Hail, Caesar! (2016) - Rotten Tomatoes

Hail, Caesar! (2016)



Critic Consensus: Packed with period detail and perfectly cast, Hail, Caesar! finds the Coen brothers delivering an agreeably lightweight love letter to post-war Hollywood.

Movie Info

Four-time Oscar (R)-winning filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men, True Grit, Fargo) write and direct Hail, Caesar!, an all-star comedy set during the latter years of Hollywood's Golden Age. Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton and Channing Tatum, Hail, Caesar! follows a single day in the life of a studio fixer who is presented with plenty of problems to fix.more
Rating: PG-13 (for some suggestive content and smoking)
Genre: Comedy
Directed By: ,
Written By: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
In Theaters:
Universal Pictures - Official Site


Tilda Swinton
as Thora Thacker
Ralph Fiennes
as Laurence Lorenz
Jonah Hill
as Joseph Silverman
Frances McDormand
as C.C. Calhoun
Channing Tatum
as Burt Gurney
Scarlett Johansson
as DeeAnna Moran
Alden Ehrenreich
as Hobie Doyle
Christopher Lambert
as Arne Slessum
Veronica Osorio
as Joe Silverman
Heather Goldenhersh
as Natalie (Secretary)
Alison Pill
as Mrs. Mannix
Max Baker
as Head Communist Write...
Fisher Stevens
as Communist Writer
Patrick Fischler
as Communist Writer
Tom Musgrave
as Communist Writer
David Krumholtz
as Communist Writer
Greg Baldwin
as Communist Writer
Patrick Carroll
as Communist Writer
Fred Melamed
as Communist Writer
John Bluthal
as Professor Marcuse
Alex Karpovsky
as Mr. Smitrovich
Aramazd Stepanian
as Eastern Orthodox Cle...
Allan Havey
as Protestant Clergyman
Robert Pike Daniel
as Catholic Clergyman
Ian Blackman
as Cuddahy
Geoffrey Cantor
as Sid Siegelstein
Robert Trebor
as Producer of "Hail, ...
Michael Yama
as Chinese Restaurant M...
Ming Zhao
as Chinese Restaurant W...
Basil Hoffman
as Stu Schwartz, Accou...
Ralph P. Martin
as Director of Action W...
James Austin Johnson
as Studio Assistant at ...
Noah Baron
as Water Ballet P.A.
Timm Perry
as Stage 8 Man at the D...
Noel Conlon
as Scotty at the Gate
Natasha Bassett
as Gloria DeLamour
Richard Abraham
as French Postcard Phot...
Jon Daly
as Cops at French Postc...
Dennis Cockrum
as Cops at French Postc...
Clancy Brown
as Gracchus (In The Epi...
Mather Zickel
as Chunk Mulligan
Clement von Francken...
as Senator Sestimus Amy...
Wayne Knight
as Lurking Extra
Jeff Lewis
as Lurking Extra
Kyle Bornheimer
as Extras A.D.
Josh Cooke
as Box Breakfast A.D.
Peter Jason
as Director
Stephen Ellis
as Clapper Boy
Jillian Armenante
as Script Girl
Jacob Witkin
as Saul of Tarsus
Jack Huston
as Cad in Cab
Agyness Deyn
as Woman in Cab
Benjamin Beatty
as Clapper Boy
Caitlin Muelder
as Cookhouse Woman
E.E. Bell
as Bartender
Kate Morgan Chadwick
as Departing Woman
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Hail, Caesar!

Critic Reviews for Hail, Caesar!

All Critics (179) | Top Critics (44)

This is fairly amusing if you can get past the Coens' erasure of the anticommunist witch hunts, which destroyed hundreds of lives.

Full Review… | February 11, 2016
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

An unexpectedly sweet and utterly satisfying confection, a loving sendup of the Hollywood of yesteryear.

Full Review… | February 11, 2016
The Atlantic
Top Critic

It's all nuts, and the actors couldn't be having more fun.

Full Review… | February 12, 2016
People Magazine

It's about putting in everything we know about Classic Hollywood in a single, hilarious package.

Full Review… | February 12, 2016

Fresh and bubbling with personality in places, but lacking that final piece that will bring the picture together.

Full Review… | February 12, 2016
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

As with the Coens' other films, a single viewing doesn't always reveal what the film's true intentions and meaning are.

Full Review… | February 12, 2016

Audience Reviews for Hail, Caesar!


Coens abandoning their signature quirk for QT's self-indulgent homage mode. Worthless to see it anywhere besides a theatre as the weight of the metamodern play will not work the same. Even compared to Barton Fink, this film feels disjointed. None of the characters are distinct, but these cardboard metamodern sketches of our collective Hollywood tropes. The editing is also occasionally not great, with some shots holding too long, and it doesn't appear this is intentional (except when used in the included films-in-the-film). The humor is occasionally worthy of a light but insincere chuckle, but rarely summons a deep-seated celebration of mirth. Pretty sad considering the Coens are usually the kings of dark comedy and great with witty dialogue.

