The Ballad of Buster Scruggs Reviews

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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.
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...
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.
November 12, 2018
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is whimsical, fantastical, hilarious, melancholic, and often brutally violent ...
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
November 7, 2018
The Coen Bros. are back to familiar landscapes (the Old West), familiar themes (death, nostalgia, cruelty), and familiar styles (self-indulgent, self-congratulatory humor) in the six-short-story film.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
November 26, 2018
Delightful, weird, dark, and incredibly funny, each vignette serves as a crash course in Coen-ology.
Full Review | Original Score: A
November 19, 2018
The Coens bring us their most gorgeous, visceral, and unpredictable film to date with Buster Scruggs.
Full Review | Original Score: A+
November 21, 2018
As is common with the short film format, it's more about narrative sleight-of-hand than thematic sophistication, but each story has its own merits.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
November 11, 2018
More so than usual, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs sees the Coen Brothers toying with audience expectations, resulting in a film that is all over the map and always completely unpredictable.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
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