Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

By 2001, Joel & Ethan Coen had already written and directed a free adaptation of Dashiell Hammett in the form of 1990’s Miller’s Crossing, and a riff on Raymond Chandler in the form of 1998’s The Big Lebowski. So of course they’d have to do their version of a James M. Cain story, to wrap up […]

Joel & Ethan Coen have made a career-long habit of never repeating themselves two films in a row – maybe to keep themselves entertained, or looking to keep themselves from being pigeonholed, I don’t know. Even so, there’s nothing in their career that compares to how hard they switched things up after the great success […]

Author’s note: I’m going to be treating this like you already know the story, and after a quarter of a century, you really ought to. Still, probably best to hold off on reading this if you haven’t seen the film – and also, I strongly urge you to see the film. There are so many […]

Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is one of the bibles of the 1960s counterculture in the U.S., a link between the Beats of the late ’50s and the hippies of the late ’60s and their shared belief in the fundamental rottenness of the The System. That it would be made […]

If there’s a key to cracking Barton Fink, and honestly I’m pretty sure that there isn’t, it might be the simplest bit of production trivia of all. The 1991 film, the fourth written and directed by Joel & Ethan Coen, was written in a brief burst of activity when they were stuck on the labyrinthine […]

A review requested by WBTN, with thanks to supporting Alternate Ending as a donor through Patreon. Do you have a movie you’d like to see reviewed? This and other perks can be found on our Patreon page! Francis Ford Coppola’s popular reputation lies almost exclusively on the four films he made during the 1970s, every […]

With their first feature, 1984’s Blood Simple, filmmaking brothers Joel & Ethan Coen proved that they were talented as hell, and worth paying attention to. But it’s simply not possible to see in that film the seeds for their second feature, 1987’s Raising Arizona, which is the point at which they became The Coen Brothers, among […]

It’s right around the 14-minute mark in 1984’s Blood Simple that Joel & Ethan Coen first become “the Coen Brothers”. It’s a short, single-take scene set in bar, and the scene starts all the way at the far end of the bar from the characters we actually care about. So the camera tracks forward, right […]

There are some movies that deserve to be better-known, but one can understand why they aren’t: lack of home video availability, they’re too old, they’re too difficult, they’re too small, and plenty of other reasons. This is not the case with Eve’s Bayou, Kasi Lemmons’s 1997 directing and screenwriting debut. There are, of course, some […]

The setting for Fast Color is a world a short way into our own future where for unknown reasons it has stopped raining. Two years into this crisis, enough water remains (somehow) that all of civilization hasn’t collapsed, but it has become a precious resource as desirable as gasoline in Mad Max, and culture has […]

The knowledge that the second feature by Nicolas Pesce, who directed The Eyes of My Mother, is an adaptation of a novel by Murakami Ryu, who wrote Audition, should be enough to give absolutely even the most stalwart among us pause for a moment. For those are two monumentally fucked-up, bleak stories about the depths […]

Indie filmmaking brothers Josh and Benny Safdie came up with the story for Uncut Gems many years before they finally made, when they were still just a pair of New York microbudget directors, long before they first broke through with very hip critics with 2014’s Heaven Knows What and then broke through with the other […]