Despite all the negatives, the visuals and performances add a heavy counterweight of positives. Obviously, Deakins and his team are not slacking. The production design is stunning, stellar, and sublime. Great to see Ralph Fiennes doing anything. ScarJo does the best she can with her character (and her accent).
Clooney nails his part, making you wonder how much he's acting here. Channing Tatum is surprisingly tolerable, showing a flair for intentionally exaggerated melodrama and showcasing his dance skills. As usual, Tilda is a scene-stealer as twin gossip columnists (she also gets the best lines).

This is a decent movie and a great movie for any other film-maker, but barely okay for the Coens. They should stick to post-modernism; their style is far more suited to it. Maybe it will age well and doubtlessly, a multitude of film theory students and professors will write bloated essays about it. The burden is on them to examine, expand, and then summarize the Capitol Pictures/communist writers theme.

_kelly .King

Super Reviewer


OH BROTHER, WHAT ART THOU? - My Review of HAIL, CAESAR! (3 1/2 Stars)

The trailer for the Coen Brothers' latest outing suggested a slapstick, screwball comedy romp through 1950's Hollywood. Perhaps a BARTON FINK/HUDSUCKER PROXY mashup with musical numbers, I thought? My expectations were high for a a light, breezy romp, but what I found instead was a somber, meditative, somewhat funny yet gorgeously made study on what it takes to keep the plates spinning at a film studio. And yes, there are a couple of awesome musical numbers. But what does it all mean? I'm not entirely sure but it skewed closer to A SERIOUS MAN in terms of tone and themes than to the aforementioned films.

Josh Brolin plays Eddie Mannix, a real life person who acted as a studio "fixer", putting out fires left and right to keep films on schedule and on budget. The film follows Eddie through a particularly event-filled single day in which a star is kidnapped by communists, another is woefully miscast in a romantic drama whereas Roy Rogers-style oaters are more his speed, and another struggles with her mermaid costume. It's all in a day's work, including a Channing Tatum homoerotic sailor number, yet Eddie is having a crisis of conscience when we first meet him. As he sits in a confessional booth at 5am trying to reconcile his religious beliefs with his crazy career, I found myself oddly moved by Brolin's hardboiled commitment to the role. The only problem is that I wasn't laughing. Damn you movie marketing department!

Once I made the proper adjustment, however, I found many pleasures here. Roger Deakins' cinematography, which is always stellar, truly captures the oversaturated look of films at the time. Scarlett Johansson, as try aforementioned mermaid, an Esther Williams-style musical star, hilariously channels her inner Debi Mazar, much as she did in DON JOHN. Tilda Swinton is a knockout as twin gossip columnists, the tongue-twisting Thora and Thessaly Thacker. Her performance style, all curt line readings and giant plumes, was more in keeping with my expectations. George Clooney plays another one of his Coen Brothers' nitwits, this time as the star of a sword and sandals epic who gets kidnapped and pulled in way over his head into communist debate. Frances McDormand has a hilarious cameo as a befuddled editor, a role that would not have been out of place in BRAZIL. Tatum proves he can sell any dance routine and steal any movie he's in. An early scene in which Mannix brings together a group of faith leaders to get their stamp of approval on his new Christ epic captured the absurdity of the situation perfectly, with each religious spokesperson unable to agree with the other despite giving it the old college try. Robert Picardo in particular excels as the Rabbi. Best of all is relative newcomer, Alden Ehrenreich, as a cowboy star who cannot handle a new upper-crust role, leading to a hilarious scene with his director (a great Ralph Fiennes, who is transitioning wonderfully into a comedy star) who can't get him to say "Would that it were so simple" to save his life. The scene goes on so long, it reminded me of those delicious Gene Wilder comedies where one joke would play out endlessly, creating a new comedy genre unto itself. It's so uncomfortable and way funnier than it should be, and I wanted more of that in this film. Ehrenreich earns his way to instant stardom with this innocent yokel who should never have left his wheelhouse.

I feel the Coen Brothers are biting off more than they can chew in this stewpot of disparate ideas, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes their films can be alarmingly obstuse yet still satisfy. I'm talking to you INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS! HAIL, CAESAR! has a lot going on, perhaps too much, and I think they're simply trying to say that the circus of Hollywood, that ability to create magic, is sometimes worth all the trouble. I give them major credit for never repeating themselves, but in this case, it wouldn't have hurt.

Glenn Gaylord
Glenn Gaylord

Super Reviewer

Hail, Caesar! was, to me, completely mismarketed. The movie does not really have a central plot, and is more about a series of events in the day in the life of people in Hollywood. It has a sense of humor that undeniably may not hit for people who aren't film fans.

Yet, I had an absolute blast.

Hail, Caesar! does suffer from some awkward pacing and a lack of tension. But the consistently great sense of humor, amazing cast, and unique structure still make Hail, Caesar! a success despite its shortcomings. It isn't the best of the Coen brothers, but in individual scenes, it has some of their best moments of any of their films in a long while.

Overall, if you're looking for something fresh and interesting, check this movie out.

Joey Traverso
Joey Traverso

Super Reviewer

Hail, Caesar! Quotes

– Submitted by Megan M (5 days ago)
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– Submitted by rob g (23 days ago)

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