The Ladykillers (2004)

The Ladykillers (2004)
The Ladykillers (2004) DVD / Blu-ray

By: Oberst Von Berauscht (Four Beers) –

Professor G.H. Dorr (Tom Hanks) is a kindly middle aged Southern gentlemen seeking a room, and a practice space for his string band.  Or at least that’s what Mrs. Marva Munson (Irma P. Hall) thinks.  In reality, G.H. is planning a heist, and using Mrs. Munson’s basement to dig a tunnel under a casino vault.  Accompanied by cohorts “Lump” (Ryan Hurst), “The General” (Tzi Ma), Garth Pancake (J.K. Simmons), and Gawain (Marlon Wayans), G.H.’s plan seems to be going swimmingly, but the veneer Marva puts on is only partially true.  She might be a sweet old lady, but she’s also very nosy, and turns out to be more trouble than the thieves bargain for.

The ladykillers 2

Grandma Guilt is her Superhero power

A Toast

The Coen Brothers manage some very creative laughs with a blend of dark humor and slapstick.  And the performances of nearly the entire cast are solid.  This pays off in droves, helping to rise above the film’s faults, which will be outlined below:

Beer Two

The film has some good laughs, but also a lot of groaner lines.  The Coens chose this as their first film to act as official co-directors, having been recognized as an “established duo” by the Academy.

Bad album cover

This duo is sill waiting on their application…

At the time, it was easy to wonder if there weren’t too many cooks in one kitchen.  However, as films such as No Country For Old Men proved, the Coens still worked together quite well.  Perhaps this was simply a B-Script to test out the new arrangement?  Either way, for every funny joke there are at least 3 that fall by the wayside.

Beer Three

The story itself is an interesting concept, and indeed the film is a remake of the 1955 film of the same name.  However, it stretches itself into cartoonish territory, which clashes with the dark comedy.  It isn’t unheard of to have this occur, but it requires a careful balance which ultimately feels off-kilter.

Beer Four

Marlon Wayans… This is a movie that needs no extra comic relief, and so his schtick comes off as unnecessary.  Wayans’ blend of comedy doesn’t really fit in The Ladykillers.

Little Man

Or anywhere else for that matter.



A rare misfire from the Coens, but not without some plus sides


Drinking Game

Take a Drink: as each character dies

Take a Drink: when Tom Hanks’ laughs like a satanic Colonel Sanders

Do a Shot: when Mrs. Munson mentions Bob Jones University in a positive light

About Oberst von Berauscht

Oberst Von Berauscht once retained the services of a Gypsy to imbue in him the ability to accurately describe the artistic qualities of a film up to seven decimal points. To maintain this unique skill, he must feast on the blood of a virgin every Harvest Moon, or failing that (and he usually does), he can also make a dog do that thing they do where they twist their heads slightly (you know, when they're confused about something) at least a few times a week. I've gotten way off track here... The point is, Oberst is one of the website's founders, so... yeah

One comment

  1. Henry J. Fromage

    Haven’t watched this since it came out, but even then I was disappointed. If this is career low for them, though, nothing to complain about.

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