Netflix | Release Date: November 9, 2018
7.9
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Generally favorable reviews based on 113 Ratings
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6
saeed0shirkhaniNov 29, 2018
In the episodic films when an episode fails, the audience will be distracted from the main line, get bored and lose the entire film. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs starts with a surreal satire on western folk songs, the first episode has enoughIn the episodic films when an episode fails, the audience will be distracted from the main line, get bored and lose the entire film. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs starts with a surreal satire on western folk songs, the first episode has enough action, humor & cinematic vision & content. Near Algodones is fun, but it has no words. Meal Ticket has a decent matter but its long... so long and so complicated for this simple content. All Gold Canyon is like watching a boring documentary about gold prospectors but following a tireless old man has its own perks! The Gal Who Got Rattled is the BEST, Just as simple as it should be. & The Mortal Remains; it's like Coen bros wanted to fill the entire Hateful Eight in its stagecoach sequence! Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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10
mdbackesNov 17, 2018
Ballad of Buster Scruggs is the Coen brothers through and through. Blackly funny, genuinely eccentric, featuring excellent actors and incredible cinematography. What might go unnoticed is that Buster Scruggs contains some of the best shortBallad of Buster Scruggs is the Coen brothers through and through. Blackly funny, genuinely eccentric, featuring excellent actors and incredible cinematography. What might go unnoticed is that Buster Scruggs contains some of the best short filmmaking in decades. More than a few of these short films have the richness of storytelling typically only found in feature length films. I really enjoyed it and will certainly rewatch it. Congrats to Netflix for making it. Expand
6 of 10 users found this helpful64
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3
JennyKat570Nov 26, 2018
I was excited for this after the Coens' excellent True Grit, but it came as a huge disappointment. These are the problems:

- Like a lot of Netflix original content, it looked and felt cheap. It tries to come out strong with a fairly
I was excited for this after the Coens' excellent True Grit, but it came as a huge disappointment. These are the problems:

- Like a lot of Netflix original content, it looked and felt cheap. It tries to come out strong with a fairly action-packed initial story, but that can't cover for the penny pinching that gradually creeps in, like long stretches that take place in a single location, or long stretches with minimal dialogue (which requires fewer takes to shoot). I wasn't surprised to learn this was initial planned as a TV show, it has a very TV-grade feel to it (though TBH even Netflix's shows look cheap compared to other studios').

- It doesn't ever make a good case for why it exists, other than to let the Coens do their usual (and rather tired) black comedy/satire/melodrama shtick. Netflix is clearly hoping that the Coen name and a few A-list actors (who mostly have minor roles with minimal dialogue) will singlehandedly sell the movie, but that's not how this works. If this were a Wes Anderson movie it would be The Darjeeling Limited.

- As others have noted, it is slow, dull, and full of the usual cliched, portentous, and sophomoric "meditations on life and death" (ugh) typical of postmodern Westerns. Most of the stories coast by on absurdist novelty without emotionally engaging the audience; the one exception is "The Girl Who Got Rattled", which is easily the best part of the movie and the only part that actually succeeds at the basics of storytelling.

- It's a bit tough to criticize the plot or characters because there almost weren't any. The vignettes are supposed to make you feel amused or somber for a few seconds, then to be forgotten forever as the next one queues up. In that sense I guess it really is a true-blue Netflix product, given how much they promote binge watching of trashy content.
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3 of 5 users found this helpful32
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10
RedShiftXIIINov 18, 2018
It's a historical materialist's take on western fiction, that ties various stories together with a few common themes. Each story could be seen as quips against human nature, each story holds true to their own theme of life lessons (i.e. thereIt's a historical materialist's take on western fiction, that ties various stories together with a few common themes. Each story could be seen as quips against human nature, each story holds true to their own theme of life lessons (i.e. there will always be someone better, think before you leap, etc . . .) and each story represents a different aspect of the same general setting (in keeping with the materialist approach).

I'd wager most of the negative reviews are more of a critique of penny dreadfuls being on the big screen next to tradition style movies, rather than the quality or entertainment value of the piece itself. The biggest downside is that they don't use fluff, and even the breaks with seemingly meaningless scenes, have some apparent connection to the overall collection. All this leaves you with very little time to absorb everything from one story, before the next story starts. There's almost no downtime (in terms of message loaded scenes) with this movie and it's 2 hours long.

