Arguably their weakest film in years.
| Original Score: 4/10
It's James M. Cain without the prevailing sexual tension and without characters pleasuring themselves in deceit.
The film holds the interest, to be sure, but more due to the sure sense of craft and precise effect that one expects from the Coens than from genuine involvement in the story.
Merely Z-grade noir full of weird non-sequiturs
| Original Score: 2.5/5
Plays like Death of a Salesman without all the hard-hitting action.
| Original Score: 2/4
There's a fine distinction between the cool and the comatose and, punishingly slow, The Man Who Wasn't There repeatedly drifts over the line.
A noble failure in the canon of America's best sibling film team, a movie that was there just a bit too long.
| Original Score: 1/4
Ed may be very well be the man who wasn't there, but that's not the only thing absent from this letdown of a motion picture.
A perfectly executed illustration of what is not, quite, great about the Coen brothers, which is a kind of grandstanding, and another kind of weirdly alienating insincerity.
A case of style over substance - Coens or not.
Knowing that such a wasteful project was done by such talents as Joel and Ethan Coen makes the outcome all the more mindbogglingly weak.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
The resulting hodgepodge is a medley of the brothers' favorite verbal and visual tics, making much noise and signifying nothing.
| Original Score: 2/5
A more outwardly dramatic offering than what we're used to seeing from the brothers, and, without the usual doses of droll comedy to keep the story moving, the weakness of a petering final act feels magnified.
| Original Score: 6/10
'...it's so relentlessly referential that The Man Who Wasn't There slips almost into claustrophobia.'
Even for longtime Coen fans, this is a movie that isn't all there.
The characters lack the spark that is required in a Noir.
Elegant but cold and meandering homage to film noir.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
A frustrating experience even by Coen standards.
Falls frustratingly short of its potential, thanks to the Coens' inability to construct a fluid narrative or respect characters enough to make them more than live-action cartoons.
Yes it may be brilliant, but it's not entertaining, which is something that the Coens usually are.
American cinema is alive and well.