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Movie Review: Hail, Caesar!


A Hollywood fixer in the 1950s works to keep the studio’s stars in line.

From this point forward, this film will be now known as Hail Caesar because the comma and exclamation mark just screws with my writing. With that out of the way, Hail Caesar is written and directed by the Coen brothers. You know, Ethan and Joel? Still no idea? Well, they most recently wrote the script to Bridge of Spies, but their most recent work in which they wrote and directed were films such as Inside Llewyn Davis, True Grit, A Serious Man, Burn After Reading and No Country for Old Men. Now, that must jog your memory. All those films mentioned have been well received by critics and users too, so the Coen brothers must be doing something right. However, the Coen brothers have a very unique style and I truly believe it is not for everyone, but those that appreciate great filmmaking. Unfortunately, I’m not sure how I feel about Hail Caesar and that’s really weird for me. I’m usually good at deciding pretty quickly, but as I walked out of the theatre, I really had to think about it.

Hail Caesar definitely has a great cast, so it’s off to a great start. The cast consists of George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Ralph Fiennes, Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, Tilda Swinton, Jonah Hill, Frances McDormand and Alden Ehrenreich. You have to admit, that’s quite the cast. Unfortunately, with a lineup that big, you’re bound to be disappointed because most of them just won’t get enough screen time. Josh Brolin is your main guy in this film with a side of George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich and Tilda Swinton. The rest of them, well, they are more like when a restaurant throws a little extra on your plate just for the sake of it. You’ll be happy it’s there. I did want more of Ralph Fiennes and Frances McDormand as their parts were rather funny, but short. C’est la vie (That’s life).

The story has a few surprises in it and the comedy was here and there, but I wouldn’t say it’s one of the funniest films of the year or whatever they say in the tv commercial. I really enjoyed the cinematography and the nostalgia of Hollywood in the 1950s. I most certainly was not born then, but coming from someone who has an enormous amount of passion towards films and television, it was really nice to see how everything comes together when they are filming scenes.

As you know by now, I didn’t really mention any negatives of Hail Caesar. So, why do I feel so weird about it? I think I just expected more or something different. By no means is the film bad or even close to just a passing grade. I just can’t quite pinpoint the issue that’s making me go so far to say this film is amazing.

Rating (out of 5):  iconiconicon  half

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