I recommend watching it at least twice. You also might want to take breaks if you have the luxury.
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4 of 7 users found this helpful43
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8
DBM2018Nov 20, 2018
This movie is kind of like the 'Best Of' of Coen Bros films. Everything good about the Coen bros is on display here. Normally I can't stand Netflix original movies and if you agree with me on that, give this one a chance because it's reallyThis movie is kind of like the 'Best Of' of Coen Bros films. Everything good about the Coen bros is on display here. Normally I can't stand Netflix original movies and if you agree with me on that, give this one a chance because it's really good. It's not a cohesive plot. It's six stories about the Old West, and while some are better than others, it's all a very enjoyable experience beginning-to-end. Great performances. Great visuals. This is really good. Expand
4 of 7 users found this helpful43
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8
flowerpowerNov 17, 2018
I found it a little bit slow during the end, but overall very enjoyable, beautifully shot, and both funny and dark at times.
4 of 8 users found this helpful44
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7
amheretojudgeNov 17, 2018
leaping from one character to another..

The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs Coen Brothers' western ride on the tell tale narration is much more layered than Leone's grimy cowboy attitude. With a storytelling like such, that is a compilation of
leaping from one character to another..

The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs

Coen Brothers' western ride on the tell tale narration is much more layered than Leone's grimy cowboy attitude. With a storytelling like such, that is a compilation of various tales, often tends to lose the grip and fails to make you root for the track despite of leaping from one character to another. But this shear passion of Coen Brothers cuts all these rumored hoax of cinema and soars above all with an adaptive and layered script. As always, the storytelling is often brimmed with humoristic tone which is aptly balanced and never shucks away the intensity of the gunpowder.

The first act pretty much works like your textbook structure, that shows you the brief description of what is about to come; not to mention it is the funniest bit of all. Franco takes in the second chapter, that gives you a more Eastwood-y feeling like wooden boards creaking, wind howling and gunshots puffing smoke, it characterizes the western world, the best. Neeson's act is the one that haunts you the most, for both the reasons; its beauty and sadism.

It has the range to soothe you and give you the goosebumps, that harrowing silent pitch on screen cannot be toned down by even the beautiful live location it wanders through. Gait's sort-of-a-diary-version has the thirst for seeking the truth out, hardwork and patience, combining all this, it is certainly the most glorifying segment of all. Kazan's personal venture is complex to the core where the uncertainty of the trajectory easily helps Coen Brothers to fiddle with your emotions. And the last section of the segment is so bizarrely ingenious that you are left with your head spinning on the edge of the seat.

The final act on the cart is more scary than it is funny, you can practically see each step of the structure leaning towards a darker path, no matter how ironical the stories keep getting, and on that note where Coen Brothers are messing with you subconsciously, this is a complete triumph on the western drama. Now, having these many plots and ergo these many characters, each actor gets a stand out moment to impress the viewers with their expressive performance. But the ones that do among this caliber of cast, are Kazan, Gaits, Gleeson and Neeson.

Unlike such stories usually does, there is no mutual theme to it, it may feel coequal, but each tale has a rare soul that emits a newer version, a fresher version of itself. The execution is undoubtedly on the mark, and armed with such meticulous script, its grittiness is what's bubbled up by the Coen Brothers. Aforementioned, there are few fluctuations on the nature of the layered segments, it still bodes well to the flow of the movie and never comes across any bumps. The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs is, yes, your typical Coen Brothers adventure that is crafted out with a sensational cast, but personally I'd choose True Grit version vocab of theirs.
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4 of 8 users found this helpful44
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5
shoulderoforionNov 18, 2018
Disjointed, and constantly throwing you into short vignettes, was jarring. Can't say I enjoyed most of them, with the exceptions being the gold miner & wagon train, the others were all more like bad jokes than revelatory treatises on theDisjointed, and constantly throwing you into short vignettes, was jarring. Can't say I enjoyed most of them, with the exceptions being the gold miner & wagon train, the others were all more like bad jokes than revelatory treatises on the american west. The standout scene of the entire thing, for me, was Brendan Gleeson's rendition of The Unfortunate Rake, which was riveting for viewer and characters, alike. It doesn't seem as if the Coen Brothers think Black people even existed in the American west of the 1860's, and that's just wrong on a whole lot of levels. Not their finest hour. Expand
3 of 6 users found this helpful33
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9
krumpsteadNov 16, 2018
Much like this film, watching the Coen Brothers movies has been a roller coaster of emotion throughout the years. Some of them are my all-time favorites and others I could barely finish. That isn't a failure on their part. It speaks to theirMuch like this film, watching the Coen Brothers movies has been a roller coaster of emotion throughout the years. Some of them are my all-time favorites and others I could barely finish. That isn't a failure on their part. It speaks to their ability to create art that can be enjoyed by a diverse group of people, and this movie will speak to each of those groups in different ways.

