Tuesday 18th January 2022

The Ladykillers (15)
Directed by: Joel and Ethan Coen
Reviewed by: Paul Fonz

It seems remakes are very much the trend in Hollywood these days. Recently we've seen The Italian Job (1969), The Stepford Wives (1975), Dawn of The Dead (1978), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), Freaky Friday (1976) and in the pipeline at the moment are remakes of Superman (1978) and King Kong (1933). So it should come as no surprise that this week's review is also of a remake: the 1955 Ealing comedy The Ladykillers.

Hanks dazzles his landlady with charm and poetry
Hanks dazzles his landlady with charm and poetry

Tom Hanks plays a professor of classical languages who wants to pull off a daring and clever robbery in Mississippi. He gathers together a group of people to help, by advertising in the newspaper, and rents a room in the house of an old religious lady. He intends to tunnel from her basement through to the vault of a casino and steal all the money without leaving a trace. Unfortunately, as clever as the professor is, his best-laid plans begin to come apart and he is forced keep them together by any means necessary.

The Ladykillers is directed by the Coen brothers, who are two of the most exciting filmmakers around today. They've already won an Oscar for their crazy and unusual film Fargo, but perhaps The Big Lebowski and O Brother Where Art Thou? are their best films to date. The pair concentrates on producing very witty and often clever screenplays, and their direction is not to be sniffed at either. This film sports these fine qualities, with some wonderful moody shots and punchy and amusing dialogue.

Unfortunately, the plot of this film is far too average, and while it may have been original back in the Fifties, it doesn't really stand up in modern day cinema. More to the point, it seems like another unnecessary remake that is a waste of the Coen brothers' talent and well below their pedigree.

If you're interested in seeing this film, you had better hurry up, because with summer blockbusters like Spider-man 2 and King Arthur coming out, a film of this calibre is sure to be pushed off our screens before long. If you'd rather avoid the blockbusters and try something on a smaller scale, you'd be well advised to try The Cooler, which is far more entertaining and original.

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Length: 104 minutes
Certificate: 15
Official Site:
IMDB Link:
Release Date: 25th June 2004

Top Five Rating: 60.0%60.0%60.0%60.0%60.0%60.0%60.0%60.0%60.0%60.0% (60.0%)
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