Last week saw the release of Hail, Caesar! As often happens with auteur filmmakers, this prompted a not insignificant portion of the internet to start ranking the films of the Coen brothers, its directors/writers. As is almost always the case, there was no consensus as to which film was the best. But there are several that made it to the top few films on almost everyone's list, and today those are the one's we're going to be talking about. If you're new to the Coen brothers and are looking for a place to start, or you just want to remember old favorites, you're covered here.
#1 Blood Simple
The Coen brothers' first film remains one of their best. Blood Simple tells a thrilling story about an affair, a private investigator, a double-cross, another double-cross, a misunderstanding, and a decent amount of bloodshed. It was made on a relatively small budget, it launched the careers of Frances McDormand and Barry Sonnenfeld, and it gave us a glimpse into the darkly comedic minds of its writer-directors - at the time, only one of them could be listed as the director. It's also one of the few films on released on home video with a "director's cut" that was shorter than the theatrical cut, reinforcing one of the reasons I like the Coens as filmmakers: they're efficient with screen time.