This film is truly their opus magnum. It has the absurd, awkward and dark comedy that their fans love, but also the deeply dramatic elements. You will go from seeing ridiculously funny and upbeat segments to some of the most depressing things ever filmed. It runs the gamut of every thematic element they have covered in their wide library of films and ties it together in one piece. If I had to guess what audience reactions will be, I would say they will probably focus on the brutally dark elements rather than enjoying the piece as a whole. It's unfortunate if that occurs because this film will walk you through every human emotion masterfully and because of that I feel it transcends simple entertainment. It will leave you evaluating what you just experienced and in the end this is what every filmmaker hopes to accomplish.
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2 of 4 users found this helpful22
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10
Netzwerk69Nov 20, 2018
I have very low expectation for this movie as for every netflix original non tv series. But this has changed basically from the first seconds of this film. Amazing visuals, fantastics music, black humour and it is so much rewarding that iI have very low expectation for this movie as for every netflix original non tv series. But this has changed basically from the first seconds of this film. Amazing visuals, fantastics music, black humour and it is so much rewarding that i can't stop thinking about it. Definitely i will watch this movie more than once, cause discovering this small subtle details will give me s lot of joy in the future. If you like good movies this one is must watch! Expand
2 of 5 users found this helpful23
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8
Geng1sNov 19, 2018
The usual fantastic Coen brother story telling and cinematography you have come to expect in a series of wonderfully crafted mini stories that are all unique to their own tale but hold a similarly depressing undertone.

If you are having a
The usual fantastic Coen brother story telling and cinematography you have come to expect in a series of wonderfully crafted mini stories that are all unique to their own tale but hold a similarly depressing undertone.

If you are having a rough day its probably not going to be the 2 and half of hours general sadness you will want to put yourself through but its absolutely a great piece of work that deserves to be be seen.
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2 of 5 users found this helpful23
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8
Corky_RamirezNov 17, 2018
I really enjoyed the film. The vignettes are connected through common themes and tone, I really enjoyed all of them. Liam Neeson's performance especially stood out to me, as well as Zoe Kazan's. I'd highly recommend checking it out if youI really enjoyed the film. The vignettes are connected through common themes and tone, I really enjoyed all of them. Liam Neeson's performance especially stood out to me, as well as Zoe Kazan's. I'd highly recommend checking it out if you have the opportunity. Expand
2 of 5 users found this helpful23
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5
ScienceAdvisorNov 16, 2018
Six short stories, not a comprehenisve story. It starts off amzingly well but grows ever more stale with each successive story. Until you are left trying to remember why you were so anxious to see this, and remember that you thought it wasSix short stories, not a comprehenisve story. It starts off amzingly well but grows ever more stale with each successive story. Until you are left trying to remember why you were so anxious to see this, and remember that you thought it was a movie, not a collection of unlinked short stories of uneven temperment. Expand
3 of 9 users found this helpful36
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5
CriticsRscumNov 20, 2018
Well i'm glad this was on Netflix as i would have left the cinema during the third story. It comes out of the gates swinging with the title character and sets up a potentially great movie. Unfortunately things go from great to boring, theWell i'm glad this was on Netflix as i would have left the cinema during the third story. It comes out of the gates swinging with the title character and sets up a potentially great movie. Unfortunately things go from great to boring, the cardinal sin of an Anthology movie is lingering on one story for far too long, especially when that story is dull and boring. That 3rd story could have been cut in half and had just the same effect. The only part worth seeing wasn't even shown just a fad to black. It seems like they tried to copy many aspects of western comedy already done by the superior Quentin Tarrantino films. Also good to see american film makers haven't forgotten about the traditional one White man vs dozens of Indians, seems only white people can shoot straight and kill with every bullet yet dozens of Indians all firing at the same time cant hit anything, Pathetic. Expand
2 of 6 users found this helpful24
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6
JLuis_001Nov 17, 2018
After the disappointing Hail, Caesar! I would say that my expectations for a new Coens film were not that high anymore but both are still very good directors and screenwriters and definitely The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a more satisfyingAfter the disappointing Hail, Caesar! I would say that my expectations for a new Coens film were not that high anymore but both are still very good directors and screenwriters and definitely The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a more satisfying film but it's also far from being memorable.

