Top 3 Coen brothers films

Posted on 25 January 2014
By Charlie Elgar
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With the release of the Coen Brothers’ latest movie Inside Llewyn Davies, we take a look at their previous work in an attempt to pick which of their films make the duo’s top 3 – a near-on impossible decision.

3) Fargo (1996)

Just scraping a spot in the list is 1996’s Fargo. Best described as a crime drama with a slight touch of comedy thrown in, the plot is based on the true story of Jerry Lundegaard.

A struggling car salesman, Lundegaard is in desperate need of money to save him from bankruptcy and resorts to criminal actions.

When Jerry’s crime goes completely wrong, the story twists and turns leaving us to sit and observe a totally unexpected plot unravel.

A firm favourite of Coen fans, Fargo raked in numerous awards, and with such a response it should undoubtedly enter in the Coen Brothers’ top three.

2) A Serious Man (2009)

Missing out on the ultimate top spot is one of the Coen Brothers’ more recent films – A Serious Man. Released in 2009, the brothers tell story of Larry Gopnik – a Midwestern mathematics teacher searching for answers to the questions life throws at him.

Although certain of the extensive sums and equations he teaches his students, Larry can be sure of nothing in his own life.

Due to numerous incidents Larry’s life slowly begins to fall apart, and as much as he tries to stay afloat – he just seems to keep sinking.

A Serious Man is one of those films that poses so many questions, yet answers so few. We begin to question life ourselves, wondering what or who is behind the situations that we are put through.

The Coen brothers created a movie of terror and ultimately loneliness, as we watch Larry on a journey that will lead him to his imminent fate.

1) No Country for Old Men (2007)

Without doubt there are going to be some arguments here, but controversial or not, No Country for Old Men makes it as the Coen Brothers’ number one movie ever made.

Released in 2007, No Country for Old Men is a brutal Western that staged an all-star cast of Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin and Woody Harrelson.

After a hunter stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong, he ruthlessly hunts down the men involved in search of the 2 million dollars up for grabs.

Admittedly, this particular storyline doesn’t sound overly intense or articulate in comparison to some of the brothers’ other work, but No Country for Old Men is almost faultless.

The immaculate cast coupled with an unrelenting storyline creates a more than memorable duo.

Based upon and adapted very closely from Cormac McCarthy’s book, No Country for Old Men never strays too far from its original source. Arguably this was a brave decision – which paid off.

Rather predictably this film won multiple awards, including three BAFTA’s and two Golden Globes,thanks to its immaculate cast coupled with an unrelenting storyline creates a more than memorable duo.

Trying to organise a top 3 of the Coen brothers is like picking your favourite child, but struggling with such a task really clarifies that the pair are some of the best film makers around.