Like pizza, even when the Coen Brothers are bad, they’re pretty good.
The less essential titles in their filmography–your Burn After Readings and Intolerable Crueltys–are nonetheless enjoyable and diverting entertainment, and when Joel and Ethan are on, they make movies that their fans will watch every Sunday afternoon for an entire year. It’s hard to judge a movie from a trailer, but the Bros’ forthcoming feature, Hail, Caesar!, looks more like a Big Lebowski than it does a Ladykillers.
At any rate, it’s a pseudo-noir comedy with one of the most impressive casts the Coens have ever assembled. The plot centers around a missing movie star during Hollywood’s golden age, who’s been kidnapped by a group calling itself The Future, and what appears to be some downright convoluted attempts to get him back. Coen Brothers regulars like George Clooney, Frances McDormand, and Josh Brolin headline the project, along with with newcomers like Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, and Ralph Fiennes. (Scarlett Johansson also makes her first appearance in a Coen Brothers film since she was a teenager.) You know a movie is doing something right when Channing Tatum is its ninth lead, at any rate, and those who like their Coen Brothers films best when they’re mashing up weirdo-noir and bizarre choreographed dance sequences (The Big Lebowski), Hollywood parody (Barton Fink), period pastiche (The Hudsucker Proxy), and clueless Clooney (O Brother, Where Art Thou?) should have an awful lot to look forward to with this one.