Joel and Ethan Coen have crafted a peculiar ode to old Hollywood in Hail, Caesar! The principal protagonist in the film is Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin), a producer and “fixer” tasked with making sure that everything runs smoothly at Capitol Pictures. He hops from fire to fire, and along the way gives us a haphazard overview of the Hollywood studio system by visiting the sets of different pictures. While different threads of his life entwine together into a coherent story by the end of the film, particular elements fail or succeed largely on the merits of the superb supporting cast of characters. Regardless, moments of hilarity exist in this mish-mash of tone and style, and the worst sin Hail, Caesar! can be accused of is failing to synthesize its zany parts into a cohesive whole.
Steven Spielberg’s Cold War historical drama Bridge of Spies feels like it may get lost in the 2015 spy film shuffle. It has neither the name recognition of the franchise films released this year (Mission: Impossible and Spectre), nor the comedic leanings or freshness of something like The Kingsman. This would be a shame, as Bridge of Spies proves to be a mature and nuanced investigation of loyalty and integrity. At the same time, it offers a reminder that in fighting demons, we must always make sure not to become one.