Joel Coen reviews his brother Ethan’s latest film, Drive-Away Dolls

The Coen brothers, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
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In an entirely objective and deeply serious critique, filmmaker Joel Coen has reviewed his brother’s new movie Drive-Away Dolls without being mean and petty even once.

If you want a masterclass in writing a professional film review, look no further than filmmaker Joel Coen’s measured, thoughtful critique of Drive-Away Dolls, the new thriller which just happens to be directed by Joel’s brother, Ethan.

“Mr Coen’s apparent goal – aside from making Tommy Wiseau look like Ingmar Bergman – was to replicate a 90s B comedy,” Joel Coen writes on Substack. “That he failed to clear even that subterranean bar is the only interesting thing about the film. It is truly stunning to watch a man set out to make the spiritual descendant of Mannequin 2 and then fail…”

The review then descends into a maelstrom of name-calling, childhood bitterness and score-settling that we won’t repeat here. In fact, we’ll stop short of Joel Coen’s commitment to the bit and point out (because this is the internet, and someone, somewhere, is bound to take it at face value) that the review is merely a lengthy and funny joke. The kind of joke you could probably only get away with if the person you’re ribbing happens to be your brother.

The critical lambasting isn’t one-sided, either; in 2022, Ethan Coen wrote a review of Joel Coen’s solo film, The Tragedy Of Macbeth, in which he claimed that Denzel Washington “makes fun of Joel behind his back and says that he walks funny.”

They’re brilliantly ridiculous bits of writing, as you’d expect from the makers of such wryly amusing classics as Raised In Arizona, Barton Fink and The Big Lebowski.

And while the Coens have been working separately in recent years, their creative partnership hasn’t permanently ended; we heard in January that the pair are working on a new project together which Ethan describes as “a pure horror film.”

Drive-Away Dolls is out in UK cinemas on the 11th March. You can read Ethan Coen’s review here.

Read more: The top 35 must-see films of 2024

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