Although I'm aware that in the first instance it was planned for these stories to be a miniseries, the truth is that it turned out better as a film. The last thing I would expect from the Coens was an anthology and although the final result is satisfactory enough, the narrative quality of all the stories is quite uneven.

I think they realized they functioned better as an ensemble than as separate entities in a miniseries with obviously more extensive storytelling processes but that evidently wouldn't have been equally fruitful.

They still don't surpass Inside Llewyn Davis but maybe with the Coens that is their process: they deliver a couple of regular films to finish off with an excellent one. They have been doing it since Fargo.
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2 of 6 users found this helpful24
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7
The3AcademySinsDec 2, 2018
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs almost feels more like a meditation on the nature of life and death than an actual movie. However, I do mean that as a compliment. The anthology premise opens more doors to discussion and interpretation on theThe Ballad of Buster Scruggs almost feels more like a meditation on the nature of life and death than an actual movie. However, I do mean that as a compliment. The anthology premise opens more doors to discussion and interpretation on the Coen Brother's latest offering. If you compare Buster Scruggs to the Coen Brothers remake of True Grit, you wouldn't even believe that these movies are made by the same people!

Buster Scruggs himself is a delightful opening to the movie you are about to see. He feels more like a Bugs Bunny character than a Coen Brothers creation. His narrative sets the tone for the rest of the movies, and like all of the others stories, it fulfills you and leaves you wanting more.

If this sounds like something you would be interested in, definitely check it out!
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1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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9
wodan1234Nov 23, 2018
This was by far, the best thing that i watched on Netflix this year! It had very funny moments, was sometimes full with gore and also brought my heart to tears, in more than one occasion. (I cried my eyes out in the second to last chapter.)This was by far, the best thing that i watched on Netflix this year! It had very funny moments, was sometimes full with gore and also brought my heart to tears, in more than one occasion. (I cried my eyes out in the second to last chapter.)
And you actually feel attached to the characters. Extremely good work Netflix.
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1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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8
ahmedaiman99Nov 22, 2018
"The Ballad of Buster Scruggs"
It has no shortage of the Coens' idiosyncratic dark humor and quirkiness. Maybe this why this story is what I liked the most among the others. From the opening sequence I got O Brother, Where Art Thou? vibes
"The Ballad of Buster Scruggs"
It has no shortage of the Coens' idiosyncratic dark humor and quirkiness. Maybe this why this story is what I liked the most among the others. From the opening sequence I got O Brother, Where Art Thou? vibes thanks to the amazing song Cool Water which is performed by Tim Blake Nelson who stars this first segment, and delivering an incredibly energetic performance which is, in my opinion, the best performance of this pleasant anthology film. The visual effects didn't only serve the humorous nature of the story, but also suited the fantastical quality the story has. The moral of the story is what I didn't hundred percent like. Sure, there's a good message here, but it's also a well-worn one. I was about to ignore that as the over-the-top violence, and the hilarious death sequences kept me thoroughly entertained, but it's the ending that made the message feels corny. Not because the ending was poorly executed, but because there was nothing in it to make the message seems fresh, except the gorgeous-looking ending scene.(9/10)

