The Ballad of Buster Scruggs - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs Reviews

November 18, 2018
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is the perfect Coen Brothers' movie, albeit sliced and diced.
November 16, 2018
After a darkly hilarious musical number, the Buster story loses steam in its goofy closing moments - but that's OK, it's time to move on to the next chapter!
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
November 15, 2018
Taken as a whole, it's smart, snappy filmmaking from the duo who, 30-plus years into their careers, are still revealing new tricks hidden up their sleeves.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
November 15, 2018
You'd think with viewers' short attention spans and love of binge-watching, it would be the perfect format for today. But "Buster Scruggs" is mostly unengaging.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
November 15, 2018
Ethan and Joel Coen have a reputation for making films that shatter expectations, and "Ballad" is no exception.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
November 15, 2018
There's also entirely too much talk and an ending that goes nowhere. But the film as a whole satisfies, even if it's something less than the sum of its parts. Any new Coen Bros. offering is always worth celebrating.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
November 15, 2018
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is one of the strangest and least legible of the Coen brothers' films, but it also revels in their sheer joy in creating movies.
November 15, 2018
"The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" is a Coen brothers western-style buffet that didn't quite work out, so they're serving it to us on one plate. If you eat around a few items, there's certainly enough for a meal.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
November 15, 2018
The short films in "Buster Scruggs" are playthings, but the Coens are playing with no mere frivolity.
November 14, 2018
Even when Buster Scruggs isn't firing on all cylinders, it remains a warm and cheeky tribute to a genre that the brothers behind True Grit and No Country For Old Men clearly love.
Full Review | Original Score: B
November 14, 2018
"Ballad" paints a deliciously dismal portrait of the human condition.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
November 14, 2018
Every tale in "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" runs out of steam before it runs out of story.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
November 14, 2018
The Coen brothers' greatest trick is balancing the ironic commentary on cinema and storytelling with the dramatic impact of compelling human stories well told. And it's a trick they pull off again and again.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
November 13, 2018
All in all, this "Buster" is something else.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
November 13, 2018
I came away haunted by a scattering of sights and sounds...
November 12, 2018
It's a good movie - better than good - and if you like the Coen Brothers, you should enjoy it, and if you don't like the Coen Brothers, why don't you? You really should like the Coen Brothers.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
November 9, 2018
As the Coens remind us, with their usual impish wit and impeccable craft, there's still a lot of pleasure to be mined from those conventions. But there are lessons to be learned, too.
November 9, 2018
Strikes me as mid-to-upper range Coen fare... [Includes] their extraordinary jeweler's-eye attention to detail, their gift for concocting dialogue in plummy 19th-century vernacular, their lyrical embrace of wide-open landscapes, and their woeful nihilism.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
November 9, 2018
This is the sort of film that traditionally marks the start of an artist's "late phase" - one in which old motifs are brought back in different keys and tested, and in which the bounds of realism are loosened. For the Coens, it's a thrilling new frontier.
November 8, 2018
In the movie's most memorable storylines, the filmmakers appear to be working through some sort of problem in their, and our, relationship to the mythology of the American West.
November 8, 2018
[It] can be thought of as a Coen brothers concept album. It works just fine in sequence, but some tracks... only need to be played once.
November 7, 2018
Using their great ability with comic dialogue, the Coens exaggerate and subvert familiar western tropes to gleeful comic effect.
November 7, 2018
Saddle up for a hilarity-and-hellfire, Coen brothers western full of riding, fighting, hanging and shooting - plus silly songs, a limbless poet, cowboy love rituals and philosophical musings about the inevitability of dying.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Top Critic
October 5, 2018
Like most omnibus projects, the results are something of a mixed bag, though the peerless craftsmanship lends the whole project a certain cohesiveness.
Full Review | Original Score: B
September 2, 2018
Once it's time to switch tones, the Coens don't seem to have much to say other than pointing to the well-documented fact that the American frontier was a violent place.
September 1, 2018
Its meshing of formal discipline and screwed-down content sometimes give it the sense of a work that has been carefully and elaborately embroidered rather than photographed.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
August 31, 2018
Buster Scruggs is a singular illustration of what makes the Coen formula so appealing, and a reminder of so many better examples.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
August 31, 2018
Richly entertaining and blackly funny but told with sincerity and heart, the half-dozen Western tales packed into The Ballad of Buster Scruggs show the Coen brothers loading up their six-shooter and firing barely a blank.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
August 31, 2018
Despite the snark and irreverence, genre specialists will eat up the devotion to detail here, from the relish the Coens take in writing colorful 19th century Western vernacular to the musical choices and the lovely between-acts artwork.
August 31, 2018
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is storybook lore, enjoyable in the way we always enjoy tall tales that have been handed down from one generation to the next. But it's also laced with melancholy.
August 31, 2018
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a pop fantasia that's interested in the meaning of what a brutal place the Old West really was.
August 31, 2018
As Netflix binges go, it's a pretty good one, but be ready to love some episodes more than others.
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