Sunday, June 08, 2008

Joel & Ethan Coen Films Ranked

In my most recent 80s movie post I mentioned Blood Simple, the Coen's first feature length collaboration. (An earlier "Quality 80s" post contained Raising Arizona.)

So, with Blood Simple & Raising Arizona finally under my belt...I'd like to present...

My Personal Ranking of Joel & Ethan Coen Projects

1. Fargo (1996)
2. The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)
3. Blood Simple (1984)
4. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
5. The Man Who Wasn't There (2001)
6. No Country For Old Men (2007)
7. Barton Fink (1991)
8. Raising Arizona (1987)
9. The Big Lebowski (1998)
10. Miller's Crossing (1990)
11. The Ladykillers (2004)

What's your list? How's it differ for you?

25 comments:

Loren Eaton said...

Love The Hudsucker Proxy ...

weepingsam said...

For what it's worth -

1. O Brother Where Art Thou
2 Fargo
3 Raising Arizona
4 The Big Lebowski
5 No Country for Old Men
6 Miller's Crossing
7 The Hudsucker Proxy
8 Barton Fink
9 Blood Simple
10 Intolerable Cruelty (George Clooney can save almost anything)
11 The Man Who Wasn't There (though I imagine a rewatch could elevate it; I just found it all the things people say against the Coens - bloodless, smug, like a windup toy, etc. - when I saw it...)
12 The Ladykillers

Trevor said...

1. Lebowski (I can't believe you have it at 9.)
2. O Brother Where Art Thou
3. Raising Arizona
4. No Country For Old Men
5. Fargo
6. The Ladykillers
7. I need to watch the rest of these. Seriously, how can I call myself a big Coen Brother's fan if I haven't seen the rest of these.

crackers and cheese said...

Also love the Hudsucker Proxy, and I had no idea it was Coen Bros film! Sadly, I've only seen 4 of these films, so I need to catch up before I think about making a ranking!

Jeremy said...

I would have "Miller's Crossing" at the top. I find it to be a very underrated masterpiece. It came out the same year as "Goodfellas" and dare I say I actually enjoyed it more than that. Then I would probably have "O Brother Where Art Thou? or "No Country for Old Men", or "Fargo" or "Barton Fink" I can't decide, I think each one is highly original and inventive.

Jandy said...

Mine would be:

1. O Brother Where Art Thou
2. No Country for Old Men
3. Fargo (really a tie with No Country)
4. The Big Lebowski
5. Blood Simple
6. The Man Who Wasn't There
7. Raising Arizona
8. Intolerable Cruelty

Wow, there are so many I still need to see! And I should probably do a rewatch on Raising Arizona.

Torl Porl said...

Interesting to see The Big Lebowski so low down. Usually that's in people's top 3 at least.

I run a Coen brothers website you might want to check out at www.youknow-forkids.com.

Torl Porl said...

Oh, incidentally my top ten would be;

1. Fargo
2. The Big Lebowski
3. Miller's Crossing
4. O Brother, Where Art Thou?
5. No Country For Old Men
6. Barton Fink
7. The Hudsucker Proxy
8. Blood Simple
9. The Man Who Wasn't There
10. Raising Arizona

But it changes all the time ;-)

WiseKwai said...

1. Fargo and The Big Lebowski (tie)
3. Miller's Crossing
4. No Country for Old Men
5. Barton Fink
6. Blood Simple
7. Raising Arizona
8. The Hudsucker Proxy
9. The Man Who Wasn't There
10. O Brother, Where Art Thou?
11. Intolerable Cruelty
12. The Ladykillers

Very difficult list because I like most of the Coens' films almost equally well.

Intolerable Cruelty might come up in my estimation with a rewatch. I think it's probably underrated.

Even Ladykillers has its moments - another fantastic soundtrack compilation effort by T. Bone Burnett - but is far too slapdash to rank among the other Coens' films. It's going to slip further down in the rankings as they release more films.

I'm anticipating Burn After Reading to be a return to their screwball, madcap ways, more of a Raising Arizona/Big Lebowski mood than a No Country/Fargo one.

I guess I can understand why you might place Lebowski so low, given its sprawl and cult cache. I love the sprawl and try to ignore the fanboys who endlessly quote the film on message boards and in comments sections, even if I'm guilty of doing that sometimes too.

I don't understand why Miller's would rank so low. It's a beautiful film with a great story, interesting characters, snappy dialogue and outstanding performances.

jvjannotti said...

Great idea for a post. You should make it a meme. You know, rank the coen brothers' films for yourself than tag three friends...

Anyway, here's my list...

1. No Country For Old Men
2. Fargo
3. The Big Lebowski
4. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
5. Blood Simple
6. Barton Fink
7. Miller's Crossing
8. Intolerable Cruelty
9. The Ladykillers
10.The Man Who Wasn't There
11.The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)


all of the above are, like, tied for 1st, 2d, and 3d place and then way down the list is

8. Raising Arizona

which I don't even like. Not sure what the guys were thinking on this one.

