The Ballad of Buster Scruggs


Action / Comedy / Drama / Musical / Mystery / Romance / Western

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 89% · 235 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 78% · 2.5K ratings
IMDb Rating 7.2/10 10 168379 168.4K


Top cast

Liam Neeson as Impresario
Clancy Brown as Curly Joe
Harry Melling as Harrison
James Franco as Cowboy
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU 720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
1.2 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 13 min
Seeds 25
2.46 GB
English 5.1
23.976 fps
2 hr 13 min
Seeds 42
1.1 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 13 min
Seeds 36
2.13 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 13 min
Seeds 100+

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by classicsoncall 9 / 10

"Things have a way of escalatin' out here in the West..."

I've never run into a Coen Brothers movie I didn't like. Their skewed way of looking at the world and placing oddball characters into their stories appeals to me tremendously. This film may not win over fans of traditional Westerns like "True Grit", which the Coens took a crack at almost a decade ago with favorable results. Their anthology approach here is designed to introduce a diverse assortment of tales with only one common element running through all of them - each one produces a dead body! A couple of the deaths don't actually occur on screen, but are offered in ironic juxtaposition to the story in which they took place. Because of the widely (and wildly) diverse nature of the tales, it's kind of difficult to pick out a favorite, if in fact the word 'favorite' even applies.

Each of the chapters in the movie comes with it's own title and introduction, and it starts out on a most favorable note with the appearance of Buster Scruggs (Tim Blake Nelson) astride his white horse Dan. He evokes the memory of Gene Autry in countless B Westerns of the Forties and Fifties, coming on the scene while strumming his guitar and singing an upbeat tune. Of all the little episodes, this is the one that plays most as a caricature of the Western genre, and it contains an element I've never seen in over seven or eight hundred Westerns - it has Buster's nemesis, The Frenchman (David Krumholtz) mount his horse from the right side! Seriously, no one EVER mounts a horse from the right side, and I had to wonder if the Coens' goofing with the audience included this little tidbit intentionally.

I'm not going to discuss each of the vignettes offered in the film, or attempt to pick a favorite, because none of them really lend themselves to being particularly likeable in the sense that their resolutions end favorably for the participants. Especially gruesome were the fates of the Artist (Harry Melling) in the segment titled 'Meal Ticket', and that of poor Alice Longabaugh (Zoe Kazan) in 'The Gal Who Got Rattled'. In your traditional Westerns, you'd never have a character like The Artist, and the fate of an Alice Longabaugh would have been anathema for the likes of John Ford or Howard Hawks.

The only story I didn't particularly understand upon a first viewing was the final one called 'The Mortal Remains'. It ends somewhat humorously, but everything leading up to it is mere conversation among stagecoach riders in somewhat antagonistic fashion. I'll have to go back to that one to see if there's something I missed. But overall, I got the biggest kick out of this off beat Western in a way I haven't experienced since 1995's "The Quick and the Dead". Chances are if you liked that one, you'll like this one too, but of course, the opposite could be just as true as well.

Reviewed by doveed 6 / 10

Smart, Well Done & Boring

How do you rate a movie that is very well done, but you just don't connect with it at all? I love the Coen brothers, and I watched this with an open heart. Not every Coen brothers movie knocks it out of the park, but all of them are at least smart and interesting. The same holds true for this one, though I'm sorry to say that I found myself bored throughout most of it.

Six stories is a lot to process in one sitting. The problem for me was that I would be watching one of the segments, trying to understand its significance or find something to appreciate story-wise, and then we moved on to the next tale.

There was nothing wrong with it and I would consider watching it again some time with a fresh perspective. This movie did seem to have a grasp on itself and I trust that the Coens knew what they were doing. It was very unique and beautifully shot, but I think this one ranks low on the Coen's filmography. And if this wasn't a Coen brothers movie, I would probably be more dismissive of it.

Reviewed by jburtonprod-802-759029 9 / 10

More Astounding Moviemaking By The Coen Brothers

This movie has an accumulative effect. The stories range from funny to grim to harrowing to ironic to haunting to horrifying. You barely have time to recover from one before you're thrust into the next one. The format is set up as a dime Western book where we get to see six of the stories. There is a real authentic western feel to them. A real grit.

Bruno Delbonnel's cinematography is spectacular. Wide sweeping vistas, majestic mountains, stylized towns, all beautifully captured. There's also a surreal feel to some the stories. Imagine if 'Pulp Fiction' were all western stories. And on that train of thought, TBoBS succeeds in many areas where 'The Hateful Eight' did not. A great collection of short movies by the Coen Brothers.

Read more IMDb reviews


Be the first to leave a comment