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12.06.2013by: Alex Maidy

Top 10 Best Coen Brothers Movies (Video Edition)

Joel and Ethan Coen's latest film, INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, is looking to be yet another winning combination of comedy and drama from the award-winning sibling directors. Over a thirty year career that shows no signs of slowing, the Coens have given us multiple lasting cinematic memories that both make us laugh and scared shitless. Of the sixteen movies they have made together there are ten that clearly stand above the rest. So, here is the ranking of the top ten best Coen Brothers movies. If your favorite didn't make the cut, add it to the Talk Back below.

#10 - THE HUDSUCKER PROXY

An under-appreciated screwball comedy from 1994, THE HUDSUCKER PROXY is what I would categorize in the wacky category of Coen Brothers movies. The surreal period film was a bomb upon it's release but is memorable for being a collaboration between the Coens and Sam Raimi, who also served as second unit director. THE HUDSUCKER PROXY shares a lot in common with the films of Terry Gilliam and remains one of the most underseen of all the Coen Brothers films.

#9 - BLOOD SIMPLE

The debut from the Coens is a noir film of the highest order. Featuring all of their signature camera styles and witty writing, BLOOD SIMPLE is frighteningly funny in places but remains as close to a horror movie as the Coens have made. The DVD of the film is especially cool as it has "fake" bonus features with actors portraying film experts discussing the movie. The Director's Cut is also unique in that it is actually shorter than the theatrical version since the Coens decided to tighten the editing of the film.

#8 - BARTON FINK

The Coens made their most Hitchcockian film in BARTON FINK which was actually the product of writing issues during the creation of MILLER'S CROSSING. This movie is quite possibly the Coens' deepest film with numerous allusions and references to film, writing, and more. A very Kafka-esque comedy involving John Turturro's title character and a serial killer, BARTON FINK is a movie that many have heard of but not as many have seen. Definitely a must watch if you have never seen it.

#7 - MILLER'S CROSSING

For their third film, the Coens abandoned comedy entirely and embraced the gangster genre, turning in what remains one of the best crime films of all time. Gabriel Byrne is exceptional in this movie while John Turturro plays a character very different from his turn in BARTON FINK. MILLER'S CROSSING serves as proof yet again that there are few filmmakers out there as in touch with the noir genre than the Coens.

#6 - NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN

Many argue that NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN is overrated, but I disagree. Harkening back to their noir days, the Coen Brothers embraced the masterpiece that was Cormac McCarthy's novel and brought to life one of the most terrifying villains in the history of the movies. While the screenplay is almost identical to the novel, the Coens are responsible for the gorgeous way the movie is filmed and personifying Anton Chigurh. Definitely worthy of Best Picture.

#5 - RAISING ARIZONA

For their second movie, the Coens kept elements of the noir genre but created one of the funniest movies ever made. Nicolas Cage and Holly Hunter and amazing in this comedy of errors that also marks the Coens' first collaboration with John Goodman. I defy you not to laugh your ass off during this movie.

#4 - FARGO

After the box office failure of THE HUDSUCKER PROXY, the Coens rebounded with their critically acclaimed FARGO. Another mix of comedy and noir, FARGO put Frances McDormand (Joel Coen's wife) and William H. Macy on the map. Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare steal the show as the criminals hired to kill Macy's wife, but it is the Minnesota accents and surreal setting of FARGO that makes it so memorable. Donchaknow, yah!

#3 - TRUE GRIT

The most recent Coen Brothers film is also another critical darling. Nominated for countless awards it manages to not only respect the original John Wayne version of the Charles Portis novel but also improves on it. Great turns from Barry Pepper, Josh Brolin, and Matt Damon compliment the Coens' reunion with Jeff Bridges, but it is the debut of Hailee Steinfeld that steals the show. A western of the highest caliber, TRUE GRIT also proves you cannot give the Coens a genre they cannot master.

#2 - THE BIG LEBOWSKI

Probably the single most quotable movie of the last thirty years, THE BIG LEBOWSKI has gone beyond being a movie and has become a cult. Fans gather annually for Lebowski Fest to celebrate this great movie. Part western, part noir, and all hilarious, THE BIG LEBOWSKI is unlike any other movie and that is what makes it so damn great. Every role, including Tara Reid, is played to perfection and there is no way you leave this movie without a smile on your face. In the Coen Brothers career, it is THE BIG LEBOWSKI that really ties the room together.

#1 - O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?