"Near Algodones"
One one hand, this story has the most complex message compared to the rest of the stories. In contrast with its predecessor, the great, profound moral of the story is what made it truly shines, not the visuals, nor the visual humor. The humor comes from the irony in the character arc; the movie subverts the idea of fate not by avoiding it, but rather by giving the audience a space to make their assumptions. As a result, Near Algodones is the segment that is most responsible for linking all the other segments together, and therefore making the entire movie feels consistent. James Franco is as appealing as usual, giving a performance that has the grittiness of his performance in 127 Hours, and the gleefulness he usually brings with his charming on-screen presence.On the other hand, and also in contrast with "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs", this segment is utterly soulless and flavorless. Pretty much everything from what I mentioned above I felt that I've appreciated more than enjoyed. The dark humor undoubtedly didn't work as much as it should due to that, but the problem I had with this story is that I didn't find it as entertaining and vivid as it tried to be, or as it easily should have been. Everything should have made the movie engrossing, yet the wishy-washy narrative structure, and the prompt shifts from a scene to another offered a fair amount of glimpses and flashes of glimmer which, at least, I have grasped and sensed behind the colorlessness that prevailed the movie.(8/10)

"Meal Ticket"
This is without a doubt the most underwhelming story of the six; simply, because how much I was invested in the characters, especially Harry Melling's character, the Artist, and how much I was enjoyed with Liam Nesson's presence, yet how achingly disappointing the ending was. After some of the most interesting minutes I had watching the movie, the Coens ended this mostly entertaining story with nothing more than a commentary on the predatory nature of show business that neither offered something new and smart enough to be biting, nor ended the segment in a fulfilling way.The story also suffered from repetition that made me feel that it should have been shorter, but I have to admit that most of the run time was spent in enriching the two main characters, and hence making them more interesting. Alas, all what we knew about the characters didn't pay off at the end.(7/10)

"All Gold Canyon"
Aside from some boring repetitive scenes that stretched the run time without avail, this is the most story that absorbed me. Tom Waits gave a soulful and honest performance that is more than enough to make you root for him until the last second. It's not only the sympathetic protagonist that made it difficult for me to take my eyes out of the screen throughout the entire segment, but it's also the way this Venice Award winning screenplay kept shattering my expectations over and over.(9/10)

"The Gal Who Got Rattled"
Featuring two of the best performances in the entire movie from Zoe Kazan and Bill Heck, this gritty themes tale is decidedly stands out from the rest with its quite complex story, well-developed plot, and endearing characters that managed to make it riveting and thought-provoking all at once. Alas, it feels overlong, and hence boring sometimes. For it has a long build-up that, in a similar way to most of the other segments, has a hugely frustrating end.(7.5/10)

"The Mortal Remains"
This is the only section that I didn't like. Although it has a remarkable Gothic atmosphere, and a Tarantinoesque dialogue, the heavy-handed way of symbolism made this segment somewhat off-putting. But, fortunately, it's the end that was sabotaged the most by the ostentatious use of metaphors. So I was in fact engaged for quite some time due to the smart dialogue, and the top-notch performances.(6/10)

Overall Rating: (8/10)
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1 of 4 users found this helpful13
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8
IzagoNov 22, 2018
Filme muito bom com ótimas histórias, na mesma qualodade do filme argentino relatos selvagens ou até maior. Grande atuação por parte de todos atores, fotógrafia são de tirar o queixo e o figurino incrível. Histórias de todos os tipos comFilme muito bom com ótimas histórias, na mesma qualodade do filme argentino relatos selvagens ou até maior. Grande atuação por parte de todos atores, fotógrafia são de tirar o queixo e o figurino incrível. Histórias de todos os tipos com aquela pintada de tensão para o que vai acontecer. Minha visão sobre filmes dividos com histórias não é totalmente boa pois não segue o propósito de concentrarmos e entrarmos em somente uma história, é bom de ver mas não tem ligação alguma. Expand
0 of 3 users found this helpful03
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9
Davrosdaleks1Dec 4, 2018
This new film on Netflix from the Cohen brothers may not be a new Fargo or Big Lebowski, but it is in the upper echelons of their work.

The Ballad of Buster of Buster Scruggs is an anthology of six Western tales. The movie uses the
This new film on Netflix from the Cohen brothers may not be a new Fargo or Big Lebowski, but it is in the upper echelons of their work.

The Ballad of Buster of Buster Scruggs is an anthology of six Western tales. The movie uses the interesting framing device of the tales coming from an old book complete with color plates. In fact, each tale feels sort of like it was written back in the day. (A couple are based on/inspired by actual stories.) The tales are stuffed with the moments of darkness, humor, violence, and well-written dialogue and plot developments the Cohens are known for. Also, the segment All Gold Canyon, which takes place out in the sunny untouched wilderness.

