Joel and Ethan Coen (collectively known as the Coen Brothers) are two of the finest living filmmakers working today. Since the 1980s, these auteurs have made their mark on cinema history by supplying audiences with dark comedies and dramas that are not only entertaining but thought-provoking and very smart. Their style is unmatched by any other writer or director and they almost always hit the mark with expert detail and exquisite precision. From 1984’s Blood Simple up until 2013’s Inside Llewyn Davis, they definitely know what they’re doing and each film is brilliant evidence of that. Unfortunately however, their latest effort, the tongue-in-cheek period comedy Hail Caesar! doesn’t live up to the hype and is one of the Coen Brothers’ weaker efforts. It tries hard and does contain very humorous bits of comedy sprinkled throughout but is a lackluster film at best and not one the Coen Brothers’ better entries.
Every December, movie theaters across the globe experience a strong influx of critically and commercially successful films, all vying for the same thing: awards. It is a time in which stars and filmmakers offer their very best in the desperate hopes that they will eventually end up with some statues. This year, Angelina Jolie has directed Unbroken, a true story of epic proportions. It is her second time directing (the first being 2011’s In the Land of Blood and Honey) and while the film is a bit cliché and overly optimistic, it works on a few levels. It is also beautifully shot and features a relatively strong performance from young star on the rise Jack O’Connell (Starred Up, Skins, This is England).