the film’s breakout star, and shares (with Fiennes) its funniest scene, in which a Hollywood director (Fiennes) desperately tries to coax a believable Mid-Atlantic accent out of Ehrenreich’s dopey cowboy, Hobie Doyle. This extended riff, which was already heavily featured in the Hail, Caesar! trailer, is an instant classic from the Coen brothers, and will almost certainly go down in history as one of the best scenes of their entire career.
Brolin reunited with the Coens for their remake of True Grit, and now they’re back together again for Hail, Caesar! a hilarious comedy about 1950s Hollywood. Brolin plays Eddie Mannix, an executive at Capitol Pictures, a major studio with several major problems that need fixing. Chief among them: Capitol’s biggest star, Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) has been kidnapped, and a mysterious group known as “The Future” wants $100,000 for his safe return.
This is a good week. Not because tomorrow is Thank a Mailman Day (Thank you, mailmen!) and not because Saturday is Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day (Thanks, whoever thought of this extremely unhealthy idea!). No, this is a good week because there’s a new Coen brothers movie. It’s called Hail, Caesar! and it finds the Coens working in full-on comedy mode, telling the story of a single day at a ’50s Hollywood studio named Capitol Pictures, where a drunken movie star (George Clooney) gets kidnapped and the company fixer (Josh Brolin) has to figure out how to get him back. You can read my full review here, but here’s the tl;dr version: It’s funny and awesome.
Over the course of their 30-year careers, the Coen brothers have made a lot of different kinds of movies; madcap comedies, period dramas, detective mysteries, bouncy musicals, thrilling Westerns, and biting satires. Hail, Caesar! is the first time they’ve made all those different kinds of movies simultaneously. Though it has an overarching story — a movie star gets kidnapped in the middle of a major production — Hail, Caesar!’s Hollywood studio setting offers the Coens the opportunity for a series of delightful digressions. As its protagonist, studio boss Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin), wanders the Capitol Pictures backlot, the Coens’ wander through every imaginable style and genre from the American film industry’s Golden Age. Hail, Caesar! features so many different styles and genres, in fact, that it almost qualifies as an anthology film, one that finds the Coens at their most versatile and playful.
January is a pretty dead month for new releases, but February has a few exciting prospects, chief among them Joel and Ethan Coen’s Hail, Caesar! The filmmaking duo are back with their first film since Inside Llewyn Davis, and while it also boasts a musical element, these new clips prove that the Coens’ latest is more comedy than drama.
The first trailer for the Coen brothers’ ‘Hail, Caesar!’ was so fantastic that most of us already put it on our Best Movies of 2016 list. Dare I say the second trailer for the old Hollywood comedy is just as brilliant, if not better? Or perhaps the best trailer of 2016, or maybe, like, ever? Would that it were so simple...
It’s officially 2016. Our Best of 2015 lists have all been published and the new year is upon us, which means it’s time to start looking to the future. Yes, 2015 was a particularly good year for movie fans, but 2016 looks pretty impressive too. You like Coen Bros. movies? We got one of those. You like Star Wars? Yup, one of those too. Critically acclaimed horror movies? Sure. Pixar? Of course. Movies where your favorite superheroes beat the crap out of each other? WE GOT TWO OF THOSE. We put together a quick list of the 25 movies — a mix of both blockbusters and indies — that we can’t wait to see next year. This will probably change as the year goes on (our 2015 list included Jupiter Ascending, Aloha and Tomorrowland so we’re not perfect), but based on what we know right now, this is it. Here are the movies we’re looking forward to the most in 2016, in the order of release date (those with no release date are listed in alphabetical order).
With the increase in superhero films in recent years, you can practically measure time by each new comic book blockbuster — a superhero film (or two…or three…) for every season. But amid all of 2016's exciting super-offerings, let’s not forget a few of those other highly-anticipated, non-superhero movies, like the Coen brothers’ Hail, Caesar, the pair’s first new film since Inside Llewyn Davis…which already feels like a lifetime ago. Insert somber guitar strum.