The Ballad of Buster Scruggs Reviews

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February 8, 2019
Lately the Coen Brothers seem content to simply pay homage to classic storytelling (in this case the western) instead of crafting compelling scripts within said genre.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/10
November 16, 2018
Some stories are better than others, but even the best are merely pleasantly diverting, while the bad are distractingly mediocre.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
December 8, 2018
The mosaic arrangement of the shorts, varying in greatness and mediocrity, causes The Ballad of Buster Scruggs to miss the mark as a cohesive whole.
November 12, 2018
Unfortunately, these six campfire stories also distinctly feel like odds and ends that've been sitting in a drawer gathering dust.
December 12, 2018
The first and second narratives are blisteringly fun and energetic, but onwards from there the pace slackens enormously.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
February 7, 2019
It's disappointing that the Coens don't even try to upend any classic Western clichés in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs - they apply some grim humor to various situations, but that's about it.
November 15, 2018
Maybe all these dutifully meaningless stories would have been easier to swallow spaced out into standalone episodes, as the directors had originally planned.
November 28, 2018
Its six disparate chapters - one hysterically funny, most doggedly grim - would be better apart than together, each gnawed on and digested on its own terms.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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
October 8, 2018
A few sharp one-liners seem to be anchoring a meandering story that, however beautifully filmed, fails to linger in the mind, dissipating quickly like all that gunsmoke.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
October 13, 2018
While it's stuffed with charming stars, colorful characters, and tales of life in the Wild West, this cowboy collection is clunky, indulgent, and ultimately underwhelming.
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.
November 9, 2018
As a whole Buster Scruggs is too often like a gunfighter firing nothing but blanks.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
November 16, 2018
One should never take a Coen Brothers film for granted, but this definitely feels like one of the least of their efforts.
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 15, 2018
Not all of the episodes are successful and, sorry to say, stretches of the movie are duller than you might expect from the Coens. But this is a Coen brothers film and, as such, demands some attention...
January 25, 2019
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs feels like the Coen brothers' B-sides compilation... . That smugness to which the Coens are susceptible is in plentiful supply here.
November 26, 2018
The film's self-pleasing, self-loathing "smartness" makes this wannabe epic -- a story of things half-believed that yet cause Americans to quake -- a gruesome landmark of movies in 2018.
January 27, 2019
In any case, what lies behind the six film stories that make up The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a duet of consecrated filmmakers, located above good and evil, already alienated from the impetus of having to show how good they are. [Full Review in Spanish]
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
January 26, 2019
While it's a little hit and miss as a collection, the entire effort of Buster Scruggs is worthy of praise simply as an exercise in a notoriously tough format.
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