On Jan. 14, Joel Coen‘s extremely acclaimed film-noir tackle Shakespeare‘s “Scottish Play,” The Tragedy of Macbeth, hits Apple TV+ after bowing in theaters on Christmas Day. As critics have already gushed, the brooding drama starring Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand is ethereal, exquisitely executed and masterfully carried out—a worthy, even excellent addition to the Coen canon, even because it marks the primary time that Joel Coen has directed a function with out his normal filmmaking companion, brother Ethan Coen.

The Oscar-winning siblings’ movies all the time try for excellence; they usually faculty different administrators of our time in technical wizardry, and discover distinctive leisure worth by clever humor, unforgettable characters—and, steadily, graphic violence.

To rejoice the release of probably Oscar contender The Tragedy of Macbeth, we’re rating the Coen Brothers’ total oeuvre worst to finest—or maybe extra exactly, from misfire to masterpiece. For this rating of movies from practically 4 full a long time and counting, we’re bearing in mind all photos’ general greatness, how properly they’ve aged, and contribution to pop culture.

Here’s our definitive rating of all Coen brothers films. Unless in any other case specified, all titles can be found to hire and buy throughout main platforms.

Coen Brothers films ranked

19. The Ladykillers (2004) 

(Buena Vista Pictures)

If the Coens have made one actively dangerous movement image, it’s most likely this misguided swing at black comedy. Based on an exponentially superior British movie of the identical identify, this over-the-top farce stars Tom Hanks as a Southern gent spearheading against the law plot from the house of a kindly god-fearing woman. The Ladykillers has one actually good, grounded efficiency from Irma P. Hall, and a few laughs courtesy of Tom Hanks and J.Ok. Simmons. Other than that, it’s a circus that’s simply tiring.

Related: 100+ Best Movies on Netflix Right Now 

18. Intolerable Cruelty (2003)

Universal Pictures

(Universal Pictures)

George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones are gazillion-watt film stars who deserve higher than this vanilla company romance that—to their credit score—they inherited from the studio. Here’s one in every of many occasions previously 20 years or so outstanding filmmakers have tried to modernize the basic screwball comedy palate and rhythms of Preston Sturges and Ernst Lubitsch… and it didn’t actually work. It most likely by no means will.

Certainly due to the A-list star salaries, this stays the Coens’ costliest manufacturing ever, with a reported $60 million finances.

Related: 20 Classic Romantic Comedies From Hollywood’s Golden Age That Hold Up 

17. The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)

Warner Bros./ Getty Images

(Warner Bros./ Getty Images)

Tim Robbins and the ever-resplendent Paul Newman shine in an Expressionistic interval comedy that step by step loses steam and lacks connective tissue. It’s trendy and sometimes humorous, however lacks the gritty nuance that makes the most effective Coen movies—together with the comedies—unforgettable.

16. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

Universal/Getty Images

(Universal/Getty Images)

George Clooney, John Turturro and Tim Blake Nelson star within the Coens’ runaway musical hit that’s additionally a free adaptation of Homer’s The Odyssey. The first film in historical past to be digitally color-corrected, the breezy, witty and extremely pleasurable O Brother seems and sounds nice—however doesn’t go away as a lot of an imprint because the best Coen movies.

The better part? Hands-down, it’s the movie’s iconic soundtrack (essential that was in all places within the months surrounding the movie’s release) that’s one in every of two soundtracks in historical past to win Album of the Year on the Grammys.

15. The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001) 



This dreamy black-and-white neo-noir stars Billy Bob Thornton as a chain-smoking barber who haplessly makes an attempt a blackmail scheme. Co-starring McDormand and James GandolfiniThe Man Who Wasn’t There is a low-key however sure-handed effort that by no means goals far past its style—however that’s extra of an remark than a criticism. Released mere weeks after 9/11, The Man Who Wasn’t There maybe didn’t get all of the credit score it deserved on the time. A minor triumph.

14. Burn After Reading (2008)

Focus Features

(Focus Features)

Convoluted is definitely, hilariously, the purpose on this outrageous sleeper hit crime comedy whose killer ensemble forged consists of George ClooneyBrad PittTilda SwintonRichard Jenkins, John Malkovich, Simmons and McDormand—all very clearly having a blast that transmits to the viewers. Amusingly morbid, Burn After Reading was photographed by Emmanuel Lubezki a number of years earlier than he broke Academy information with three consecutive Oscar wins.

Related: Best Comedies on Netflix 

13. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)



The Coens’ anthology Western (out there on Netflix) is fabricated from six vignettes starting from absurd to actually provocative. As is inevitable with any anthology movie, some elements are extra resonant than others, however every movie works. Nominated for 3 Oscars, together with Best Adapted Screenplay.

12. Miller’s Crossing (1990)

20th Century Fox

(twentieth Century Fox)

Written, directed and produced by the Coen Brothers, Miller’s Crossing is a superb gangster image that represents a few of the better of the crime style with out transcending it. Characteristically very good turns from Gabriel ByrneMarcia Gay HardenAlbert Finney and Turturro accompany aesthetic achievements of the best order.

