Review: Hail, Caesar!


Title: Hail, Caesar!
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Joel & Ethan Coen
Starring: Josh Brolin, Alden Ehrenreich, George Clooney
Runtime: 1 hr 46 mins

What It Is: When movie star Baird Whitlock (Clooney) gets kidnapped it is up to Capitol Pictures studio head Eddie Mannix (Brolin) to get him out of this predicament so that he can return to shooting the most expensive picture in Capitol’s year. A biblical epic entitled Hail Caesar. Now as Mannix tries to gather the necessary petty cash to pay the ransom a singing cowboy named Hobie Doyle (Ehrenreich) may have accidently cracked open the mystery of whom or who took the talented Mr. Whitlock.

What We Think: This is at times a very funny movie, in the end, however, it cannot get out of its own way. Brolin delivers strongly here but Scarlett Johannson, Jonah Hill, and Channing Tatum are all but wasted. They’re in the movie a combined 15 minutes and that’s an over exaggeration. Both Coen brothers seem to never lose their touch for mixing comedy with a quirky mystery about the whole thing. They’ve done this before, and better in Barton Fink, that whole feel is sadly lost in a bumbled and crumbled journey. I’m quite certain there’s a story in here to tell. I just have no idea what it’s focus is. Is it Brolin’s character? The mystery? What were they going for?

Our Grade: C, Oh boy! I really wanted to like this film. Like, enjoy it as I have every other film in the Coen’s canon but sadly I could not. It is perhaps the weakest of their films although one could argue something like The Hudsucker Proxy, which I enjoy or The Ladykillers which I personally do not. It is not at the level of that Tom Hanks misstep but it isn’t great. Shoutout to Alden Ehrenreich whose pretty good as our cowboy protagonist. See it if you love that ole Hollywood feel. If not you’re pretty much not missing anything.

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