The Coens set the challenge for themselves to adapt Homerís Odyssey and turned it into a musical extravaganza set in the late 1930s. It also marked George Clooney's break from expected leading man roles and showed the true range of talent he possessed. Bringing back Coen greats like John Turturro, Holly Hunter, Charles Durning, and John Goodman, O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? is an amazing movie that has to be seen. The soundtrack remains one of the best ever assembled and this movie will remain atop the Coen Brothers filmography for years to come.

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-1
3:23PM on 12/08/2013
Just watched Barton Fink again a few months back and it's incredible.

5. Millers crossing
4. Hudsucker
3. No country
2. Barton Fink
1. The Big L

My list
Just watched Barton Fink again a few months back and it's incredible.

5. Millers crossing
4. Hudsucker
3. No country
2. Barton Fink
1. The Big L

My list
Your Reply:



10:18AM on 12/08/2013
In my opinion Fargo is far and away their best film, and O Brother doesn't even belong on a list of their best movies. That said, this is a great list with some good choices.
In my opinion Fargo is far and away their best film, and O Brother doesn't even belong on a list of their best movies. That said, this is a great list with some good choices.
Your Reply:



6:48AM on 12/08/2013
my best friend's mother makes $89/hour on the internet. She has been unemployed for five months but last month her pay was $18036 just working on the internet for a few hours. hop over to this site... www.Buzz19.com
my best friend's mother makes $89/hour on the internet. She has been unemployed for five months but last month her pay was $18036 just working on the internet for a few hours. hop over to this site... www.Buzz19.com
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-1
3:39PM on 12/07/2013

#1 SHOULD BE "BURN AFTER READING".

-B.S.: It has all the Coens' elements except fleshed-out characters. They're ONLY used to move the plot. 6/10.
-ARIZONA: Sorry, but I didn't think it was THAT funny. And the last part shocked me but didn't wowed me like other Coen surreal scenes. 6/10.
-FINK: 9/10.
-FARGO: 10/10.
-LEBOWSKI: 8/10.
-THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE: 9/10.
-N.C.F.O.M.: 9/10.
-B.A.R.: It may have looked redudant after watching so many comedies of errors made by them, but I felt this one was unique in its story,
-B.S.: It has all the Coens' elements except fleshed-out characters. They're ONLY used to move the plot. 6/10.
-ARIZONA: Sorry, but I didn't think it was THAT funny. And the last part shocked me but didn't wowed me like other Coen surreal scenes. 6/10.
-FINK: 9/10.
-FARGO: 10/10.
-LEBOWSKI: 8/10.
-THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE: 9/10.
-N.C.F.O.M.: 9/10.
-B.A.R.: It may have looked redudant after watching so many comedies of errors made by them, but I felt this one was unique in its story, characters and twists. The ending is one of my favorites of all time. 10/10.
- A SERIOUS MAN: 8/10.
-TRUE GRIT: 9/10.

I haven't watched MILLER and PROXY, and I have to re-watch the others.
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+2
2:40AM on 12/07/2013

fargo is a coen masterpiece

it should be number 1
it should be number 1
Your Reply:



7:02PM on 12/06/2013
The Hudsucker Proxy isn't a bad movie, but it joins Intolerable Cruelty and The Ladykillers as my three least-favorite Coen movies. I might would consider The Man Who Wasn't There or A Serious Man as my #10. I don't know how the rest would be ranked, but Fargo, Raising Arizona, and O Brother, Where Art Thou are probably at the top for me. No Country for Old Men would be my #4, and the rest I can sort out once I see Inside Llewyn Davis.
The Hudsucker Proxy isn't a bad movie, but it joins Intolerable Cruelty and The Ladykillers as my three least-favorite Coen movies. I might would consider The Man Who Wasn't There or A Serious Man as my #10. I don't know how the rest would be ranked, but Fargo, Raising Arizona, and O Brother, Where Art Thou are probably at the top for me. No Country for Old Men would be my #4, and the rest I can sort out once I see Inside Llewyn Davis.
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10:48PM on 12/06/2013
I actually liked Intolerable Cruelty. It's basically a "Coenized" version of the romantic comedy genre, combining classics (George Clooney plays a Cary Grant type leading man) with present day. What I love is how it always follows a sweet moment with a dark twist. Those twists do get excessive, but I find it hilarious (loved the whole speech about a burglar breaking in, becoming despondent of his actions, and then killing himself), and George Clooney has excellent chemistry with Catherine
I actually liked Intolerable Cruelty. It's basically a "Coenized" version of the romantic comedy genre, combining classics (George Clooney plays a Cary Grant type leading man) with present day. What I love is how it always follows a sweet moment with a dark twist. Those twists do get excessive, but I find it hilarious (loved the whole speech about a burglar breaking in, becoming despondent of his actions, and then killing himself), and George Clooney has excellent chemistry with Catherine Zeta-Jones. The Coens take romcom norms and subvert them. I find that entertaining.