11. True Grit (2010)

Paramount Pictures

(Paramount Pictures)

The Coens’ sole remake up to now is arguably an enchancment over a basic Western; the one actual criticism we now have is {that a} remake wasn’t actually vital. Jeff Bridges embodies iconic boozy lawman Rooster Cogburn so utterly it’s worthy of John Wayne‘s legacy, however Oscar-nominated, 13-year-old Hailee Steinfeld upstages everybody; this character-rich, thrilling and touching movie launched her profession.

10. Hail, Caesar! (2016) 

Universal Pictures

(Universal Pictures)

Next-level manufacturing design and cinematography, massive laughs and a uniformly wonderful all-star ensemble forged (together with Josh BrolinScarlett JohanssonChanning Tatum, Ralph Fiennes and McDormand) sizzle in a retro Fifties-set comedy loosely primarily based on a real-life Hollywood “fixer.” Joyous and dazzling, if episodic and light-weight in comparison with the top-shelf movies on this record.

9. The Tragedy of Macbeth (2021)



Washington and McDormand, already two of probably the most celebrated actors of our time, ship career-highlight performances in Joel Coen‘s ethereal tackle the Bard. Composer Carter Burwell deserves his first Oscar nod for an entrancing rating on this outstanding imaginative and prescient of Shakespeare gone movie noir. The finest a part of the moody thriller is Kathryn Hunter as all three witches, which should be seen to be believed.

Related: Essential Shakespeare Movies Everyone Should See At Least Once 

8. Raising Arizona (1987)

Getty Images

(Getty Images)

The Coens’ uproarious farce stars Nicolas Cage and Holly Hunter as a pair who assist them themselves to at least one fifth of an prosperous family’s quintuplets. Raising Arizona steadily seems on any record of the most effective American comedies ever made.

7. A Serious Man (2009)

Focus Features

(Focus Features)

Rather less than a decade earlier than he killed us with that monologue on the finish of Call Me By Your NameMichael Stuhlbarg gave a tragicomic tour de pressure within the Coens’ mesmerizingly disagreeable spin on the Book of Job. Stuhlbarg performs a Minnesota man having a disaster of religion as his life slowly burns round him. It’s a grueling, even punishing watch; better of luck turning away.

6. Barton Fink (1991)

20th Century Fox

(twentieth Century Fox)

At this level within the record (and possibly even earlier than it), we’re discussing high tier Coen photos, all extraordinary movies. An early Coens masterpiece is actually Writer’s Block: The Movie, a ripper of a black comedy set in Nineteen Forties New York and Hollywood, a function that carried out a uncommon sweep at Cannes—profitable that pageant’s Palme D’Or, Best Director and Best Actor for Turturro.

5. Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) 



Masterful, and a little bit infuriating by design, the Coens’ darkish musical explores the torture of an unfulfilled, unmade inventive life—like maybe no different movie. There’s a star-making efficiency from Oscar Isaac right here, and the film advantages tremendously from the entrancingly smoky cinematography of Bruno Delbonnel (who additionally shot Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the best-looking movie in that sequence).

4. Blood Simple (1984) 

Getty Images

(Getty Images)

The Coens’ lauded debut is a basic, streamlined and stunning suspense movie about infidelity, retribution and chaos that additionally launched the careers of McDormand and cinematographer-turned-director Barry Sonnenfeld. This is indie cinema achieved to perfection: Blood Simple is pulpy bordering on sleazy materials, elevated by excellence and element.

3. The Big Lebowski (1998) 


The Dude—an iconic, unemployed slob who impressed nothing lower than a faith—abides within the Coens’ immortal cult basic follow-up to FargoJeff Bridges is El Duderino, who’s entangled in a ransom plot, some intercourse stuff—and plenty and plenty of bowling. Mostly dismissed when it was launched, The Lebowski has amassed an ever-growing following that might be arduous to overstate.

2. No Country For Old Men (2007) 



To be clear: Our No. 1 and No. 2 entries on this record are virtually interchangeable; they belong on any record of the most effective movies ever made.

The Coen brothers’ finest movie since Fargo relies on a Cormac McCarthy thriller a few drug deal gone to hell and an ensuing manhunt that each one culminates in a staggering deconstruction of the basic Western. Pitch-black trendy themes and characteristically beautiful Roger Deakins cinematography linger within the thoughts, nevertheless it all comes right down to Javier Bardem‘s chilling killer Anton Chigurh, usually cited as probably the most reasonable depiction of a psychopath in movie historical past. No Country for Old Men gained 4 Oscars, together with Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor.

1. Fargo (1996)



You betcha that is the most effective black comedy thriller hybrid in cinema historical past. Now tied with Daniel Day-Lewis as probably the most adorned dwelling movie star within the eyes of the Academy Awards, McDormand delivered a heroine for the ages in Marge Gunderson, a good-natured cop investigating a sequence of mindless, grisly and moronic crimes within the frozen American North. Fargo is trenchantly humorous, unusual and thrilling.

Next, see what number of Coen Brothers photos landed on our ranking of the 100 best movies of all time. 

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