The Ballad of Buster Scruggs Reviews

February 28, 2019
The western anthology of shorts starts with a bang and quickly fades into a whimper.
February 8, 2019
Lately the Coen Brothers seem content to simply pay homage to classic storytelling (in this case the western) instead of crafting compelling scripts within said genre.
February 7, 2019
It's disappointing that the Coens don't even try to upend any classic Western clichés in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs - they apply some grim humor to various situations, but that's about it.
January 26, 2019
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs feels like the Coen brothers' B-sides compilation... . That smugness to which the Coens are susceptible is in plentiful supply here.
December 12, 2018
The first and second narratives are blisteringly fun and energetic, but onwards from there the pace slackens enormously.
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 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.
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 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 16, 2018
Some stories are better than others, but even the best are merely pleasantly diverting, while the bad are distractingly mediocre.
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 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.
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 14, 2018
Every tale in "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" runs out of steam before it runs out of story.
November 13, 2018
Unfortunately, these six campfire stories also distinctly feel like odds and ends that've been sitting in a drawer gathering dust.
November 9, 2018
As a whole Buster Scruggs is too often like a gunfighter firing nothing but blanks.
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.
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.
September 4, 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.
August 31, 2018
As a single collection of stories, meanwhile, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs just really doesn't come off - and for the life of me, I couldn't tell you why that title was selected to bundle up all six tales.