The Ladykillers, though, could have been better. I don't hate it, but I recognize it's faults.
6:55PM on 12/06/2013
While I do think this one is a tad overrated, as a fan of the old detective novelists like Raymond Chandler I gotta give this one props for completely subverting that particular sub-genre with the opposite of a hard-boiled detective in The Dude.
While I do think this one is a tad overrated, as a fan of the old detective novelists like Raymond Chandler I gotta give this one props for completely subverting that particular sub-genre with the opposite of a hard-boiled detective in The Dude.
Your Reply:



-2
5:14PM on 12/06/2013
Great characters, no story.
Great characters, no story.
Your Reply:



10:39PM on 12/06/2013
There is a story, but it is admittedly a very loose one. This is basically a long, profanity filled Seinfeld episode, a movie about nothing, but what's wrong with that? The dude abides.
There is a story, but it is admittedly a very loose one. This is basically a long, profanity filled Seinfeld episode, a movie about nothing, but what's wrong with that? The dude abides.
-1
5:06PM on 12/06/2013
Fantastic movie until the last 10-15 minutes. Such a letdown.
Fantastic movie until the last 10-15 minutes. Such a letdown.
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10:31PM on 12/06/2013
The ending is consistent with the message and original intent of the novel. It makes sense when put in context of the title. This movie is not about a showdown between good and evil, with good conquering in the end. Rather, this story shows the reality of modern crime defeating old-world values. Tommy Lee Jones' speech at the end was describing an ideal vision of the past that was lost as he wakes to the real world. Chigurh lives because he embodies the state of evil within our current
The ending is consistent with the message and original intent of the novel. It makes sense when put in context of the title. This movie is not about a showdown between good and evil, with good conquering in the end. Rather, this story shows the reality of modern crime defeating old-world values. Tommy Lee Jones' speech at the end was describing an ideal vision of the past that was lost as he wakes to the real world. Chigurh lives because he embodies the state of evil within our current society, and Ed Tom Bell surrenders to defeat, knowing the old world he knows and represents is gone. This country is not for old men like him.
3:45PM on 12/06/2013

Good list, but...

I think I would have switched "O Brother" and "The Big Lebowski." Both excellent, but the latter wins by a nose, imho
I think I would have switched "O Brother" and "The Big Lebowski." Both excellent, but the latter wins by a nose, imho
Your Reply:



+2
2:57PM on 12/06/2013

Woah, I totally agree with the films including

But definitely not the order. The Big Lebowski is a wonderful very, fun movie and Raising Arizona and True Grit are my two favorite Coen films, but No Country should be above all of them. In terms of objective quality it should be very, very near the top.
But definitely not the order. The Big Lebowski is a wonderful very, fun movie and Raising Arizona and True Grit are my two favorite Coen films, but No Country should be above all of them. In terms of objective quality it should be very, very near the top.
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12:24PM on 12/06/2013
love it watched it more then any other coen brothers movie beyond quotable
love it watched it more then any other coen brothers movie beyond quotable
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12:22PM on 12/06/2013
such a great movie love the coen brothers
such a great movie love the coen brothers
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12:21PM on 12/06/2013
son you got a pantie on your head
son you got a pantie on your head
Your Reply:



10:35PM on 12/06/2013
Okay then.
Okay then.
9:58AM on 12/06/2013
Amazing Scene.
Amazing Scene.
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10:34PM on 12/06/2013
In school, we had to do ADR for a scene, and I chose this one. After a while of repeating the same words, I had most of the scene memorized.
In school, we had to do ADR for a scene, and I chose this one. After a while of repeating the same words, I had most of the scene memorized.
9:43AM on 12/06/2013
What the heck. Mr. Mussburger is such a nice man, I give him double stitch anyway. That's some strong stitch, you bet.
What the heck. Mr. Mussburger is such a nice man, I give him double stitch anyway. That's some strong stitch, you bet.
Your Reply:



+1
9:40AM on 12/06/2013
"I'm votin' for yours truly!"
"I'm votin' for yours truly!"
Your Reply:



9:38AM on 12/06/2013
This is my favorite film of theirs. I think it's hilarious in a subtle way, and the ending always gets me!
This is my favorite film of theirs. I think it's hilarious in a subtle way, and the ending always gets me!
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