Includes a cast of well-known or veteran actors. It's better to be surprised than to tell you who they are.

The only major weak point is the second to the last segment The Gal who got Rattled. Though well acted, it runs a bit long and the ending isn't strong enough to justify the length.

I highly recommend this to Cohen fans. If you're not into dark films, then this isn't for you.
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0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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10
CoenonlyNov 26, 2018
Buster Scruggs is a speck in the distance of the most spectacular of all the Western Landscapes ... Monument Valley.
We hear his uptempo clip clop version of Cool Clear Water.
The Coens aren't about that kind of nourishment though. For them
Buster Scruggs is a speck in the distance of the most spectacular of all the Western Landscapes ... Monument Valley.
We hear his uptempo clip clop version of Cool Clear Water.
The Coens aren't about that kind of nourishment though.
For them it's all about the ideas and basically blowing your mind one way or another.
They marry up images into pairs that mysteriously inform one another. Like the way the feet line up at the demise inspections in Busters final shootouts, and the camera notes it and the editor notes it and it is in you brain like a clue to the mystery and that's what it is.
They say if they become aware of subtext they put it in the real text. I find this hard to fathom that they don't do subtext.
It's their dedication to this mystery I suppose.
They turn away from certainties like they've seen a ghost.
Death is pretty certain but even on that point they find disparities. They want the mystery, they need the mystery and that's the stock in trade. In life we are bombarded by the sound of certainty in all it's salesman glory. Check with the most cursory inspection and those realities fall vulnerable. Yet within the uncertain framework they present you find yourself these little light bulbs that illuminate some point or other.
A point that artists are to contribute or out you go into the cold flowing river. Or is it the cruel world that doesn't understand?
The Coens have six shorts in this chamber and they have worked like ten prospectors to uncover and manifest the greatest ever shootout with Hollywood's Western Mythology.
Let them blow you away into the dust or what you think is anyway.
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9
CulldogindarkNov 27, 2018
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I must confess to being a Coen brothers fan from the outset. This movie may have flaws but it is storytelling at its best. The vignettes are superbly realised due to the stunning cinematography and the ensemble cast.
Death stalks the film being the silent witness as humans battle the natural environment and each other. Women are conspicuously silent as well with the exception of the braves but ultimately doomed girl on the Oregon Trail.
Characters are bewildered at the things they don't see coming. There are highlights include "The Girl who got rattled", "All Gold Canyon" and "Mortal Remains". There are nods and winks to iconic Westerns such as Stagecoach, Once upon a Time in the West, The Searchers to name but a few.
Are we to take lessons about contemporary society form this fine work? Yes. Death as an inevitable fate, uncertain times and hubris.
I loved the the execution of filmic techniques at the same time being disconcerted by the brothers' vision. Maybe the message is that we're all just passion' through.
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8
alejandro970Dec 9, 2018
What do have in common a singing gunslinger, a bank-robber, a gold-digger and two bounty hunters? They the main characters of first essay in collage of Coen brothers; not all the chapters have same strenght but is a remarkable exercise ofWhat do have in common a singing gunslinger, a bank-robber, a gold-digger and two bounty hunters? They the main characters of first essay in collage of Coen brothers; not all the chapters have same strenght but is a remarkable exercise of western genre. Expand
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6
Eman0221Dec 8, 2018
Aside from the very first story, this felt less like a Coen Brothers movie, and more Tarantino/Guy Ritchie-esque. At least, Richie and Tarantino utilize their talent, the Coens waste the A-listers they have (Liam Neeson says less than tenAside from the very first story, this felt less like a Coen Brothers movie, and more Tarantino/Guy Ritchie-esque. At least, Richie and Tarantino utilize their talent, the Coens waste the A-listers they have (Liam Neeson says less than ten words in his scene).
While it was good of them to make this into a film instead of a TV series, another bad and disposable Netflix series, this isn't their best either. If it had kept the humor, pace, and momentum of the first scene and story, this would've been good and entertaining, but it falls off a steep cliff after that one and never really recovers.
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