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Overall Rating

Awesome: 7.09%
Worth A Look47.24%
Just Average: 29.13%
Pretty Crappy: 7.09%
Sucks: 9.45%

10 reviews, 67 user ratings

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Ladykillers, The (2004)
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by Jay Seaver

"The funniest Hanks performance in a long time, but little else."
3 stars

Not counting the Toy Story movies, it's been about ten years since Tom Hanks really let 'er rip. He's done a couple of comedies in that time, but even in those, he's mostly played it straight. And despite all the awards he's gotten in that time, all the money he's made, all the respect he's earned, he hasn't looked like he's been having fun since yelling that there's no crying in baseball. He's having fun here.

Hanks plays Professor G.H. Dorr as someone who aspires to be the devil incarnate, all honeyed words and a grin that indicates the sheer joy he takes in deception and crime. The Coen Brothers allow - nay, encourage - him to chew on the scenery all he wants, and the result is Hanks's most energetic non-animated performance in years. It goes a little far at times (his outbursts of laughter are more peculiar and disturbing than funny), but it's a joyful enough performance to earn some slack. He's given a good foil in Irma P. Hall, the chruch-going, god-fearing widow who owns the house from which Dorr and his gang intend to tunnel their way to a casino's holding vault.

Ah, the movie this could have been if not for the gang. Each member of the gang seems to belong on a different planet, let alone movie: Gawain MacSam (Marlon Wayans) is a loud gangsta-wannabe, Garth Pancake is played by J.K. Simmons as an even-toned oddball, "The General" (Tzi Ma) is a ruthless former Viet Cong leader (now running a Mississippi donut shop) sporting a Hitler mustache, and Lump (Ryan Hurst) is the incredibly dim muscle of the operation. The group just doesn't jell, though; aside from Hanks, only Simmons is really amusing, and even he becomes obnoxious, spending much of his time arguing with Wayans. As a result, the parts of the movies spent on the gang is mostly tedious and abrasive. MacSam's lines, in particular, are trite and vulgar, especially in contrast to Dorr's absurd but entertaining elocution.

It's too bad that this takes up so much of the film's run-time, since there's wit elsewhere. Like many Coen comedies, the movie is peppered with small, off-kilter characters and bits which are often funnier than the main story. Pancake on a commercial shoot, the security guard who laughs like a fool, Dorr ordering waffles, and the widow's cat, who spends much of the movie looking on as the gang goes about their crime, as disinterested as only a cat can be.

The original Ladykillers is regarded as a classic (it had a head start, having Alec Guinness and Peter Sellers in the cast); after seeing this remake, I find myself curious about a movie good enough to remake, but which the Coens couldn't quite get a handle on.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=8913&reviewer=371
originally posted: 06/02/04 14:06:26
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User Comments

