Hail, Caesar!

Out Now On-Demand

Lights, camera, abduction.

Coen brothers' comedy following a Hollywood "fixer" (Josh Brolin) in 1950s Los Angeles trying to track down a star (George Clooney) who has vanished during the filming of a Roman epic. All-star cast also includes Scarlett Johansson, Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton and Tilda Swinton (no, that's not a mistake - she plays dual roles).

The Coen Brothers are, hands down, among the greatest film directors working today. Which has two effects. Firstly, nobody's liable to knock their work when it's not quite up to snuff. Secondly, they need to be held to higher standards than their peers.

Their latest, a 1950s-set Hollywood satire, tries so hard to be all-singing and all-dancing that, often, you can only see the effort. In Inside Llewyn Davis, on paper the most irritating of all their films, it barely looked like they were trying at all. The results were wonderful.

Josh Brolin plays Eddie Mannix, a studio fixer who, incidentally, would make a great film noir character. Baird Whitlock (George Clooney), the lead actor in the eponymous epic, has been kidnapped and Mannix's attempts to find him allow the Coens to hopscotch across the backlot, taking in amusing snippets from movies of all stripes. Among the highlights are a Gene Kelly-style musical, in which Channing Tatum sings a show-stopping (and telling) "No Dames"; Ralph Fiennes' pretentious melodrama which finds itself saddled with a singing cowboy (Alden Ehrenreich); and Scarlett Johannson as a mermaid-tailed showgirl who talks like a New York cabbie.

Away from set, however, the film feels more laboured than labour of love. There's no propulsion, no jeopardy and not enough laughs. Even in a frothy comedy, there's only so much whimsy you can take before you yearn for something more substantial. The irony is that the Coens' best work offers both.

Los Angeles Times

press

A hipster mash note to the way things used to be, it will put a smile on your face and keep it there for the duration.

New York Times

press

If this were anyone other than the Coens you might think that success and a couple of Oscars had mellowed them. Not likely. "Hail, Caesar!" is one of those diversions that they turn out in between masterworks and duds.

Empire (UK)

press

Likely to fry the mind of anyone who hasn't yet built up a resistance to the brothers' foibles and predilections over the past 16 films, it's easily the most Coen-y Coen movie they've put out. But then, they are stealing from the best.

Washington Post

press

It's difficult to remember a recent movie so tartly on-point in skewering a power-driven industry obsessed with such seemingly meaningless ephemera as screen-credit and commissary pecking orders.

Hollywood Reporter

press

Interesting for insiders, but in their first order of business, that of making a rousing comedy about the Hollywood of 65 years ago, they've fallen rather short.

Total Film (UK)

press

A love letter inked in arsenic, at once celebrating the artistry of Hollywood and cringing at the crass commercialism and rampant phoniness of it all.

Guardian (UK)

press

A lot of fun, and beautifully crafted, too. One to savour.

Variety (USA)

press

An inside-showbiz lark that regards the 1950s studio system with the utmost skepticism even as it becomes an expression of movie love at its purest.

Time Out New York

press

Weds the backstage Hollywood shenanigans of Barton Fink to a more manic pace. It doesn't seem new for them, yet as super polished, mannered, slightly surreal comedies go, the movie feels as rare as a unicorn.

Chicago Sun-Times (Richard Roeper)

press

This is one of my favorite movies ever made about making movies.

FilmInk (Australia)

press

Charm goes a long way, but in terms of the Coens' overall oeuvre, Hail, Caesar! is endearing but inessential viewing.

Worth a look

Expectations were high heading into this movie given the talent behind it. Solid but not spectacular.


Not Even Worth a Shout

If you have seen the trailer and if you know anything about the communist witch hunt that swept through Hollywood then you have effectively seen this film. With a simple plot and needless characters (what is the point of Johansson's character?) this is one to miss.

HarvAu

HarvAu

user


Coen Brothers Clever Again... Perhaps Too Clever (spoilers)

The film is busy. it very busy in being clever. writers are communists, a tap dancer is a soviet spy.

There are a lot of ideas in this film, hitting a film star equates to murder, messing up their beautiful face is a cardinal sin. conspiracies play a part, propaganda is a key element. what is news and what is just fluff, and do the journalist actually know the difference? do they care about the difference?

above all though, the dialogue is clever, the characters are compelling, and it is funny.


I presume Caesar is Hollywood???

Hence the title and the goings on that surrounded the actors, especially if they were presumed to be Red supporters. Tatum Channing doing a brilliant song and dance routine and finally sinks beneath the sea (just like moneybags) in a submarine. Gosh I thought all the actors and actresses played their role to the hilt, from Josh Brolin right down to the guy who played the cowboy, I thought his role was one of the standout performances. It did remind me a bit of Trumbo.


It's entertaining (some)

The three stars are for the those entertaining and funny bits to this movie.


Go'Head and see this

Okay, it is a poor musical pun on my part; but that doesn't stop the movie from being well worth seeing. Loved Tilda Switon. Loved Michael Gambon's voice. Loved Ralph Fines. Oh, they were all good. It may not be on the top 10 list for the year, but it is on the must see list for the year.


Coen brothers' are back!

It's packed full of fantastic actors, great storyline and witty and sardonic at it's base. A very entertaining film from start to finish.


May well become a cult classic.

For those people who say this is not a great Coen flick I might argue that this one may need to sit with you a while. The vignettes were superb. Each major player got equal screen time and every character was well developed. The story may have seemed disjointed but for anyone who knows the Eddie Cantor/ Goldwyn girls movies from the golden age this was a thoughtful presentation of the possible backstories beyond the bright lights.Very funny in places and always pleasing to look at, this one could be a sleeper so go and see it and make your own mind up. It worked for me!


false

The trailer didn't promise much but the movie was actually very entertaining. It is worth going to see and a was good laugh. 1 hr 45 running time was good, not too short and not too long.


About as Coen as you can get

And I mean that headline in the best way possible. This movie is full of clever dialogue, fun and you don't really know what is going on until a good third of the way into it. I loved every minute of it though. It's not nearly as gripping as No Country For Old Men or as delightful as O Brother Where Art Thou but, man, you can't help but love Baird Whitlock's (George Clooney) face when things suddenly dawn on him.