And I'm with Trevor. Why on earth would you put Lebowski so far down the list? He's the dude, man.

jvjannotti said...

oops... obviously my Raising Arizona pick should not be labelled 8. A result of copying and pasting.

Jeremy said...

Based on what I've seen:

1. The Big Lebowski
2. Fargo
3. Barton Fink
4. No Country For Old Men
5. Raising Arizona
6. The Man Who Wasn't There
7. The Hudsucker Proxy
8. O Brother, Where Art Thou?

But it's been awhile since I've seen most of these. A more recent viewing would probably alter my list.

Michael Parsons said...

I loved The Hudsucker Proxy too. A very underrated film. Jennifer Jason Leigh was gangbusters in it!

RC said...

to those in regard to Big Lebowski -- I don't know why, but I'm just not a big fan.

I probably should disclose that I'm not a huge Coen fan, but I can enjoy there films, and enjoy them for what they're worth.

The only one I can't stand in Ladykillers.

But Big Lebowski and Miller's Crossing are enjoyable to me...obviously iconic Coen, but definitly not my favorites.

Mercurie said...

I have to admit that my ranking would be about the same, atlhough I think Miller's Crossing nad The Ladykillers would beat out The Big Lebowski.

Bennett said...

We recently rented O Brother... so Jana could see it. I figured every Mississippian should see it to get acquainted with an obscure part of our history.

The hilarious thing was on the special features how they were bragging about using "digital technology" to do things never before possible. The great effect they were talking about was shifting colors and some saturation. I mean, the movie looked great, but they were just so excited about their groundbreaking technology.

Special features and digital film has come a long way.

KrisM said...

1. Blood Simple
2. Barton Fink
3. No Country For Old Men
4. Miller's Crossing
5. Fargo
6. The Big Lebowski
7. Raising Arizona
8. The Hudsucker Proxy
9. The Man Who Wasn't There
10. O Brother, Where Art Thou?
11. Intolerable Cruely
12. The Ladykillers

Magnus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Magnus said...

I admit it, I still haven't seen No Country for Old Men. with that in mind...

1. The Big Lebowski
2. Miller's Crossing
3. Fargo
4. Tie - Blood Simple and Raising Arizona.
5. O Brother, Where art Thou?
6. Barton Fink
7. The Hudsucker Proxy
8. The Man Who Wasn't There
9. The Ladykillers (the original is still superior)

I thought Intolerable Cruelty was one they produced only, but if it counts as one of theirs it ties for the worst spot with The Ladykillers. I should also say that I have never finished The Man Who Wasn't There as I keep falling asleep throughout the film. I have tried to watch four times with the same result.

Brian said...

With the caveat that I've seen very few of these more than once in their entirety, and fewer still on the big screen:

1. Miller's Crossing
2. O Brother Where Art Thou?
3. The Big Lebowski
4. No Country For Old Men
5. Raising Arizona
6. Fargo
7. Blood Simple
8. The Hudsucker Proxy
9. The Man Who Wasn't There
10. Barton Fink

Fox said...

I wouldn't know where to rank their movies. I've had such a hard time dealing with their films throughout my life.

One thing is for certain, though...

*Raising Arizona* would be # 1. I think that film is a masterpiece. In my opinion, their only one.

Adam said...

Talk about a comment filled thread!!!

1. The Big Lebowski
2. Miller's Crossing (Albert Finney + a tommy gun + "Oh! Danny Boy + a burning house = good times)
3. Fargo
4. Raising Arizona
5. O Brother Where Art Thou
6. The Hudsucker Proxy
7. The Man Who Wasn't There
8. Intolerable Cruelty

elgringo said...

1. Barton Fink (1991)
2. Fargo (1996)
3. The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)
4. Raising Arizona (1987)
5. The Big Lebowski (1998)
6. No Country For Old Men (2007)
7. Miller's Crossing (1990)
8. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
9. Blood Simple
10. The Ladykillers
11. The Man Who Wasn't There (2001)

Looks like we agree on No Country for Old Men, haha. Looking at other people lists, I might need to revisit Blood Simple and Miller's Crossing.

Hudsucker Proxy is one of the most amazing movies I have ever seen and Barton Fink is one of the most underrated.

Scott
he-shot-cyrus.blogspot.com

Emlyn said...

1. No Country For Old Men (2007)
2. Fargo (1996)
3. True Grit (2010)
4. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

The Coen Brothers should work with Ralph Fiennes. I know its sounds like a weird pairing but given the Coens' penchant for the unusual and the unexpected I can see amazing dramatic potential in Fienne's moody style matched with their vision.

Anonymous said...

1. Barton Fink
2. Big Lebowski
3. Fargo
4. Hudsucker Proxy
5. A Serious Man
6. Millers Crossing
7. No Country for Old Men
8. True Grit
9. Raising Arizona
10. O Brother Where Art Thou
11. The Man Who Wasn't There
12. Blood Simple
13. Burn after Reading
14. Intolerable Cruelty

Haven't seen The Ladykillers, probably because I'm fond of the original.
Hudsucker Proxy is criminally underrated and misunderstood.

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