Top 10 Coen Brothers Movies

Script written by Niki Neptune. These filmmaking siblings are a creative force to be reckoned with. In this video, WatchMojo.com counts down our picks for the top 10 Coen brothers movies. For this list, we’re taking a look at the best and most critically acclaimed films to come from these directing dynamos. With a distinctive cinematic style ranging from the quirky to the compelling, the Coen brothers have provided us with some true gems over the years. Special thanks to our users JakeMaringoni, Nicholas Zarach, Jaime Enrique Gutierrez Pérez, Andrew A. Dennison, Allison Kraus, MichaelPercy Jackson, Luis E. Diaz Scott, Rengle, Cook75, Mohammed Al-hooti, popdude, slackerman, tom dray1, Al Bebak, Nana Amuah and jgiz43 for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
Credits
Tags
Comments

You must login to access this feature

Transcript
Script written by Niki Neptune.

Top 10 Coen Brothers Movies


These filmmaking siblings are a creative force to be reckoned with. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 Coen brothers movies.

For this list, we’re taking a look at the best and most critically acclaimed films to come from these directing dynamos. With a distinctive cinematic style ranging from the quirky to the compelling, the Coen brothers have provided us with some true gems over the years.

#10: “Raising Arizona” (1987)

One of the Coens’ earlier films, “Raising Arizona” helped establish the brothers’ persistent elements and unique sense of humor. A young ex-con and his police officer wife are so desperate for a child that they see kidnapping as their only solution. After nabbing one of the quintuplets belonging to a prominent local businessman, the couple is plagued by a persistent bounty hunter, shady friends, and their own sense of right and wrong. A cult favorite thanks to its quirky humor and over-the-top performances, it makes kidnapping funny.

#9: “Blood Simple” (1984)

The brothers came out of the gate swinging with their first film together. With a penchant for noir, this gritty story tells the tale of a jilted lover, murder and a double-cross. Made on a tight budget, the film is still able to set the blueprint for the Coens’ distinctive visual style. Featuring Joel Coen’s wife Frances McDormand in her debut role, it was a quick favorite with critics and developed a faithful fan following thanks to its startling violence and comedy.

#8: “Inside Llewyn Davis” (2013)

This film gives us a glimpse into the life of a down-on-his-luck folk singer as he struggles to gain footing in the 1960s’ music industry. Technically homeless and somewhat aimless, he’s an artist who refuses to compromise his integrity, sometimes to his own detriment. As one of the Coen brothers’ most contemporary offerings, it’s both comical and gloomy. But its intelligence and emotive vibe are proof of the Coens’ continued evolution and skill. Plus, there’s an adorable cat.

#7: “Barton Fink” (1991)

With three Oscar nods and three awards won at the Cannes Film Festival, “Barton Fink” was a critical smash for the Coen brothers – although not a commercial one. A successful playwright is given the opportunity to become a Hollywood scriptwriter. After setting up shop in a low-key Los Angeles hotel, he soon finds that writer’s block is going to be one of many obstacles. With romance, serial killers, and a looming deadline thrown into the mix, the film takes multiple twists and turns.

#6: “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” (2000)

It’s a nod towards Homer’s “Odyssey,” complete with singing sirens and a pinch more Klan. The Ulysses in this story escapes from a chain gang, along with his two convict buddies, and the trio then sets out under the pretense of finding a treasure. Along the way, they encounter a number of characters, including a devilish sheriff and some crooked politicians. The epic tale receives the typical and typically quirky Coen brothers’ treatment, helped along by a stunning folk soundtrack.

#5: “Miller’s Crossing” (1990)

It’s a gangster movie done the Coen way, which means an intricate plot, some majorly cool cinematography, and moments of unexpected levity. The story centers on two rival factions stuck in a battle for control of a city. The main character, Tom Reagan, plays both sides against each other in a bid to not only survive the fray, but to come out on top. Harkening back to films noir and gangster films of yore, it’s film that cinema enthusiasts are bound to appreciate.

#4: “True Grit” (2010)

It’s a revenge tale with the Coen brothers at the helm, and one of their first straightforward experiments with genre. A remake of the 1969 classic, the story centers on a teen girl looking to avenge her father’s death. She enlists the aid of a hard scrabble U.S. Marshal named Rooster Cogburn, and the two set out after he father’s killer. Widely praised by critics, the Coens’ “True Grit” remake garnered 10 Academy Award nominations – even though it’s a straight-up western without their trademark quirky style.

#3: “The Big Lebowski” (1998)

It’s a comical story of mistaken identity, kidnapping, and bowling. After slacker Jeff Lebowski, otherwise known as “the Dude,” gets mistaken for a millionaire of the same name, he gets tangled up in a web of ransoms, trophy wives, and deceit. Slightly campier than some of their other projects, “Lebowksi” delivers genuine laughs with a side of whodunit, and has developed a pretty substantial cult following thanks to its characteristically eccentric Coen brothers plot and characters.

#2: “Fargo” (1996)

A pregnant police chief, played by Frances McDormand, is investigating the deaths of two motorists when she stumbles across a kidnapping scheme-gone-wrong. Turns out the events surrounding the homicide were set in motion by a desperate family man who plots to have his wife kidnapped for the ransom. Set in Minnesota, the film satirizes small-town life, but also offers up brutal violence that would only be acceptable between moments of humor. Darkly funny and brilliantly written, “Fargo” was a critical darling with multiple Academy Award nominations.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “The Man Who Wasn’t There” (2001)
- “A Serious Man” (2009)
- “Burn After Reading” (2008)
- “The Hudsucker Proxy” (1994)

And we have one dishonorable mention as well:
- “The Ladykillers” (2004)

#1: “No Country for Old Men” (2007)

Set in West Texas and based on the Cormac McCarthy novel, the story follows a hunter who happens upon a fortune in drug money and runs for his life with the cash. But he’s pursued by one of the scariest hit men captured on film, portrayed expertly by Javier Bardem. Praised by both critics and audiences, “No Country for Old Men” went on to win four Oscars, probably because it surpasses its status as a cat-and-mouse chase to become a fascinating character study.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite Coen brothers’ film? For more entertaining Top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
Download

You must register to a corporate account to download. Please login

Related Videos

+ see more

More Top 10