Continuing my countdown of every Coen Brothers movie…
#4. The Big Lebowski (1998)
(up one spot from previous ranking)
The Big Lebowski opened in 1998 to mixed critical reviews and mediocre box office returns. Following the Coens’ Oscar-winning Fargo, it was viewed by many as an uneven, infantile misstep.
Today, it is arguably the duo’s most beloved film, with devotees attending annual Lebowski Fests both in America and abroad.
I’m thrilled to see Hell or High Water on a lot of year-end top ten lists and in the Academy Award conversation. Taut genre films like this one usually don’t get that kind of love. Even the Coen Brothers’ Oscar-winning No Country For Old Men, a similar film in some ways, had an artsy streak not present here.
Hell of High Water, written by Taylor Sheridan and directed by David Mackenzie, is a sun-baked Texas noir, a modern-day Western about two outlaw brothers robbing banks to save their ancestral home from foreclosure. Chris Pine and Ben Foster are well-matched as the brothers, and Jeff Bridges delivers a twist on his Rooster Cogburn as the Texas Ranger on their tail.