The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)


“There’s just gotta be a place up ahead, where men ain’t low down, and poker’s played fair. If there weren’t, what are all the songs about? I’ll see y’all there. And we can sing together and shake our heads over all the meanness in the used to be.” – Buster Scruggs

Number of Times Seen – 1 (22 Nov 2018)

Brief Synopsis – An anthology of 6 different stories about the old west told from the unique storytelling perspective of the Coen Brothers.

My Take on it – This is a film that I didn’t really know much about until it was suggested that I see it by Aaron Neuwirth of The Code is Zeek.

I’ve always been a fan of the quirkiness and uniqueness of the Coen Brothers and didn’t know what to expect here.

This film is actually 6 very unique stories about the Old West that seem to have no connection what so ever between them.

The way that these stories play out, it can easily be seen how these are the kind of stories that could probably only have been conceived by people like the Coen Brothers because of the fact that they don’t follow any known stereotypes of the genre itself.

Each of the 6 segments are done with a different tone and that is amazing to see since usually directors get stuck in a set tone and keep using it over and over within a particular genre.

To give 6 stories that are so unique in their tone and their stories is quite impressive to see in this era where reboots, remakes and re-visitations of old films and TV shows is quite prevalent.

The Coen Brothers have always been able to hit the gamut of various genres over the years which shows their talent and uniqueness and allows for their films to feel quite innovative and fresh.

Of the 6 stories, my favorite by far is The Girl that Got Rattled but they are all superbly done.

The cast is superb and even though many known actors have small parts, they all help make this film so memorable throughout.

The best part of these kind of films is the way that they are able to throw so many surprises at us along the way which helps raise the level of suspense since nothing is truly as it seems because of the uniqueness of t all.

Can’t wait to see this film again soon.

Bottom Line – Great anthology that tells 6 very unique stories that probably only could have come from the mind of the Coen Brothers. The tone of each story is quite diverse which would make one think that each segment was done by different directors, but as they have shown us in the past, the Coen Brothers are quite talented and are able to hit the gamut of many different genres and film styles which helps keep their work feeling fresh and innovative. Amazing cast even if many have very small parts.  My favorite story of the film is by far The Girl that got Rattled, but all of these stories are done so well. The best part of these kind of films is that they are able to find ways to surprise the viewer along the way and make each story suspenseful because they don’t follow a usual pattern. Can’t wait to see this film again. Highly Recommended

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The poker hand that Buster Scruggs refuses to play, two pair aces and eights, is infamously known as the “dead man’s hand” as it was reportedly the hand drawn to Wild Bill Hickok before he was shot and killed. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10)

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5 thoughts on “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)

  1. Man do I love the Coen Brothers!!! This was terrific. All set in the West (but only as the Coens could do it) – they must have loved doing True Grit. Connective tissue was a storybook – another great device. The opening was great and the (short) bit with James Franco as the would be bank robber was a pip. Every character gets a chance to shine. Expertly cast (Zoe Kazan was Oscar good). Loved the section with the old miner because it meanmdered all over and didn’t do anything I thought it would. I thought the last sequence (maybe a mini homage to Stagecoach) was the weakest and ended the film on a strange note (left me hanging – wanting more – which I guess is a good thing…), but overall – this was a gem. I’d like to see it again on a big screen if it plays that way anywhere near where I live. I also want yo meet Joel and Ethan and give each of them a hug.

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