The Ladykillers


The Ladykillers

Critics Consensus

Hanks' performance in the lead role is inspired, but this is a relatively minor offering from the Coen brothers.



Reviews Counted: 191

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 65,616


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 2.8/5

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Movie Info

Goldthwait Higginson Dorr III is a charlatan professor who has assembled a gang of experts for the heist of the century. The thieves are experts in explosions, tunneling and muscle. The professor is their critical inside man. The base of operations is the root cellar of an unsuspecting, church-going, little old lady named Mrs. Munson. The ruse: the five need a place to practice their church music. The problem: it quickly becomes evident that Dorr's thieves lack the mental capacity to do the job. The bigger problem: they have seriously underestimated their upstairs host. When Mrs. Munson stumbles onto their plot and threatens to notify the authorities, the felonious five decide to 'do her in' before she ruins their heist. After all, how hard can it be to knock off an old lady? They'll soon find out.

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Tom Hanks
as Prof. Goldthwait Higginson Dorr
Irma P. Hall
as Marva Munson
Marlon Wayans
as Gawain MacSam
J.K. Simmons
as Garth Pancake
Tzi Ma
as The General
Diane Delano
as Mountain Girl
George Wallace (II)
as Sheriff Wyner
John McConnell
as Deputy Sheriff
Jason Weaver
as Weemack Funthes
Stephen Root
as Fernand Gudge
Greg Grunberg
as TV Commercial Director
Lyne Odums
as Rosalie Funthes
Hallie Singleton
as Craft Service
Robert Baker
as Quarterback
Blake Clark
as Football Coach
Amad Jackson
as Doughnut Gangster
Aldis Hodge
as Doughnut Gangster
Freda Foh Shen
as Doughnut Woman
Paula Martin
as Gawain's Mama
Jeremy Suarez
as Li'l Gawain
Te Te Benn
as Gawain's Sister
Khalil East
as Gawain's Brother
Jennifer Echols
as Waffle Hut Waitress
Nita Norris
as Tea Lady
Maryn Tasco
as Tea Lady
Jessie Bailey
as Tea Lady
View All

News & Interviews for The Ladykillers

Critic Reviews for The Ladykillers

All Critics (191) | Top Critics (45)

  • It is not the blockbuster the (Coen) brothers hanker after, and it is not going to be a critical success, but, for me, it is the best comedy they have managed.

    Jan 8, 2018 | Full Review…
  • The Ladykillers is small and compact -- it doesn't kill, it's just a doodle -- but it's a very pleasant cartoon for grown-ups. It's some sweet fodder.

    Aug 18, 2007 | Full Review…

    David Edelstein

    Top Critic
  • While being far from the Coens' finest hour, it remains more intelligent and ambitious than most of what currently passes for Hollywood mainstream comedy.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • It's both lowdown and effete, a jamboree of whoopee jokes and sick wit.

    Aug 7, 2004
  • Everybody in and around this movie is trying too hard.

    Aug 1, 2004
  • It is neither terrible nor terrific, just... unnecessary.

    Jun 22, 2004 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Nev Pierce
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Ladykillers

The worst Coen's film maybe saved (slightly) by a uncharacteristically unepic role from Tom Hanks.

Graham Jones
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer


I was pleasantly surprised at how much this film was actually good. I found this one pretty underrated. Directed by the Coen Brothers, this is a fine remake with plenty of laughs. Tom Hanks is great here, and he makes the film very enjoyable. I really don't understand the hatred towards this film. Well directed by the Coen Brothers, this is one of their most underrated films. If someone should tackle a remake, it's these two directors. Their resume speaks for itself. I enjoyed the eccentric humor that the film had, and it almost felt as if it was a Coen Brothers original film and not a remake. This is a very funny film, one that shouldn't get vilified the way it has. This is a fine little film in its own right. This remake is helmed by great filmmakers who understand the value of a good gag. With films like Raising Arizona, Fargo and The Big Lebowski, you can see a consistent humor element in their work. Ladykillers is not a perfect film, but it has plenty of good things going for it to make a worthwhile film to watch. The Coen Brothers deliver a fun, whimsical comedy here, and I really believe that this one of those films that is unfairly criticized as being a bad film, which couldn't be further from the truth. I think the Coen Brothers did a great job here and made a fine film that deserves more praise than what it initially got. If you're a Coen Brothers fan, you may enjoy this film, and you might understand why it's an underrated film.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer


Coen brothers flaw. The Ladykillers (2004) is nothing like the original.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

The Coen Brothers' recent remake of "True Grit" was exceptionally better than the original. The same can't really be said with this one, as it's a lesser effort from the brothers. However, the Coens off form can still be better and more enjoyable than most on it. Polite and eloquent Southern gentleman, Professor Goldthwait Higginson Dorr III, (Tom Hanks) rents a room from churchgoing widow Marva Munsen (Irma P. Hall), then plots a daring heist in her basement with an ill-chosen group of accomplices disguised as purveyors of religious music. They soon fall foul of their gospel-clutching landlady and as they desperately attempt to eradicate her, it's themselves who one-by-one pop their devious clogs. Once again the Coens working with cinematographer Roger Deakins deliver a film that is crisp and sharphly detailed. Their usual ingredients are all here, except for one thing and that's surprisingly the one thing the Coens are most accomplished at; a tight screenplay. The film takes too long to set up the heist and by the time the plan is foiled and the whole deal goes south, the film is drawing to a close and leaves you with an unsatisfied feeling of what could have been. The cast do a fine job, but with the characters on show I couldn't help wanting to see some of the old tried-and-tested ensemble of actors the Coens regularly employ; Steve Buscemi, John Turturro or Jon Polito could have fitted in nicely here. Marlon Wayans is completely out of sorts. He seems as though he stepped off the set of a disasterous Ice Cube comedy. Other than him though, the cast are good. Irma P Hall is a joy as the sassy landlady, and it's great to see the Coens' new regulars J.K. Simmons and Stephen Root but the real star of the show is Tom Hanks. He's funnier than he's been in a long time and delivers a performance of such wily eccentricity -complete with southern gentlemanly accent - it's hard to take your eyes off him. It's one of my favourite Hanks performances and his effort deserved a better script to work with him. I just hope the Coens can find another role for him in the future. It's a collaboration I'd love to see again. This is probably my least favourite of the Coens' work but there's still plenty to enjoy and the gags are good enough to maintain a level of entertainment. A fine attempt at remaking the classic Ealing comedy of 1955, but it never quite excites the way the Coens are capable of and resorts to some heavy-handed slapstick. Tom Hanks adds a big reminder of how good he can be though, making it worthwhile just for him.

Mark Walker
Mark Walker

Super Reviewer

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