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Whatever else the Coen Brothers may be—a somewhat cagey, idiosyncratic pair; independent filmmakers with a broad body of work; even Oscar winners—they are pastiche artists and genre revisionists first and foremost. Blood Simple, Fargo, The Big Lebowski and The Man Who Wasn’t There are neo-noirs; Miller’s Crossing is a gangster film; the oft-forgotten Intolerable Cruelty has roots in the screwball; and The Ladykillers and True Grit, a western, are both remakes. But in each...
Hail, Caesar! Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen Opens February 5 There’s a way in which every other Coen Brothers film—not just Hail, Caesar!—is a trip down Hollywood memory lane with a couple of wiseacre fans. Their latest film, set in the 50s, fits the bill, re-creating the behind-the-scenes of filmmaking and the clichés and genres of the films with a familiarity as snug as The Hudsucker Proxy, and the existential cosmic-joke reach that’s become a reliable...

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