11/05/12 Jeff Wilder Even a mediocre COen Brothers film is better than most,. 3 stars
5/03/12 Monday Morning Quirky, funny, great. Hanks's laugh alone is priceless. 4 stars
12/01/08 Shaun Wallner Thought this was a good film. 4 stars
9/17/08 Stu Hanks is brilliant and the whole film is funny. Donīt know why it gets such a hard time. 4 stars
1/21/08 David Cohen Made me pine for "Bonfire of the Vanities" 1 stars
11/07/07 asg i was one of the few in the theatre who was laughing my arse off. it went past most i guess 4 stars
11/10/06 David Pollastrini HORRIBLE, ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE 1 stars
5/31/06 tatum Very funny, on par with the original 4 stars
11/03/05 Bad Critic Definitely Tom Hanks best performance. 4 stars
3/30/05 Nick Boyd Tom Hanks and Irma P. Hall make this a worthwhile film, though just barely 3 stars
3/24/05 indrid cold Just shows that the Coens are gimmicky and overrated. 3 stars
3/14/05 Landshark outlandish & cartoony, it's looks like homespun farce but plods too slowly. 3 stars
11/11/04 Clatz Didn't find this funny at all, it's a quirky version of something thats been done to death. 2 stars
11/02/04 Jews for Hitler Very boring. There's a scene of Hanks reading a book. Yawn.... 1 stars
10/31/04 DJ Any movie with Tom Hanks is great! 4 stars
10/28/04 Dan If you like "Oh brother where art thou?" type comedic movies, this ones for you! 4 stars
10/10/04 willie I did not care for it 2 stars
9/26/04 Josh Standlee Tom Hanks ruled! Marlon Wayans sucked. 3 stars
9/17/04 Helen Bradley Tom Hanks brilliant too many 'f****' words problems with script 5 stars
9/02/04 Elaine Perrone Glad it worked for you, Dennis. I'm close to giving up on the Coens. 1 stars
8/21/04 ALDO Not really that funny....from the cast i expected better...they talk so much shit 2 stars
8/21/04 john bale Coen Brothers Musical Black Comedy ala "Where art thou" Hanks & Hall good fun together. 4 stars
8/18/04 Peter B. Boring!!! 2 stars
7/08/04 Confessions Of A Teenage Trauma Queen What's that modern boombox doing in a movie otherwise stuck in the 1950s? Almost pty crappy 3 stars
7/05/04 James Kustes This is the type of Coen movie I like 4 stars
7/02/04 Miles Bader Lots of nice bits, but lacks some sort of spark 3 stars
6/30/04 Mikey Crunt Comedykillers!!! Fart is not funny!!!! Phhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh 1 stars
6/30/04 Pants It was shit 1 stars
6/15/04 earl duron Worst Coen film of all 2 stars
6/13/04 de dog i say its ok but i might not see it agin 3 stars
6/10/04 Ron Spin It swore its way into obscurity, I'd swear. 1 stars
5/22/04 CK Pure and utter crap......an absolute travesty. Original was way better 1 stars
5/14/04 skye fun. but not oh brother fun. 4 stars
5/05/04 A F ZZZzzzZZZZz Oh OH! Is it over. THat was a nice nap. 2 stars
4/18/04 Robin Swearingen very funny, several allusions to works of literature 4 stars
4/17/04 Jackie The use of the :"f" word ruined what should have been a funny movie 2 stars
4/16/04 Jodie It was awful, save your money and don't waste your time. 2 stars
4/14/04 bob ok 4 stars
4/14/04 Jack Collins We walked out--stupid movie--waste $12.50 1 stars
4/11/04 Peter Funny, yet left with an empty feeling 4 stars
4/07/04 George Jung Close to perfect. 5 stars
4/06/04 gayle Horrible - stereotypical crap, BJU indeed! 1 stars
4/06/04 Kev Pretty damn funny 4 stars
4/05/04 ajay very entertaining. 4 stars
4/01/04 George Jung Almost perfect. 5 stars
4/01/04 toolband this film has an amazing film style and is also very dark.....amazing film 5 stars
4/01/04 Michelle Bennett This movie was entirely too slow and too long. The 'funny' scenes were typcial / expected 2 stars
3/31/04 TC Not the Coens' best, but still hiliarious 5 stars
3/31/04 KingNeutron Slow-moving, but funny and well-executed. The music was awesome. :) 3 stars
3/29/04 Julie I feel like i have lost 2 hours of my life. People left the theatre shaking their heads! 1 stars
3/28/04 Pin The heist genre will never be the same. 5 stars
3/28/04 zeke really good 5 stars
3/28/04 Jennifer B it was ok, it had a tough time getting started but the old lady was really funny 3 stars
3/27/04 mark kick ass 5 stars
3/27/04 Agent Sands Disappointing. Pretty funny, good camerawork, clever heist, otherwise not up to Coen par. 3 stars
3/27/04 mk fun, visually sharp, a good laugh, loved it 4 stars
3/27/04 Bonnie Baker Taken as a spoof and then it's great... 4 stars
3/27/04 buddy garrett a good movie but i am not a coen fan 4 stars
3/26/04 Eric Harker The Coen's are my heroes! 5 stars
3/26/04 AfroFett gross? I second the "best since Fargo" review 4 stars
3/24/04 Mike V Strong start but doesn't have legs. 3 stars
3/24/04 d-fine gross, unfunny, couldn't believe the brothers directed it. Horrid 1 stars
3/24/04 Alien Ink Alien at the Movies, a sneak preview review. 4 stars
3/23/04 earl jam lots of out loud laughing 4 stars
3/19/04 Ray Tom Hanks is great, the movie is great!!! 4 stars
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  26-Mar-2004 (R)
  DVD: 07-Sep-2004



Directed by
  Joel Coen
  Ethan Coen

Written by
  Joel Coen
  Ethan Coen

  Tom Hanks
  Marlon Wayans
  Irma P. Hall
  Stephen Root
  J.K. Simmons
  George Wallace

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