Hail, Caesar! | Chicago Reader

Hail, Caesar!

Backed by Universal Pictures, Joel and Ethan Coen revisit the Hollywood satire of Barton Fink (1991), tossing together cartoonish Tinseltown archetypes (George Clooney as a dumbbell screen idol, Tilda Swinton as a pair of identical-twin gossip columnists) and swell parodies of MGM classics (an Esther Williams-style water ballet starring Scarlett Johansson, a Gene Kelly-style dance number starring Channing Tatum). The centerpiece of it all is a real person—Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin), the legendary MGM "fixer" who specialized in tamping down scandals involving the studio's contract players—though the historical reference points are so muddled that the two-day story would have to be taking place from the early 1940s to the late '50s. This is fairly amusing if you can get past the Coens' erasure of the anticommunist witch hunts, which destroyed hundreds of lives.



  • Joel Coen
  • Ethan Coen


  • Josh Brolin
  • George Clooney
  • Alden Ehrenreich
  • Ralph Fiennes
  • Scarlett Johansson
  • Tilda Swinton
  • Channing Tatum
  • Frances McDormand
  • Jonah Hill
  • Veronica Osorio
  • Heather Goldenhersh
  • Alison Pill
  • Ian Blackman


  • Joel Coen
  • Ethan Coen
  • Tim Bevan
  • Eric Fellner
  • Robert Graf

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