101 Greatest Screenplays of the 21st Century (*so far)

There’s a compelling argument to be made that O Brother is the most “Coen brothers” of Coen brothers movies, not necessarily the best—just the most “Coen brothers.” Aside from all the usual elements—crime, a vivid ensemble, heaps of comedy—it’s also Homer’s Odyssey reimagined in Depression era America. If you didn’t know, the Coen brothers are professorially literate bookworms. All their movies take inspiration from countless great books (e.g.: Miller’s Crossing from Dashiell Hammett’s The Glass Key, or Barton Fink from Nathaniel West’s The Day of the Locust). But none hew as close to such a classic source. This strikes at the essence of the Coens’ genius: only they can understand a text this complex this nimbly without being remotely intimidated out of also making an endlessly fun picture.