Hail, Caesar!

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Hail, Caesar! Movie Poster Image
Coen brothers' madcap, funny take on old Hollywood.
  • PG-13
  • 2016
  • 106 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 9 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Genuine people who stay true to themselves no matter what are sometimes the ones who flourish. Also, a no-stress job that you don't particularly love might not be better than a high-pressure position for which you have passion.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Eddie Mannix is the consummate juggler, keeping many plates up in the air as the head of a movie studio. Hobie Doyle is a good-natured actor who hasn't let his surroundings change him.

Violence

Gunshots in scenes portraying a film being made. An actor is drugged and kidnapped for ransom. A man slaps two employees.

Sex

Characters discuss how to "legitimize" an unmarried actress who's pregnant. A woman is shown swimming, with visible cleavage. 

Language

Language includes "son of a bitch" and "hell." 

Consumerism

Hills Bros. coffee makes an appearance; no modern-day products.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Social drinking, and plenty of smoking. Allusions to actors drying out in rehab. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Hail, Cesar! is a star-studded (Josh Brolin, Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, George Clooney, and more) Coen brothers comedy set in the 1950s that looks at how movie studios tried to hush any hint of scandal, lest gossip and unfavorable news about stars inhibit the bottom line. It's much milder than most of the Coens' other movies, but watch out for some iffy language ("son of a bitch," "hell," etc.), era-accurate smoking, social drinking, and a bit of violence (gunshots in scenes being filmed for a movie, kidnapping, slapping). There's also some cleavage on display and discussion of how to "legitimize" an unmarried, pregnant actress.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bykellikat February 6, 2016

Not funny

Not funny. Only an actor or an actress would think this movie is funny. Definitely an older persons movie. I'm 47. Didn't laugh once. I can't be... Continue reading
Adult Written bySoonerDave February 12, 2016

Dreadful Disappointment

"Hail, Caesar" is a positively dreadful entry in the Coen brothers library. It commits the singularly unforgiveable sin for a comedy: It isn't fu... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bychazzy123 February 9, 2016

It was well made... but...

The trailer made me want to see this movie, and it is a Cohen brothers film, so why wouldn't I? I had high expectations, and the movie was very well made,... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byMaya16 February 21, 2016

A great mix of comedy and music

I went to see this for my birthday last week and it was okay. Even one of my friends who does not like many movies enjoyed some parts of it. The movie definit... Continue reading

What's the story?

HAIL, CAESAR! is a Coen brothers comedy set in 1950s Hollywood, where morals clauses run afoul of human mistakes. It follows movie studio mogul (and resident fixer) Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin), who must handle what just might be the most grueling 36 hours of his professional life. Baird Whitlock (George Clooney), the headliner of the studio's tent-pole film (also titled Hail, Caesar!), has been kidnapped, with his abductors demanding a $100,000 ransom. Mannix struggles to keep the news from local gossips (two characters played by the brilliant Tilda Swinton) -- while he also attempts to finally quit smoking; shield an unmarried, pregnant actress (Scarlett Johansson) from controversy; fend off persuasive job recruiters; and, yes, find Whitlock.

Is it any good?

The Coen brothers' genius is rarely disputed at this point, and HAIL, CAESAR! further cements their reputation as filmmakers with a singular vision and specific -- and hilarious -- sense of humor. This showbiz comedy is quippy, witty, fast-paced, and smart, if a little overfull (the A-list cameos are so plentiful -- and quick -- that they're sometimes distracting, though never unnecessary).

To a person, the ensemble is razor-sharp, eager, willing and able to poke fun at Hollywood's hypocrisy and ignorance, all while celebrating its simultaneous ability to concoct the gorgeous, feverish celluloid worlds that allow us to (mostly) overlook its excesses and weaknesses. The movie is at once in love with its subject -- the sets and costumes are sublime -- but is also its biggest critic, a balance so few filmmakers are able to keep. We're sold!

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Hail, Caesar! depicts Hollywood. How do you think things have changed, if they have, since the 1950s? What do celebrities trade for stardom? How are they presented as role models?

  • How does the film address serious subjects, such as the lack of respect and compensation for writers, while still making sure the comedy is at the forefront?

  • What's your take on Mannix? Is he a good worker or an unscrupulous enforcer?

Movie details

For kids who love comedy

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